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A pictorial photographer approaches subjects with a view to creating an image having wide appeal. He or she is usually skilled in searching for ways to depict an everyday subject in an unusually attractive manner. Subjects may be found almost anywhere and typically include landscapes, portraits and abstracts. Images of structures, natural phenomena, events, products and subjects in countless other categories may also be chosen. However, the aim is always to create an image which is visually appealing to a wide range of people.

Maldivian SunsetSome people may dismiss pictorial work as "pretty pictures" or "chocolate-box photography", but what is wrong with that? If an image is pleasing, and is perhaps chosen to decorate a wall in a home, the photographer has achieved something worthwhile. There is nothing wrong with looking for the most attractive way of viewing a subject, and a well-trained eye is required to achieve the best results. It does not even matter whether the portrayal of a subject is factual or absolutely honest. Painters have long removed unwanted object from their works, or changed the clouds, colours or light to achieve a more pleasing effect, so there is no reason why a photographer should not use Photoshop to do the same thing.

Abstract images, often created from a very close viewpoint to disguise the true identity of a subject, are also basically pictorial in nature although might be said to have a more limited appeal. They are excellent examples of images created purely to please the eye - it does not even matter whether the subject is identifiable of known. Provided the composition, colours and shapes are aesthetically pleasing, the photographer has been successful.

Good pictorial photographs are very difficult to create. The photographer must master every aspect of composition, light, viewpoint, atmosphere, depth of field, selective focus etc to achieve the best results. Excellent images do not just happen, they are created as a result of lots of hard work, analysis of problems and repeat shoots.


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