Styles and Beyond for the Prompt Engineer
Life often takes us by surprise. That was the case with me and photography. I'd been exploring 3D animation and visual effects, and I got a camera only to capture textures for my creative work.
Then something odd happened. People began to call me a 'photographer'. This felt strange. I thought the appeal of my early pictures was down to the DSLR, not any skill on my part.
But as time went on, I started to see things differently. I realized that photography was about more than just taking pictures. It was about telling stories and capturing moments and emotions. This idea was reinforced by my work in the fitness and fashion sectors. The goal wasn't just to take a picture. It was to create something meaningful.
Along the way, I met many 'photographers'. These were people who loved to talk about their equipment. It made me wonder about my place in all this. Was I a 'photographer' because I used a camera? Or were they the real photographers because of their technical know-how?
Then I discovered AI and its potential for creativity. This threw up a whole new set of questions. Was I the artist, or was I just directing the AI? Was the art created by the AI, or was I influencing it in some way?
For me, the answer was clear. I didn't want to let the AI do all the work. That's why I started working with Stable Diffusion. I didn't want the AI to create art for me. I wanted to guide it and shape it according to my vision.
How to Use this Guide for Optimal Prompt Engineering
This guide will grow overtime and will offer a comprehensive roadmap for prompt engineering, leveraging keywords from Photography and Cinematography. Use it to craft prompts that capture specific aesthetics, shot types, or lighting styles. Each section is linked to a dedicated, in-depth article which explores the respective subject matter in detail. The goal is to enable you to write prompts that are not just visually engaging, but also technically accurate and contextually rich.
For instance, if you're writing a prompt that requires a specific aesthetic, you can refer to the 'Aesthetics & Cinematographic Styles' section. This helps you to capture the essence of the aesthetic accurately in your prompt. Similarly, for prompts involving particular shot types or lighting styles, the sections on 'Cinematography Cinematic Shots' and 'Lighting Styles in Photography and Cinematography' respectively, serve as useful references.
Essentially, each section of this guide is designed to help you find key terms of photography, cinematography, to be used for Prompt Engineering in applications like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney, helping you to write nuanced, insightful prompts. Utilize this guide as a reference tool, a study guide, or a spark for inspiration as you navigate the world of prompt engineering.
Table of Contents:
Photographic Styles and Techniques
Photography, like any art form, is not simply a one-size-fits-all discipline. It's a world as wide and varied as the people who explore it, each practitioner bringing their own unique lens to bear upon the world around them. Over the years, various styles and techniques have emerged and evolved, becoming recognized as distinct genres within the larger umbrella of photography. Let's explore some of these styles, and the techniques often employed within them.
Photography and Cinematography Styles
Each of these styles encompasses a different perspective of the world, offering unique opportunities for creativity and exploration. As your understanding of these styles evolves, you may find yourself drawn to particular ones. Explore, experiment, and enjoy the process of discovery.
Nude Art Photography
Fine Art Photography
The Language of Shots: Camera Angles in Photography
This section will act as a guide to the vast range of camera angles employed in both photography and cinematography to imbue each frame with the desired feeling or message. Recognizing and understanding these different camera angles is essential to capturing or interpreting a scene effectively.
Size & Detail
POV & Movement
Close Up On Face
Low Angle / Low Angle
Point of View (POV) Shot
Eye Level Angle
Worm's Eye View
Bird's Eye Shot
Medium Close Up
High Angle Shot / High Angle
Extreme Close Up
The Visual Language of Cinematography
This section dives into the nuanced world of cinematic shots. From close-ups to aerial views, understanding these shot types can drastically enhance the storytelling capabilities of a filmmaker or photographer. These techniques provide a language through which artists can communicate visually, evoke emotions, and guide viewers' attention.
Shot Sizes and Angles
Point of View
High Angle Shot
Point of View (POV) Shot
Low Angle Shot
Eye Level Shot
Worm's Eye View
Bird's Eye Shot
Reverse Angle Shot
Whip Zoom Shot
Lighting Styles in Photography and Cinematography
Lighting is an essential aspect of both photography and cinematography, playing a vital role in setting the scene, creating mood, and revealing the texture and form of subjects. This section examines various lighting styles that artists can use to enhance their work and evoke specific emotions or reactions.
Low Key Lighting
High Key Lighting
High Contrast Lighting
Low Contrast Lighting
Magic Hour Lighting
Golden Hour Lighting
Blue Hour Lighting
Day for Night
Night for Day
Soft Diffused Light
Shadow Light / Shadow Play
Rimlit / Edge Lighting
Broad and Short Lighting
Contraluz / Silhouetting
High Key Portrait
Low Key Portrait
Outdoor Reflector Light
Outdoor Shadow Light
Backlighting (Hair Light)
Key Figures in Photography and Cinematography
Explore the inspiring work and unique styles of well-known artists in the fields of photography and cinematography. From pioneers who defined the medium to contemporary artists who continue to push the boundaries, this section offers a glimpse into their creativity and impact on the visual arts.
Simon J. Morton
A Guide to Cameras and Lenses
This section provides an overview of the tools that help bring creative visions to life. From retro to digital cameras and a variety of lenses, understanding their features and capabilities can empower artists to choose the right tool for their artistic goals.
Canon EOS 5D
ARRI ALEXA 65