Sunday, October 23, 2011

Involve Your Viewers - Day 23

Most times we as artists - whether photographer, painter or otherwise - create for ourselves.
There are times, however, when you should think about your viewers.

What emotions do you want them to feel when they look at your work?
{On Day 11 we talked about how something as simple as color, or absence of, can elicit different emotions.}
Do you want the story within your work to be open to interpretation, allowing the viewer to become a part of your work?

Take, for example, the painting "Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper.
He leaves much up to the imagination of the viewer: Who are the couple sitting at the counter? Where are they going or where have they been? They seem to be conversing with the man behind the counter: what are they talking about? Who is the man alone? What time is it?

We can learn from Hopper's painting that subjects within a work of art are much more interesting when they bring an air of mystery to the table. When we can view them in action, but their actions are somewhat ambiguous.

What kind of questions do you have when you look at this photo? What story can you make from it?
Walk Through the Woods - 11x14 Fine Art Spooky Photography Print - creepy halloween black and white high contrast home decor photo

31 Days


  1. Here lately, I've really enjoyed including people in my photos. I think it provides context and allows my mind to wander about what they're doing.

  2. Your photo makes me think of solitude. A quiet walk through the woods all alone with their thoughts.

    I know I told you this before, but I'm really enjoying these posts!

  3. Love Hopper's work ... and yours! Great shot!

  4. Katie, Katie, Katie!!! This is good stuff... cause I've been wondering for a while, how to tell a story with my photo? Do my photos have stories? How do I read a story in a photo? :-D

    I love your example, because I have to wonder, what's the kid doing there alone? Lost? Cold? Lonely? Tormented? To me, I don't get a feeling of calm... but almost panic... fear... drowning almost.

    And I guess, that's the story, huh? :-D Maybe you should prompt me or start "reading" me stories from my photos... lol! Help me out here!


  5. Story telling through it! I personally thought of Hansel and Gretel when I looked at the picture. Made me think the child is lost and alone and has no idea where to go.


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