PART I. RANDY’S PHOTO TIPS – THE FIFTH ELEMENT IN PHOTOGRAPHY
Over the next three months, I’ll be posting once a month about creativity and photography. Here’s the first installment:
There are many ways to look at photography. Like music, one can see it as an expressive art form that captures an always-changing continuum. If you break down a photograph into only four elements you will probably come up with something like this: light, form, line and color. The corresponding elements in nature are: fire, air, earth and water, like the points of a compass. Going further, the elements of man reveal another quad: heart, mind, body and soul. There is also a fifth element to consider – that of transition, moment, space and consciousness.
It is this fifth element that can elevate the common photograph to one that exceeds our expectations – to one we cannot memorize. What makes a memorable photograph is nuance – a subtle gesture that combines with colors and symbols to strike a universal chord in the viewer. The photographer who has a deep passion or connection with the subject is more likely to be ready when this appears in the viewfinder.
It is ultimately the viewer’s emotional response to an image that makes a lasting impression on the consciousness that transcends experience. Joseph Campbell once paraphrased Heinrich Zimmer as saying: “The best things in life are transcendent, the second best are misunderstood, and the third best are conversation.” It seems that even photographs can be put into philosophical terms, just don’t try to talk about it…