photographic emotions

panoramic_fogSeattle_crop 3807-3812

Pictures tell emotions, happiness, sadness, loneliness, contemplative, anger, exhilarated, calmness, freedom, peace,… Some people say black and white pictures are great for showing emotions. I don’t really understand the elements that create emotions in the absence of colors, aside from the obvious things such as happy people. I took a set of the I-5 bridge in the fog after having worked all night again. (I should do that more since I get lucky with great sunrises.) The fog softly veiled the bridge, drifted above the water and amidst trees making everything look ethereal. It was beautiful and romantic. However, when I turned another similar picture into black and white, it just looks depressing, or better described by Clarie, moody. It’s very different from the color versions of the set.


As I was in denial of being depressed myself, I decided to experiment a bit. The original color version without any color balance and exposure adjustment look kind of drab because the day wasn’t as bright yet.


After some photo editing, with color saturation, the mood is definitely brightened up a bit.


And then I noticed another picture I took just slightly after this one above with a bit more light exposure and slightly different composition. There is more sun coming through the bridge on the upper left corner. That tiny bit makes a big difference to the mood. It’s now more uplifting and you see hope as the light breaks through the fog and the bridge.


The subject matter plays a key role in setting the mood of a picture. The bridge looks industrial; it’s inevitable that it gives people a gloomy feel. The amount of light and the kind of light both contribute to the mood as well. I’m going to play with the idea a bit more and perhaps will come up with a better description in regards to expressing emotions in pictures.

It’s not always the case that my pictures express how I feel as I take them. That was one of the reasons for writing this blog. An artist conveys a message within his own context or mind set. It’s up to the audience to interpret it within his own context and mindset. The impact may be unintended and surprising, much like how Keith Price finds with his comedy. The point is that I’m going to keep taking the pictures I like.

This entry was posted by Maya.

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