The thing about Artistic photography, for me, is you are working with the emotional consequences of visual information to make meaning. This includes what you leave out (leave to the imagination), by using, light and shadow, focus and out of focus or beyond the edge of the shot (cropping). Then there are colours and visual effects.
It's all in the context of or in dialogue with your taste, audiences and peers, including those in other arts who you can learn from and imitate. To this end you must know your tastes. You develop this by looking at a lot of other people's work so you know what hits your emotions & tastes, even if that means hitting you in the balls or pussy depending on what you want to say/do with your photos. This will give you the beginning of a sense of what you want to say with your images. Iphones, Androids and other smarts phones do have the capacity for you to do a lot. Open the settings, research online how to fuck around with them... there are apps that can help give you lots of flexibility.
The difference, for me, between artistic & standard photography is simply that most people use photography for memory so capturing the moment as simply as possible to aid memory. The memory fills in the meanings and emotions.
The elements of photography that you get to fuck with for art sake or for simple fun - that you may or may not be able to control in your camera or in the set up of the pic before you shoot are summarised here.
There are three to think about - 1. before you use the camera (the set up), 2. in the camera and 3. post production (which would include printing if you wanted to do that).
1. Before you use your camera - set up
Set up can be candid shots where you have no control of the setting or lighting but then you have eyes that can take into account all the elements mentioned here especially the composition.
- What's the style and purpose of your shots? How are you going to do them? E.G are you recording something for memory sake? Are they candid? How much control/choice do you have over the circumstances? Are there any rules you are setting for yourself like natural light only, or studio lighting? Where will shoot happen? Who will be in it? When is the shoot to happen? What do you want say or provoke or feel from the shots?
- The lighting - use of shadow and light. Parties can give lots of opportunity for shadow play.
- Types of light including the sources - namely colour of light and brightness, look it up - but basically white is not just white is comes in many temperatures - eg look at light in the morning, midday and afternoon, when there are different sorts of cloud cover, snow effect, direct light compared to reflected and filtered light. Then compare between fluorescent bulbs, old fashioned incandescent bulbs and different kinds of older energy savers with different l.e.d.'s... all colours are effected by the colour of the white you use. Some cameras let you play with this, "White balancing" is the term to research. but be careful with it because different coloured whites and lights can be fun to play with.
- The colours you use communicate emotion and meaning - do you want to use colour at all? Black & white can be very powerful. If you are using colour, ask yourself what do red, black, blue, yellow, green etc feel like to you? Do you have favs, why, what do they mean for you? Know your tastes before you go researching what others say about their meanings and feelings. This comes back to the colour of white as well as other colours, warm versus cool ones for example. If you look at five or ten different reds or blues some will seem very similar but others will give you different feels.
- Composition - the layout and positioning of elements in a pic are where the outside meets the inside. because you compose the image outside (sometimes) then you decide of the angles and position of people and stuff in the frame of your camera/pic. Here's a great article on different ways of thinking about composition, in the frame. It's fairly advanced but will take you away from the rule of thirds to a more complex way of thinking about layout - btw rule of thirds means dividing your frame vertically and horizontally into 3 equal parts giving you four places off-centre or around the centre that are considered power positions in your pic. You put the important parts of the image on the intersection of those lines in the grid. Some camers let see a grid on your screen that won't show in your pic. It is simple but some people are too fundamentalist about it. RULES ARE MADE TO BE BROKEN. petapixel.com/2016/01/30/10-my…
The more you play with these the more instinctive intuitive they become so you can do them without thinking.
- Focus - connects with composition as they are both ways of deciding what is most important in the shot and you can use them to guide the attention of people looking at your pics. You use focus to point out things for emotional affect - i.e. what is in focus and what is out of focus = "depth of field" (research it). Sometimes if put something important slightly out of focus then you can use suspense to create drama. For example - You do a shot between a lying model's legs with her/his knees bend up but his/her face in focus so the eye goes straight there. But at the bottom and front of the shot the hand touching their cock or cunt is out of focus. The viewer will come to it second and get an extra buzz of discovery. Modern cameras let you change your "focal length" so things close to your camera are in focus while things further away are out of focus or vice versa. You have to know your camera and lens to control this because modern cameras also have a capacity to make everything be in focus no matter how far away they are - check settings. In modern camera you can decide to move the focal point (again check settings).
- Film - even though most of us use digital today if you look at your settings you'll see ASA or ISO these are remnants of the film stock of the past. They are responsive to different levels of light. Some work in low light giving you a nice grainy effect and let you see into shadows. Others work with a lot of light giving you very low grainy sense but you can't see into shadows. An example is when you are using the auto sys on your camera - You'll see, if you experiment, that if you focus your camera on an area of high light that the shadows get deeper. you see less in them. If you focus on the shadows then the areas with high light will get so bright you see less in them.
3. development post-production
Again using ideas that come from the days of chemical film.
- There are all kinds of treatments you can do on a shot after you've taken the photo. But the better the original shot is, of the things outside the camera and then inside the camera, the more flexibility you have to improve it. play with it in post-pro.
- On screens - different screens have their qwerks if your want to get into detail, but it's beyond this summary.
- For printing you gotta think about paper and style of printer but no need for that here.
in your research focus shots that excite you for the way they are done rather for the subject matter. Ask people here how they did particular shots you like. EXPERIMENT EXPERIMENT EXPERIMENT... do a course or 2 or 3 but be careful of absolutists, people who present with certainty about what is good.