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Photography Genres

by Bob Radcliff
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One can find many lists of photography genres. For example, Adobe says there are 28 genres and Adorama has posted an article with a list of 38 genres. But the following list of 15 genres from PetalPixel is more concise and seems to cover it all.


GenreDescription
Landscapehorizons, oceans, beaches, lakes, mountains, plains, deserts, & waterfalls. wide vistas. often motionless subjects. use tripod & wide angle lens.
Natureanimals, flowers, plants, trees, & other living objects. use long telephoto or macro lenses.
Portraitpeople (or animals) in various settings with emphasis on personality, character & intentions. includes environmental, boudoir, pet, glamour, and group/family photography. often involves lighting & posing. use 85mm lens.
Streetpeople going about daily life usually in a city or street setting. can be inanimate objects like buildings. often candid. pursuit can feel dynamic, voyeuristic, and sometimes intimidating. use small & light gear.
Architecturalexterior & interior of buildings for posterity/historical record or real estate sales. use tripod & wide angle lens.
Sportscompetitive sports, games, and other activities. often for journalistic purposes. use long telephoto lens, fast capture speed, wide aperture, and two camera bodies.
Abstractoften utilizes a unique perspective of an object with variations of color, shapes, patterns, or other forms hiding the object from view.
Astrophotographynight sky and objects within it, including planets, stars, and galaxies. use tripod, wide angle lens, high ISO, and long exposure.
Compositeimage creatively manipulated (e.g., replacing sky of one image with sky from another image) using digital imaging software such as Photoshop.
Eventcandid or prearranged of people, places, and objects involved in an event. uses artistic composition to document event in a positive light. fast wide, normal, and telephoto lens with two camera bodies.
Editorialstorytelling aid and/or provide visual representation of subject. used in print & digital publications (newspapers, magazines, news websites, or blogs). may include portraits, still life, food, fashion, or architecture.
Weddingcombo of portrait, event, macro, and food photography genres. often fast paced environment involving many people. often requires two photographers, fast lenses, & lighting.
Productattractive & professional presentation of product. usually clean background.
Travelcombo of landscape, nature, and street genres. use small & light gear.
Foodmaking food look appetizing. usually in context of a complementary background & surroundings. shallow depth of field.

calendar Last updated 6-Nov-2023.

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