Greetings everyone, I’m back again 🙂 How are you all doing? I hope that you are doing, and shooting well lately 😀
This particular topic crossed my mind a few days ago; I’ve given it some thoughts and decided that I should write a little bit on it, might do Science some good 🙂
I suppose if one is to compile every macro photograph out there and strictly group them into two specific groups, these would be it- Scientific and Artistic photos.Before I begin, let me stress that there are no “rights” or “wrongs” when it comes to taking your macro photographs, but there are times when Scientific shots might be more beneficial than Artistic shots vice versa. So, how do you differentiate between Scientific and Artistic photographs?
A Scientific shot is usually taken in such a way that the details of the subject is accurate, clear and if possible, sharp. This is because details (colour, morphology etc.) are important criteria for scientific identification and descriptions.
If you have read an earlier article here (How To Deal With Shallow Depth Of Field In Macro Photography), you might have guessed that to get scientific shots, you are pretty much limited to a certain number of shooting angles. As a result, these shots may be relatively “dull” and “monotonous” when compared to Artistic shots. Moreover, for Scientific shots, colours of subjects should not be altered to retain them as close to natural as possible, which is again important for identifications.
Most of the time, people don’t really take Scientific shots unless if they are interested in identification the subjects. So if you are curious about getting your insect, spider or animal identified, be sure to take a Scientific shot before asking for ID!
Personally, I think that you cannot be good at Macro Photography without really knowing and understanding the subjects you are photographing. I have always believed that knowledge on your subjects is part and parcel of your macro skills. This knowledge will not only let you identify your subjects, but to know where and how to find them as well. Therefore I would really like to encourage macro shooters to learn about their subjects, and know when to take Scientific photos that matter: New species are everywhere, and you might just bump into a few along the way!
Artistic shots are photographs that are shot to be as attractive and creative as possible. The attention to details and colours of the subjects is not as strict as that of Scientific shots, and can be altered accordingly during or after the shoot.
Most of the time, Artistic shots feature really up-closed frames of interesting subjects, or parts of the subjects, showing to the world details or patterns that we don’t usually get to see with our naked eyes. Learn how to take better Artistic Shots here: Macro Photography- Taking Photos That People Like.
Artistic shots, as you might have guessed, are generally more popular than Scientific shots, but do not convey that much Scientific information per photo. That said, Artistic shots can be really challenging to get, since a good shot relies heavily on the subject itself, composition, lighting and background. All these will be covered later on 🙂
Well now that you at least have an idea of the difference between Scientific and Artistic shots, I hope you will be able to take whichever’s suitable based on what you want from the shot. If you ever find a very unique or rare spider, insect or organism, always be sure to take Scientific shots first (since they are usually shot from afar) prior to Artistic shots. By doing this, you will be able to kill two birds with one stone- you will get great photos plus those which are good for identification. Most macro gurus have the habit of doing this (to avoid scaring off subjects), even though they might not notice its importance.
Okay, that’s all for this time! I’m sure you have already taken some awesome Scientific and Artistic shots before reading this, do feel free to share your photos and experiences if you want~ I’m sure there are loads that we could learn from one another!
Until the next article, take care guys!
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