Asking questions

August 21, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I have seen really good images in my life. Sometimes those image are great because they ask questions that leave the viewer wondering about the question for a long time. Examples of such questions may be:

  • How did that get up there?

  • How did that happen?

  • Where did that come from?

  • That does not make sense; what is going on here?

Please note that I am not talking about trick photography here. Here is an example:

This is a reasonable landscape image. There is texture which ends in desert grasses which ends in sand dunes. The furtherest sand dunes are brightly lit so they will draw the viewer into the image, thus creating depth. The images has various layers to it; textured sand, a grassy section, and sand dunes.

          Yet, what vastly improves this image are the footprints. They create a lead in line to take the viewer's eye into the image. They go off to the one side, then the grass takes your eyes further to the other side (the grass become brighter from right to left thus taking your eyes in the same direction), then your eyes follow the brightly lit sand dunes. This image has a zig zag movement to it.

          The footprints really help, but they also ask questions. Are they coming or going? Why do they stop where they stop? Where did the person go because the footprints just stop? How did the person get out of the image? Did he or she backtrack on the same footprints?

          When an image leaves the viewer wondering about it, it also makes them look at it for longer in an attempt to figure the questions out. This is what we want. These questions or mysteries seem to imprint the image on the viewer's mind and they tend to remember them longer.

          How about looking for and shooting more images that ask questions; particularly that ask questions without any obvious answers.


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