Better than a thousand words
Here are two pictures that are exactly the same and different at the same time. Both pictures evoke an equally powerful emotion to the viewer that hits them almost instantaneously like a brick hurled to their emotional windows. Also, while both pictures depict the parent's love of a child they leave the audience into tears for very different reasons.
The first photo shows an old man kneeled over the 9/11 memorial monument. A well-dressed old man in a suit is kneeling over with one hand on the monument. The photo is took with color film but there is an overall greyish tone in the photo without any vibrant splashes of color. A ray of sunlight hits the monument where the old man has put up his hand in a vertical line in the middle of the photograph . That along with the fact that the rest of the background is out of focus immediately directs the eyes of the viewer to him. The tone of the photograph is very solemn and sober. The old man is neither openly weeping nor has he lost his composure. Even so, the emotional pain of the man who has lost a loved one ( it is told that the man's son was killed during the 9/11 attacks) is quite evident in the picture.
The second photo captures the moment of reunite of a soldier and her daughter in the airport. Like the man in the first picture, the woman is on her knees. However, unlike the first picture, she is openly crying and hugging her young daughter who seems to be no older than about 3 to 4 years old. The tightly tied hair, makeup free face, and the military uniform of the woman indicate that she has just arrived at the airport from the army. The face of the daughter cannot be seen but she is hugging her mother as hard as she is being hugged herself. In the background, the lower half of a man in a suit holding a suitcase is shown. The black suit of the man along with the shiny white floor of the airport contrasts greatly with the muddy green colored military uniform of the woman and the pink striped t-shirt her daughter is wearing.
In terms of composition, it could be said that the two photos have certain similarities. The man in the first photo and the woman in the second photo are both on their knees facing their right and are situated in the middle of the photograph. There are some people in the background, but they are not important nor are they eye-catching in any means. The two people in the photos are parents and the photos both show the love they have for their children. However, the man in the first photo is unable to hug his son while the woman in the second photo sheds happy tears of seeing her daughter after a long period of time.
It could be said that the two photos tell the same story despite being so different from each other or that the two photos are quite similar considering that they both tell very different tales. Either description seems quite adequate actually. Regardless, it is amazing how a single photograph can manage to tell such a moving vibrant story that lasts eons of time afterwards within the viewer's mind.