How We Can Use Photography to Show Pride in Our Culture?
By: Mohamed Nada/Arab America Contributing Writer
How can photography be used to show pride in our culture?
When it comes to taking pictures, more specifically in a cultural scene, one of the most controversial things to focus on while taking these types of photos is not what the heat of the moment is or what funny face a person made on a trip; photos are used to be captured and tell a story with them.
Every where you go, you have a story of place you have been, but nowadays without pictures, people won’t believe you. But by capturing mesmerizing photos that grabs people attention, the story you tell will become more than just a tale.
Sure, exotic places are the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to photography pictures in a culturally diverse environment, but it is more than just that. It is mainly focused on life, and pointing out details that we might miss. Cultural photography, because of its unique standpoint (whether through perspective, lighting, or something else) gives commentary that can reflect smaller parts of culture we might normally dismiss.
For instance, in Egypt, whenever someone brings it up, the first thing that comes to mind are the pyramids. The pyramids are one of the most iconic landmarks in Egypt, but when it comes to cultural photography you should never limit yourself to just the tourist locations. You must go beyond that image, and dig deeper into different places that will give you the best photos that you are looking for.
Most of the photos that I am going to show are mine, but I want to show how differentiate from just taking regular photos to cultural photos that can tell a story and make a person wonder in the process how you took these photos.
Was it wizardry? Was it the lighting? Maybe… but ultimately these photos that are going to shown should be able to tell you a story without it having an explanation tied to it.
Here are some ways to show pride in ones culture by taking photography pictures:
Look for cultural beauty in unexpected places
When it comes to having ideas to take cultural photography, it does not always have to be focused on people.
Take this picture for example: it is a picture of a monument but instead of making it look simple and plain, you can use it to your advantage. Take a different photo by pointing the camera upward against it and shoot up, making it become a completely different photo, and makes it more appealing for the viewers that see it.
Employ different perspectives to immerse the viewers into the sense
With this shot, the lighting was key to make the picture come out more appealing, especially since this this picture was shot in Egypt in a tourist location.
This is certainly a different aspect of culture, being that this shows you a way of life that that cannot be shown just through their own culture but is used as a tool to help describe what Egypt specifically is all about. Making people look at the same thing in a different perspective can really help them appreciate the minute details of something that may seem “ordinary”. This is where cultural photography stands out- something that may seem “typical” (like the stereotypical tourist photos) can be shown in a different way to make it unique, and add more meaning to the photo.
To create a mood, try and find colors that can do so
Creating a mood is very important when it comes to taking a picture and finding the right mood, while help set up for a great photo.
Colors also make a photo look more vibrant and helps when you have the right lighting. Take this picture of the flower above, the color of the flower helps set up a nice a foreground, and while keeping it in focus, it shows that this is what you are trying to capture making the background blurry. This makes the photo great because you have what you want in focus, and the color of the flowers pop out just the way you want it.
It does not matter what part of the world you are in, can be from Egypt like these photos here or around the world, cultural photography is possible. Overall, the more out there you are in the world, the more places you visit, the more exotic one location can be, the more mesmerizing your photos will turn out to be.
These tips are here to help you get a sense of what it is like to take cultural photos, but more importantly not all cultural photos are used to show iconic locations, or people. It is about finding those hidden gems that other people do not see with their eyes, and really show the details of life.
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