Conceptual photography draws its inspiration from concept art, where the artist uses visual elements to deliver an idea or a concept to the audience. In photography, the artist uses composition, light, shadows, and other camera settings to focus on the concept behind a scene. In other words, the conceptual photographer arranges the scene in an artistic way similar to fine art oil paintings or sculptures.
Some people think of conceptual photography as an easy category that can be achieved by using strange elements and compositions in the scene. Actually, this is a very shallow understanding of this genre of photography. In reality, the conceptual photographer needs to have very good understanding of camera exposure and how to use this knowledge to build a dramatic composition. The photographer should also have a talent or background in concept art to help him or her build a composition that delivers the artistic idea to the audience.
Even though there are not many resources about this genre of art, you can always learn by viewing conceptual photography examples like the ones below and use them to inspire you with new ideas. Additionally, you have to consider the following tips before starting to shoot your first conceptual photos:
- Storyboard your idea and get a better understanding of how to visualize it
- Use dramatic light and shadows
- Try creating an unusual atmosphere for your composition
- Take different shots and filter them later
Some photographers use Adobe Photoshop extensively to add a more conceptual taste to their shots, especially with the revolutionary updates in Photoshop over the last years. I, myself, believe this is a fine approach because both Photoshop and the camera are tools in the hands of a conceptual artist. On other hand, some people do not like the idea of heavy post-processing and photo manipulation, because it takes away from the art of photography and turns the shot into photo manipulation art. What do you think? Is it ok to photoshop your image to achieve a dramatic look and deliver the conceptual idea? Share your ideas with us about this debate.
Today, I would like to share with you a talented conceptual photography examples by the Turkish photographer, Sedef Isik. She is one of the remarkable photographers in still life, product, and conceptual photography. Her works show a great understanding to light and composition. You can see more of her amazing photos on her profile.