When Does an Image Speak?

I’ve seen images that are technically correct, even technically perfect, but they do not speak, meaning they don’t tell a story or draw you in visually or emotionally.  Ansel Adams said, “you don’t take a photograph, you make a photograph” and I don’t believe that truer words were ever spoken regarding photography.  In order for us to “make a photograph”, our heart has to be in involved in its capture.

In my workshops, I encourage my attendees not to run around a garden taking “snapshots” of flowers.  Instead, I ask them to just walk around the garden and wait until they are drawn to a particular flower and when they are, I ask them to take their time, view the flower from every angle (high, low, from the side), determine how much of the image they want in focus and set their camera/lens accordingly and take a test shot.  Next, I ask them to adjust their camera settings if necessary and then settle in with their subject and keep shooting (get closer, get farther away, change their focus point) until they are satisfied that they have “made” an image that delights them.  If they have an image that affects them emotionally, it will affect others as well.

Part of Ansel Adams quote refers to the fact that the image is not “finished” until it has been post-processed.  Make the most of your skills in Lightroom, Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop so that you are giving life to the image’s allure and beauty by brining out its best qualities and minimizing or fixing distractions.  Once complete, your image will stand apart from everyone else’s because you have made it a delight to behold and you have given it a voice that was born from a passion in your heart and soul that is visible in this image now, and forever.

I will be holding several workshops this year.  If you’re looking for an opportunity to learn how to shoot from your heart while applying the proper camera settings, I would encourage you to be a part of one of my “From the Heart to Lens” hands-on photography workshops.  For more information, please visit my website and view my Workshops Page: https://imagesthatspeak.org/upcomingworkshops/

Share on: FacebookTwitterPinterest