Red Shirt Photography, Roll Out and Rogues Gallery

Roll Out Photography  public domain
Roll Out Photography public domain | Source

The three R's in photography stand for Red Shirt School of Photography, The Rogues Gallery and Roll Out Photography. In reality two are photographic styles and the other mostly refers to a type of image.

Red Shirt Photography is a concept which was introduced or rather copied from the works of many National Geography Magazine photographers.

The concept was and is to introduce more color to an otherwise drab scene. When Nat Geo was in its infancy as a publication, positives also known as slides, were the medium of choice for magazines photographic use.

Positive film is characteristically better able able to reproduce richer and more vibrant colors than negative film, and these colors retained much of their traits when printed on the pages of a magazine. Nat Geo photographers would constantly be traveling abroad to capture worthwhile images to be used in the publication.

Often the chosen subjects were not attired in clothing which when photographed would stand out in the pages. So many of them resorted to carrying colorful garbs when on assignments, often red being the color of choice; thus the name Red Shirt, and having their subjects change into these outfits.

The resulting images would often be very rich and with bright colors. This appealed to the powers that be at Nat Geo which by its rapid growth in popularity encouraged other photographers to follow suit. A resurgence of subjects wearing very colorful clothes was soon apparent in many a magazine pages.

The Red Shirt School of Photography is a trend in photography which first became popular in the 1950s. It was pioneered by National Geographic photographers, who had subjects wear, or chose subjects who wore overly colorful clothes (not necessarily of the color red, though red was preferred as it rendered best on Kodachrome film).[1] wikipedia

This style or choice in photography technique is clearly still going strong today. Most photos used in magazines, postcards as well as the majority of mediums in which images are used show a clear tendency towards the use of vibrantly rich colors. It can be said that this style contributed to the growth of fashion photography and other photo mediums that require the use of vibrant colors.

This style is not reserved for the photographing of people, often it also involves adding color elements such as props to make a dull and otherwise "boring" scene look more appealing.

Roll Out Photography is a technique by which an image of a cylindrical object is taken and the resulting photograph is presented in a flat format. The technique involves photographing a subject which sits atop a turn table and rotated while a camera fitted with slits on the lens takes the image at predetermined intervals.

Off course this requires specialized equipment. The technique was perfected due to the need of speeding the process of photographing, cataloging and printing images of round/ cylindrical ancient artifacts and works of art. The photographs are then edited with photo editing software programs to create a seamless product, which up to the birth of the digital age was done by hand.

The photographer who adopt this type of imaging work will more than likely work exclusively with art dealers, art galleries, antiquities collectors and dealers, museums, and universities. Their work will often be showcased in art galleries, art displays, museum displays, college course instructions, art catalogs and so forth.

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Rogues Gallery is the term which is used when referring to a collection of photographs or images of criminals or those with less than a perfect reputation.

First used by police agencies, now some photographers dedicate themselves to this type of photography, but unlike mug shots which are official photographs taken by a police department or any other law enforcement organization.

These independent photographers take shots at criminal proceedings and crime scenes, with the hope of capturing images of individuals who have committed a crime or might be convicted of crimes or otherwise be involved in civil procedures or at the center of controversy. These images are often sold to tabloids and other news publications. In some respects, this genre is similar to that of the famous or infamous paparazzi without the "criminal" tag association.

A subculture that arose from the rogue gallery style is to photograph comic book and movie villains in their full regalia. This became popular in the hay days of comics and television series such as Batman and in some stance is still popular today.

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Comments 2 comments

Phillbert profile image

Phillbert 5 years ago from The Ozarks

Very interesting


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The digital photography books that you linked are great resources!

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