The picture above is one of my favorite shots I’ve taken so far. It was one of those moments where I was trying to be artsy, with a camera that usually did not have the ability to be artsy, but somehow it magically turned out in the end. The reason why it is my favorite is not because of the composition of the picture, but the feeling I get whenever I view it.
I remember that exact day. It was a horribly cold, stormy atmosphere on Ellis Island and I believe I shook as I focused in on the look-out of New York City. It was meant as a statement. I wanted anyone who viewed this picture to feel as though they were looking through this eye look-out, as I did on that day. The clarity also enhances the bold “in-your-face” feel.
The power behind a picture usually stems from an emotional intention. There is a reason why any photo is taken, and if it is done right, the viewer feels it.
Al Tompkins notes the importance of perception when photography is used in the media in the article, “Why Pictures are so Powerful.” Because if “there are a number of possible interpretations of an image, viewers automatically choose the one that requires the least new information,” then pictures in the media must be simple enough, and with one purpose behind the camera-shot, for viewers to understand the correct meaning.
This age of digital media makes it incredibly easy to snap a picture, but Kim Cascone states in the article, “After the artefact: Post-digital photography in our post-media era” by Greg Shapley, “digital tools [are] only as perfect, precise, and efficient as the humans who build them.” Meaning, the photographer is sometimes more important than the technology of the camera.
A person must find that inspiration, or purpose, before they take a picture if they want the picture to create a simple interpretation for the viewer.