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

Status
Not open for further replies.

Designer

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
18,505
Reaction score
4,852
Location
Iowa
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
[h=2]Does a photograph have to tell a story or convey a feeling?[/h]

Have to? No, but I think the more successful photographs usually do.

Defining "successful" as one that either tells a story or conveys a feeling.
 

Light Guru

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
3,403
Reaction score
679
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
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.
And you go back to primary school and learn the difference between "effect" and "affect" lol.

I'm a visual artist not an writer.

You started this thread to hear others opinions. I gave you my honest opinion. I did not say that you cannot have your opinion I just said I do not agree with it.
 
OP
B

batmura

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
649
Reaction score
240
Location
Istanbul, Turkey
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Now take that emotion you feel from reading my opinion and put it in a photo.
And you go back to primary school and learn the difference between "effect" and "affect" lol.

I'm a visual artist not an writer.

You started this thread to hear others opinions. I gave you my honest opinion. I did not say that you cannot have your opinion I just said I do not agree with it.
It's others' opinion, not others. They teach that first year in school, you know the function of the apostrophe, lol.

OK, I'll play along and speak your language: your opinion is "crap." Thanks for your valuable contribution to this thread.
 

Steve5D

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
3,307
Reaction score
1,265
Location
St. Augustine, Florida
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
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.

I've been a photographer for over 35 years. In all those years, I've never said that about a photograph...

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

That which is not bad.

If you need to "throw down the gauntlet", have at it. It's silly, but enjoy...
 

Light Guru

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
3,403
Reaction score
679
Location
Salt Lake City, UT
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
If you want to call your photograph art then yes there need to be feeling.

Art without feeling is like food without taste.
 

amolitor

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
6,320
Reaction score
2,131
Location
Virginia
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Not everyone wants to dig in to "ok, what does 'good' mean, anyways." I get that, I don't really have a problem with that.

It does put you in a rather awkward position when someone says "good means that it makes some kind of an intellectual and emotional connection with the viewer" and you'd like to dismiss that idea, though.
 

rexbobcat

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Nov 28, 2011
Messages
5,014
Reaction score
1,967
Location
United States
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
If you want to call your photograph art then yes there need to be feeling.

Art without feeling is like food without taste.

Not necessarily. Fine art is defined as art that is created for the sake of beauty.

Hence all the rather emotional sterile wall art hanging everywhere. Lol
 

amolitor

TPF Noob!
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
6,320
Reaction score
2,131
Location
Virginia
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
How do you know that you have created something beautiful? You know it, because it takes people's breath away. Even the 19th century ideals of simply making pretty pictures were about emotional connection, albeit in a somewhat narrow way.

What do you mean by "emotionally sterile wall art" hanging everywhere, rexbobcat? Do you mean like hotel room art, office art, that kind of thing?
 

Ilovemycam

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
1,070
Reaction score
113
Location
Mid Atlantic
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Have you ever thought whether it's a photographer's mission to tell a story or convey a certain feeling with their work? Every now and then, I read on different photography forums where people ask for C&C, and someone will invariably ask them what they wanted to express with the photo in question. Is this perhaps an indirect way of saying it's not a good shot? Or do these people honestly believe each photo that is taken has to tell a story? 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? Does this kind of thinking necessarily suggest not much thought and effort was put into making the said photograph?

I myself often finf myself giving likes or complimentary comments to phoyos because of the simple fact that I believe they were beautifully captured, exposed, and composed. I don't seek a meaning or "story" behind a photo? In fact, whatever meaning the viewer assigns to the photo is nothing but a reflection of one's self and there is no way we can infer the intended story behind it.

Any thoughts on this?

Op, me too. I give likes if they just did a OK job. Too much crap on the forums, so an OK shot gets a like from me.

Great photos should be iconic, strong with plenty of mood. You dodn't have to like em, but you will always remember them.
 

shaylou

No longer a newbie, moving up!
Joined
Jan 17, 2013
Messages
275
Reaction score
28
Location
Houston Texas, USA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
If you want to win a Pullitzer with it, then probably.

If you just want a good image, then not necessarily.

I think what people mean when they say "what were you going for here" is less so about "story" and more so about "What did you find photographically worthy in this scene? What made you stop and want to take a picture of this" etc. You SHOULD always know why you're taking a picture, or what is cool about the scene that you want to emphasize (because knowing that will allow you to consciously maximize the impact of that feature of the scene), but that could be something as simple as an arrangement of shapes or a specific color, etc. Not necessarily a story.


I very much agree with this. I recently visited an art exhibition. It was right then I decided I wanted to take my photography to another level. I was looking at a simple but amazing shot and as I studied it to figure out why I was so drawn to it I realized this. Everything was correct in the shot, composition, exposure etc. But the longer I looked at it the more I liked it. What was so great was the fact that the shot not only pulled me in but it pulled me into the mood of the subject. (painter having coffee after painting a picture). As I studied it, the shot went from good to brilliant because of the story telling and the mood setting it portrayed. So adding to what you have already pointed out, if you are looking to create the a brilliant photographic work of art, yes this is what needs to be done. But I have tons of shots that are nothing more than capturing a pretty scene. So they are both correct imo.
 

table1349

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
0
Reaction score
2,772
Most often, being a good image is enough.

Please define "good image"

I can't define it, but I know one when I see one...

I can......

it [ it ]

  • indicating specific situation: used to refer to a situation just described, or to an unspecified or implied situation
  • indicating point of view: used to indicate feelings or a viewpoint on a particular situation
  • indicating something reported: used in the formation of passive sentences reporting a situation


:mrgreen:
 

table1349

Been spending a lot of time on here!
Joined
Sep 9, 2006
Messages
0
Reaction score
2,772
Does a photograph have to tell a story or convey a feeling?

Have to? No, but I think the more successful photographs usually do.

Defining "successful" as one that either tells a story or conveys a feeling.

Define "feeling"...


Feelings, nothing more than feelings,
Trying to forget my feelings of love.
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
Trying to forget my feelings of love.

Feelings, for all my life I'll feel it.
I wish I've never met you, girl;
You'll Never Come Again.

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feel you again in my arms.

Feelings, feelings like I've never lost you
And feelings like i've never have you
Again in my heart.

Feelings, for all my life I'll feel it.
I wish I've never met you, girl;
You'll never come again.

Feelings, feelings like I've never lost you
And feelings like i've never have you
Again in my life.

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feelings again in my arms.

Feelings...

(repeat & fade)

 
Last edited by a moderator:

gloriamint

TPF Noob!
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
16
Reaction score
0
Location
singapore
Photography may convey some sorts of feelings. The feelings may be different for different viewer. It is upon the thoughts and views of the viewer only.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Most reactions

Top