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Beginning Photography is Creating a Historical and Cultural Context; Where do I begin?

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Photography Session


In our Sessions, at My Voice Media Center, we take a look at Photography. What are the basics of photography? Where do I start and what do I need?

What is the significance of Photography and why analyze it or study it?

In order to, take good images your digital camera must create images with enough pixels. Pixels are designed to measure how much detail are inserted when the camera shoots or snaps a photo. By creating more pixels per inch, the camera can record and snap a shot with more detail, or pixels. Some cameras are just “point’n’shoot cameras” and these do not consist of very many pixels, just enough to grab the entire image and create enough detail that we can see a general image. The more pixels, the more, clear and “in-focus” the image will be. Look at it this way artists-if you can create depth of field in the number of pixels that your camera outputs, then you have a good camera, or a good number of pixels. What type of cameras are there?

Should I buy a tripod? Facilitator, Michael Alvarez, an accomplished and well-known photographer in Visalia, CA will be happy to answer your questions and get you started on your journey through photography.

In general, a DSLR is the best choice for a Participant. A beginner should learn how to create a photograph that is consistent with a good composition using the basics in photography and creating this manually is the best way to start. How do I start creating photographs with my DSLR? Begin by setting it to automatic, or A using the dial on the top of the camera. Watch how the camera decides what settings and research how to change settings before entering Manual Mode, using the dial on the top.

Let us take a look at a work that proceeded a Session in Photography at My Voice Media Center, now on ZOOM! Start here, begin with our facilitator and discover the aspects of photography that are artistic for you, that you are good at, and Photography that you enjoy!

Analyzing it for Historical and Cultural Context we find that the overall composition is related to many portrait images and comprised of unique elements.Photography has roots that date back ages ago.Photography,“the word, derived from the Greek photos (“light”) and graphein (“to draw”), was first used in the 1830s.”(Britanica) In essence, light is a photographer’s medium, the tool is the camera

Look at the above gallery of photos. Notice anything? The one on the left is the “before” and the one on the right is the “after”. The photographer, Michael Alvarez spends much of his time taking really, good shots, and then editing them into even better shots after carefully analyzing them into frames of perfection. How does he analyze them? He analyzes them into compositional values, values of color and black and white versions, direction of linear components, lighting, color consistency, and many other techniques that pertain to the overall composition of that selected frame from a photo shoot. In his session for these particular images, he facilitated the need for a cropping on each photograph, as well as one of them being changed into a black and white.

Why take photographs? Photographs are a form of visual art and recording information as an image, not just in words or type. We are able to record information at the touch of a button. Learning how to use this tool is a vital part of many professions and the focus of many professions today. We must be able to use this tool in order to record our families and friends, edit for a newspaper and record the blooming of a flower after the rain. In the relative connections that we accompany to mental health there is a consistent connection between recording the world around us and documenting the beauty we find closely in everyday life. We consistently are inspired to be positive, when we photograph. Journaling is consistent as well to the artist’s Sketchbook Journal and Photography Journal. Many of our younger generations have been thankful for those who chose to photograph. Many professions are focused on photographic archival in according to preserve in terms of city, community and family memories and they become documentation of lives that have passed, but we learn from them every day. Some have documented in artistic ways, professional portraits, like the ones above, making a library for generations to come and to enjoy day-to-day.

Some small photo editing sites are available online, like to help you along the way.

Many cameras offer metadata when uploaded to your file explorer/finder on your computer. You right-click and select properties, write down the information and ask your Facilitator in Photography about the setting and how you can re-create a good photograph that you took.

Also, “it is a good idea to write any information you do know about the photo onto the back, using a photo-safe archival pen which you can pick up in most craft stores.

Good luck and SAY CHEESE!



Rosenblum, Naomi , Grundberg, Andy , Gernsheim, Helmut Erich Robert and Newhall, Beaumont. "History of photography". Encyclopedia Britannica, 3 Dec. 2020, Accessed 13 March 2021.

Historical Context, Contemporary Value: Old Photos as Cultural Documents (; “Historical Context, Contemporary Value: Old Photos as Cultural Documents”; by Marie Gardiner; 28 Jan 2017; © 2021 Envato Pty Ltd. Trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners; accessed March13, 2021;;


Taken on my Cell Phone; Pictured from the 3D Art Project "House your state of mind", from the left to the right-Sheila Ashford, Participant, Ampelio Perez, Executive Director (2X), Olivia Garza, Peer Support Specialist and Arts Facilitator


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