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Heritage Photography

The term ‘Heritage’ refers to natural or man-made features of historical or cultural significance associated with a culture or nation, such as natural formations, buildings, artwork, and archaeological sites. Broadly, it can be divided into natural heritage and cultural heritage. Heritage photographers mostly lean towards, capturing man-made elements of cultural heritage. A heritage photograph is an aesthetic portrayal of elements of legacy. Heritage photos capture monuments and ancient art & craftsmanship which stand testimony to an era, or traditions which may or may not have changed with time. Heritage sites and objects are like a book waiting to be discovered. While photographing subjects with a history, the outcome is expected to tell a story. A heritage picture therefore, is a story squeezed into a frame.

Photographers interested in Heritage photography share one common emotion – appreciation, which drives them to click. Photographers with love for things of the past, marvel over grand to derelict architectural works, quaint artwork and even objects such as books, furniture, tools, vehicles, as subjects for heritage pictures. Often, heritage photographers have a passion for world travel, and a voracious appetite for exploring places with a rich history.

What Makes Heritage Photos Fascinating?

Photographer or not, netizens these days have been noted to be searching for images related to cultural heritage photography online. Many pride in owning professionally clicked works of cultural heritage photography and opt for them as statement pieces of art for their home or business-place décor. So, what lures people to these images of the past?

Every heritage photo, tells a tale of a bygone era. They are a window to a different world; a world we have only read about. Different heritage pictures, evoke different emotions in different people. Artistically clicked photographs of historical monuments can be awe-inspiring whereas photographs of ancient objects can pique your curiosity. With the drama that some photographers try to create with a play of light, patterns, forms, and composition of elements, heritage images often turn out to be engaging, almost hypnotic, momentarily transporting you back in time. They celebrate an authentic flavor of the culture they portray and pay a tribute to glories of the past.

Heritage Photos as Wall Art

Heritage pictures have a maturity about them which lends them an aura of magnificence, which is why they make for great statement pieces in a décor and add character to the walls. People with an affinity to a specific land or culture, take to dedicating a wall with an assembly of heritage photo prints and frames portraying clicks of that land or culture. To explain; a lover of Rajasthani culture can effortlessly adorn a wall with cultural heritage pictures of grand ancient forts of Rajasthan, Rajputana paintings of different styles, and of ancient musical instruments of the land and the like. This would impart a “Rajasthani” feel to a space.

Skills Required for Heritage Photography

A lot of creative thinking is required to bring life to an old heritage site where an old building stands still and the old objects such as a vehicle, are partially preserved. Though it will make for an excellent heritage photograph with a lot of appeal, to capture the mood of the site itself, a photographer must consider a lot of options like the best time for natural light, effects of morning, afternoon and night, breathing space for the photograph, elevation to capture the subject from the best angle possible, etc. Since, unlike a landscape or a nature photograph, a heritage picture has the responsibility of bringing back a bygone era, a heritage photographer needs to be passionate about rediscovering what was, for a perfect capture. A lot of heart and mind goes into producing a good heritage photograph.