Chuck Kirchner | Photography: Culture, Ritual, and Spirit | Feelings


October 07, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

No, not the can't-get-this-song-out-of-my-head Feelings.  (Sorry!)  Rather, feelings and the ability of a photograph to convey feelings and emotions. Sometimes, a documentary-type photo can elicit an emotional feel from the viewer. Recently, there have been far too many (or far to few when it comes to corresponding actions) photographs of emigrants from Syria trying to reach European shores. And they sometimes/often/always pull at our heartstrings. Still, the photographs were originally taken for the most part to document the "news" and not taken to specifically elicit an emotion or action. 

Then there are photographs taken of our loved ones that bring smiles to our faces and warm and hearts. Oftentimes, the quality of the photo re composition or even clarity (focus) doesn't truly matter. Our mind and heart still react in an emotional way to that rekindling of connection.

Then there are photographs that are purposely taken to convey an emotion in the photographer. "In the photographer" is key here, since there is no way to "force" a viewer to respond one way or another since we are all different. Yet done well, a photographer can attempt to convey an emotion to viewers through careful thought and composition.



When I'm at the coast or even walking down my local road that borders a bay, I have a sense of calmness and relaxation. And of spiritual connection. And I often have my camera with me (whether Nikon or iPhone) in case the "spirit moves me" and I can pre-visualize a photograph that conveys what I'm feeling at that moment. 


When creating photos that are more than documentary, its good to understand how the scene is affecting you emotionally and, if so moved, how to compose or otherwise adjust the photo in-camera or during post-processing to reflect that feeling and with any luck to convey that feeling to other viewers. Or just take a photo of a baby - nearly always works! :)








No comments posted.