Photographic Illusions vs. Artistic Impressions

If I were an artist that paints, could I reach an audience with this image?

Looking Glass Falls IllusionIt is not something imagined with a paint brush, but created with a camera.

Does it make it any less a statement of feeling?

Does this image project a sense of something within?

Sunrise over Purchase Knob
Sunrise over Purchase Knob

My wife thinks  it conveys an ethereal feeling. Is that allowed with photography, or are we supposed to only record things exactly as we see them? Would this be accepted differently if it were sun rays reaching through morning cloud, as our example below on the right?

When we show an animal running as a blurred form is that different because our intent is to show speed using that technique. Can we not  record light in a form that speaks to our emotional senses? Is that not what our aim is in photography – to “communicate with light,” as the literal interpretation in Greek implies -writing with light.


Golden Fields 2x3 72 dpiHere is another image that I felt, driving home one fall afternoon a few years ago. I shot it through the windshield as it appeared in front and down the hill. the camera just happened to be sitting beside me on the seat. Does it resonate in any way with you? What feeling does it trigger within?

Lifting our Work to Another Level…

In Bryan Peterson’s book Learning To See Creatively, he discusses Design, Color, and Composition in Photography. In his chapter Elements of Design, he lists things that make a Striking Image. They are Line, Shape, Form, Texture, Pattern and Color. If we include these things in our images, we move our work to another level.

Emotions are a key part of images that work. 

Perc E. Powell would say that we should Change The Angle of View and Include An Emotional Element. If we wish to make an image of a pond, we’ll have just that – an image of a pond. But, as soon as we include a boat in the image, it begins to speak to us suggesting the element of action or activity. The story changes.

Once we get past our tools, the settings on our camera or lens, we can begin to sense our surroundings, begin to feel things to incorporate in our images. At that point, the story takes on the sizzle that others can relate to. That is one of the reasons we stress practice so our tools can become more automatic to us.

One instructor  I had early in my career, said that unless we are out shooting three times a week, we should have our camera in our laps while watching TV.  To handle them and focus on things around the room to the point where we could go into a dark closet and know where everything is without haveing to look at our equipment, was most important.

Unless only wishing to make a documentary image, sensing elements that will speak to us  comes almost before thinking about including a subject.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.