What’s in a Photograph?

By October 11, 2014Habitat

This week, I am working on an assignment that is a study in photography, and the elements and perspectives therein. I am thoroughly enjoying this assignment. It is having me take a more technical look, shall we say, of photos from my travels and my life, which requires me to look at them in a completely different way than I have before. And I like it.

What I have been learning this week are the technical pieces of viewing a photo…not taking one, mind you, that’s an entirely different exercise. And it makes sense that you would want to learn how to technically view a photo before learning to take the perfect photo. What makes a photo beautiful? What makes it so you can’t take your eyes off of it? My lesson teaches that the perfect photo captures unity and harmony, wherein each element of proportion, scale, pattern, unity, focal point, movement, and value are perfectly represented. After this lesson, I know that must be true. But I also know that a photo needs life. It needs a subject, it needs to evoke emotion, and it needs to stir something within you. While being technically correct, of course.

What does this have to do with me? As I see it, the same principles apply in my design work. I need to take a blank space and apply the technical principles to create balance and harmony. But I can’t get so caught up in technical details that I forget the human element. How do you use the space? How does it feel? Does it feel like home? If I can unite all of these elements within your habitat, then I’ve done my job well.