How do we read a picture?

Paris 2013 (C) Morten Albek
Paris 2013 (C) Morten Albek

How do we read a picture? Why do we like some, and others doesn’t make much or maybe even no impact at all? I have just been reading the e-book “The Moment of Emotional Impact” by Leica photographer Thorsten von Overgaard, and many of my own thoughts and reflections are put on words here, and then there is added something new I have newer thought about before. A wonderful and inspirational e-book, both regarding Thorsten´s own photos and his approach to photography. The photos from Overgaard have their own feeling and atmosphere, seeking beauty in life. What a fantastic way to see life.

Waiting, Rome. (C) Morten Albek 2015 photo@mortenalbek.com www.mortenalbek.com
Waiting, Rome.
(C) Morten Albek 2015
photo@mortenalbek.com http://www.mortenalbek.com

From time to time I take one of my photo books from the shelf, and read some of the text or just flip through the pages to view the photographs. One of these is the legendary book of Henri Cartier-Bresson´s works ” The Decisive Moment” that I finally got my hands on a few weeks ago. Henri Cartier-Bresson may be the father of street photography as we now it today, transmitting every day life into something more, that make us look at life differently. This is the power of the photo, as it is with every other art form. Opening the eyes letting us view life and our selves in a new or just slightly different light.

No matter if it is a news photo, portrait or a street art photo, the goal is the same. Avoiding simple registration, and finding the spirit of the person or scenery we reproduce as a photo. Then the feelings are transmitted and reach an audience that will have a moment of after thought, a smile or recognition. Learning a little bit about life.

Going. Rome. (C) Morten Albek - 2015.
Going. Rome.
(C) Morten Albek – 2015.

Both books mentioned, orbits the same theme. The moment that the scene is captured and transmits a story, a feeling. Without the feeling the picture is just a registration without leaving any message, neither good or bad. This is a basic truth regarding any photo. Maybe the holiday photo only evokes a feeling for the one who took the photo, and that’s fine because it is also a personal thing, a way to remember the past. If you show the pictures to others than your family the photograph needs to evoke more universal emotions, something we all can recognize more or less. But even then the best of the best photo will not make the same impact on everybody, because we have different backgrounds, cultures or are just thinking differently. So just do the photos you like, and there is great chance like minded will like them too.

Thorsten von Overgaards e-book is avaliable at http://www.overgaard.dk/Thorsten-von-Overgaard-Leica-Photography-and-Lightroom-eBooks-Training-and-Extension-Courses.html

The book of Henri Cartier-Bressons ” The Decisive Moment is avaliable at “http://www.amazon.com/Henri-Cartier-Bresson-The-Decisive-Moment/dp/3869307889

Woman in Rome. (C) Morten Albek - 2015. photo@mortenalbek.com www.mortenalbek.com
Woman in Rome.
(C) Morten Albek – 2015.
photo@mortenalbek.com http://www.mortenalbek.com

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