Photography 101

RDI Network
October 2021
2 min read

Photography is a fantastic tool to convey research information and add emotional depth to your output. With a careful eye, good photography can work to immerse the audience into your studies, develop emotional attachments and leave lasting impressions. The linked sources provide a guide on developing photography skills, with beginners guides to operating professional cameras.
Here are a collection of our key findings: 

  • Know what you’re shooting. Different photos require different approaches. Nature shots require wide lenses, portraits use narrower lenses. Ideally, before taking the photo, you’ll have already planned out the story you wish to tell and what you wish to photograph.
  • How much control do you want? For those seeking a greater deal of autonomy when taking pictures, manual mode may be a very useful tool to achieve this. However, for newbie photographers, this can be very difficult. Having to constantly adjust aperture and shutter speed, especially in dynamic environments can result in inconsistent and poor quality photos. For most research, automatic mode should suffice. For those using auto mode, a basic knowledge of shutter speed and aperture can still prove very useful.x
  • Composition. There are simple rules of composition that can elevate an average photo into a great one. The golden ratio and the rule of thirds are some simple tricks to use that can add flair to photography efforts.
  • Narrative. When taking and curating photos, try and figure out how each photo may fit into the narrative. Does the lighting/framing/composition work in a manner that compliments your research? A well placed photo can work wonders in enhancing the narrative of your research outputs.
  • Don’t forget to get consent!!!: All subjects throughout research must provide consent before their information is used, e. The specifics of consent and ethical research collection can be found within the Principles and guidelines for ethical research and evaluation page.