What's the difference between a snapshot and a photograph? It's all in the meaning you add to your photos.
Here's a great example. This image is of a sad woman. That's obvious from her facial expression and body posture.
But this photograph is powerful because it conveys 'sadness' in many ways other than the main subject:
- There is an empty ocean in the background, which conveys loneliness or sadness.
- The sea is choppy indicating turbulence, or unsafe. Both are emotions we feel when we're sad.
- It's a cloudy day - no sunshine (sunshine usually indicates happiness).
Each of these elements has been specifically chosen by the photographer to help convey the metaphor of sadness. Think of how the meaning of the image would have changed if the water had been full of happy beachgoers instead. Or if it was a sunny day.
What's 'unsaid' in your photos conveys just as much (if not more) to your viewer than your subject. Knowing how to harness this ability will very quickly improve your photography.
Applying meaning and metaphor to your photos is just one way to transform your photos from simple snapshots - to true works of art. I teach this, plus another 7 methods during November's "Beyond Snapshots" Photography Dash. Note: this Dash is now closed
P.S. I can see at least another four elements of this photo that show 'sadness'. Can you see them too? Let me know what you see in the comments below.
Update: If you can't see the four I saw, here they are: Dull muted colors for her clothing; The rock she's sitting on is slanted (ie unbalanced... not even); Her hair is disheveled; She is only on one side of the frame (again indicating unbalance). Read the comments for more elements creating this sad photo.
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