Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How Emotions Effect Photography

Recently I read an article about the ways emotions can effect image quality, which got me thinking about that subject. Does how the photographer feels about the scene captured have an effect on image quality? I am of two minds on the matter, because if the photographer did not have a strong feeling about what is being captured, it is unlikely to be shot in the first place. On the other hand, strong emotional attachment to an image can also blind the photographer to the value of the image itself. Perhaps a better question photographers need to ask themselves is, how do I transmit the emotions this image gives me to others? If you are making images of other people, the priority changes to, how do I transmit that persons emotions to the viewer?

Being a wildlife and landscape photographer I find these questions difficult to answer. Right now I am still working through these questions, because without an answer I will be unable to provide viewers with interesting images on a consistent basis.

I say that this is difficult because, from my point of view in landscape photography, what you see is what you get. Transferring the emotion of the moment is not always possible. Not ever scene you capture is going to have moody storm clouds or crashing waves. When it comes to wildlife there may be some emotional transfer, such as when the animals are doing specific things, but otherwise it might be hard to link the emotion to the viewer.

A photographer must learn to separate their own emotional state, from the emotion of the scene, which the viewer will actually be seeing.