Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Power of Photography/201101883 Hyojeong

The power of photography is tremendous, because it captures the moment that cannot be recovered. The instant message a photograph can give to the viewers touches the heart, and heart is what makes the reaction start. So when it comes to pictures, it is incredibly important to take and pick a picture that would effectively help you convey the exact message that you want to give. Every little detail in picture should suit your message, because details combine and decide the overall atmosphere of the image.

For example, in the following two photos, we can see two girls dressed in shabby clothes are standing next to each other posing for the camera. The photo on the left side features a background that looks like a refugee camp, and it seems the surrounding is vacant and gloomy. The girls' facial expressions signify that they are not in their best mood, and are rather having an unsatisfactory moment. Even without any clear explanation, we can sense that this picture is showing how unfortunate two girls that appear as victims of poverty or maybe war, seem to be like, just by seeing the empty background and the unhappy looks on their faces. The picture on the right side, however, shows girls who are smiling brightly even though their clothing is dirty and they are not presented in their best selves. Regardless of the background, which seems like a dark corner of a random street, when you look at the right picture, you instantly feel that the photo gives out a positive impression, and it somehow makes you even just by looking at it feel pleased. Maybe these two girls in real life are not living the happiest lives ever, and probably are the victims of something miserable, but we cannot assume that much further just from this picture, because human beings are all dependent on what seems to be like, rather than what is actually inside when you go deeper inside beyond appearance. That is why taking an appropriate picture is important when you are trying to convey a deep message in a fast and effective way.

Usually, each picture will serve one purpose. The picture on the left will be used as something that portrays the negative influence of horrible incidents, and will provoke sympathy and anger among viewers. The picture on the right side will serve the exact opposite, which will give out more of an optimism and positive vibe. It may also spread the message that just because you are poor, that doesn't necessarily mean you are unhappy, just like these little girls who do not seem to have two dimes to rub together seem incredibly overjoyed.

The fundamental difference between two pictures is smile. Smile is one of the facial expressions, and facial expression is one of the important details that determine the mood of the image. The first picture is smile-free, and thus cannot be the one appearing with articles about a happy moment or joyful circumstances. It will be used to describe unfortunate situation people go through. In the second photo, there is an irony where the girls' smiles do not seem to match their poor environment. This ironic element is part of the detail, and this will be used very powerfully with a more bright and positive message, for example, the smile that survives the poor. Maybe the title of both pictures is "Two girls in poverty," but each picture conveys different message. One tells that poverty or something that causes this sort of misfortune for kids has got to stop, and the other one tells that happiness is not about how much you have, just like these two innocent girls looking happier than ever even without the best clothes or the best place to live in. When you approach these two pictures on a very simple level, they are just two random photos featuring two poor girls. However, when you take it to the next level, they are two totally different photos each containing different message about different values and different circumstances.

Granted, pictures can be analyzed in various aspects and there is no one fixed interpretation. However, the power of photo lies in the instant effect it has on human's sight, because often the reaction to a photo is quick and immediate, since it is the visual process, not understanding process. You inevitably react as soon as you see it. Therefore, the factors you should take into consideration when taking and choosing a photo, are the smallest details that can be combined altogether and consequently give out synergy effect in which just by looking at the photo people instantly get the message without conscious effort to closely examine the photo. As powerful and effective as the photo's message has, it can sometimes distort the fact, because unless it is something that contains natural and bypassing moment, a photographer can always fix the setting and even the small details intentionally. Photograph is often more powerful when conveying a message than writing, so it can be a double-edged sword. For a healthy photography community, photographs should be utilized in a helpful and genuine way, rather than being taken advantage.



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