In 1826, when the first stable photographic image on paper was produced, no one could have foreseen the wide-ranging effects that photography would have on the course of history and on the art world in particular.
An amazing photograph not only frames and captures a brief moment in time, but it speaks volumes through a complex interplay between subject matter, light, contrast, texture, and color.
In addition to choosing the appropriate camera, lens, and film, and then framing and timing a shot, photographers can choose to use filters, lights, special darkroom processes, and digital enhancement to gain a high level of control over their images.
The equipment and techniques chosen largely depend on the genre, the photographer's individual style, and the overall effect they are attempting to achieve.
Portrait and animal photographers wishing to make an individual subject the focal point for a shot may use a large aperture for a shallow depth of field to put their subject in focus while keeping the background blurred.
Landscape photographers wanting to clearly capture an entire panoramic view may choose the opposite.
Choosing black and white over color gives a timeless quality to photos and brings elements such as line, texture, and tone to the forefront. The choice of black and white (or another monotone process) may also help lead the eye away from elements which distract from the photographer's intended focus. Though some photography purists insist on forgoing digital enhancement of any kind, many choose to use it to retouch imperfections and enhance color, among other effects.