Does a photograph have to tell a story or convey a feeling?

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batmura

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Can't the photographer simply take a picture because they liked seeing the scene and wanted to capture it without actually giving it a deeper thought?

They "liked" the scene they saw that's a feeling. If they were indifferent about the scene then why bother to take the photo. So you see it was a feeling that made them want to take the image to remember the scene, so why should the photo not try and convey that same feeling.

I think what you are trying to say is that you don't think a photo should be over analyzed.
Actually, what I am trying to say is that it is impossible to evoke the same feelings in the viewer the photographer had while making a photograph. Viewers may like the photo for entirely different feelings. Often times, when I show my friends photos I like they are affected by completely different things, hence my belief that the photographer's feelings are irrelevant as viewers are likely to assign their own meaning to it. Telling the viewer what they are supposed to feel in a photograph or what kind of story it tells defeats the purpose of making that very photograph, in my opinion.
 
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batmura

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Most often, being a good image is enough.

Please define "good image"
We all know it's subjective, hence why the photographer decided to make the photo. There is no way the viewer is supposed to know what the potographer had in mind or wanted to express while taking it. I don't think I *ever* wondered what the photographer wanted to say when I looked and appreciated his work. They more than likely made the photo thinking it would look beautiful for a different reason than my reason for enjoying it.
 

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Actually, what I am trying to say is that it is impossible to evoke the same feelings in the viewer the photographer had while making a photograph. Viewers may like the photo for entirely different feelings. Often times, when I show my friends photos I like they are affected by completely different things, hence my belief that the photographer's feelings are irrelevant as viewers are likely to assign their own meaning to it. Telling the viewer what they are supposed to feel in a photograph or what kind of story it tells defeats the purpose of making that very photograph, in my opinion.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with that.

People are different. They have differing views on subjects and they frequently view things in a different light. My opinion on a subject may be radically different from your view on a subject, but that doesn't make either wrong, only different.

Photographs can certainly be the same way. While I look at a photograph and appreciate the tack-sharp focus in the detail you may look at it and appreciate the overall composition while someone else may see the even tonal variations. The photograph contains all three, but different people may only see one. There's nothing wrong with that.

Additionally, it is possible for one to see something different when they look at a photograph at different times. Last winter I shot a photograph of some Gulls in flight over a lake. It wasn't until I got home that I noticed a Great Blue Heron sitting in a tree in the background "Supervising" the Gulls. What I originally saw, the reason that I took the photograph, completely changed once I saw that Heron in the background. Again, nothing wrong with that.

Take what you like from a photograph and let others do the same.
 

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I think there may be some confusion between "telling a story" and having a central point of interest or "subject". Too many times the viewer is confused and doesn't know what the subject is. Even a landscape needs a central point of focus.
 

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Most often, being a good image is enough.

Please define "good image"

$Jake-Cropped.jpg
 

table1349

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[h=2]Does a photograph have to tell a story or convey a feeling?[/h]Does it have to???..........................NO!

Do they tell a story???....................YES!

Everyone and everything has a story. It may not be interesting, it may not be obvious and as humans we many not understand what that story is or even care. BUT there is a story there.

As to conveying a feeling, that is up to the viewer as to whether they have a feeling about a particular photo or not.
 

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I don't by that its impossible to comunicate an idea or emotion through a picture, often that is exactly what art does. Whither and how well a piece communicates this Is more to do with how sucessful it is at getting the message across and how the artist uses the different elements within a work to do that.

I also don't buy into the no right or wrong opinion camp either. Sure just because you might have a different opinion than me doesn't make your opinion invalid and there are masses of shades of grey in between as well and the best art creates a little debate but thereis standard ways of presenting things to get the artists message across. As humans there are all things we recognise on an instinctive level and some on a cultural level that we use to do this all the time. Facial expressions are a good example of this as we all use similar things to express how we feel and almost all of us recognise certain things, happyness, sadness, suprise, fear etc. Same with other things too, like moody skies or why high key images with brides are popular.
 

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Most often, being a good image is enough.

Please define "good image"
We all know it's subjective, hence why the photographer decided to make the photo. There is no way the viewer is supposed to know what the potographer had in mind or wanted to express while taking it. I don't think I *ever* wondered what the photographer wanted to say when I looked and appreciated his work. They more than likely made the photo thinking it would look beautiful for a different reason than my reason for enjoying it.

The point is that when you start digging around for what "good" means, it's pretty hard to escape arriving eventually at "it evokes a response, a feeling, an emotion, a sense of narrative, or similar, in the viewer" as part of your definition.

You and anyone else is welcome to disagree, but in that case the gauntlet is thrown down: define "good"
 

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Can't the photographer simply take a picture because they liked seeing the scene and wanted to capture it without actually giving it a deeper thought?

They "liked" the scene they saw that's a feeling. If they were indifferent about the scene then why bother to take the photo. So you see it was a feeling that made them want to take the image to remember the scene, so why should the photo not try and convey that same feeling.

I think what you are trying to say is that you don't think a photo should be over analyzed.
Actually, what I am trying to say is that it is impossible to evoke the same feelings in the viewer the photographer had while making a photograph. Viewers may like the photo for entirely different feelings. Often times, when I show my friends photos I like they are affected by completely different things, hence my belief that the photographer's feelings are irrelevant as viewers are likely to assign their own meaning to it. Telling the viewer what they are supposed to feel in a photograph or what kind of story it tells defeats the purpose of making that very photograph, in my opinion.

Yes others may be effected my different things but those other people are NOT the ones taking the photo are they.

Your belief that "the photographer's feelings are irrelevant" is in my opinion crap.

If the image does not sleek to me as the artist and give me feelings then I will not work on that image. When I show an image to others I don't tell them they have to feel a certain way about it but I find that if I have done a good job with an image that 9 out of 10 people will have a similar feeling.

If you want to call the images YOU make art, YOUR emotions and YOUR feeling absolutely matter.
 
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batmura

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Your belief that "the photographer's feelings are irrelevant" is in my opinion crap.
Wow, great way of discussing your point. Feel free to ignore my posts from now on as I am not here to hear my views are "crap."
 

Light Guru

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Your belief that "the photographer's feelings are irrelevant" is in my opinion crap.
Wow, great way of discussing your point. Feel free to ignore my posts from now on as I am not here to hear my views are "crap."

Now take that emotion you feel from reading my opinion and put it in a photo.
 
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