I feel like I’m beginning to get the idea of how photographs manage to convey mood, emotion and meaning without actually representing something directly. I still feel that it’s very personal and the viewer may need some text to help align their understanding with that of the photographer.
At the moment I still consider this form of photography to be largely adjunctive for the viewer, intensely personal and meaningful for the photographer. I don’t think the photograph is readily able to tell a story not establish a narrative, but it can be effective in illustrating the text which it accompanies.
It is possible to place elements within a photograph which can be viewed as representing a series of events in a totemic fashion; I just think it’s rather like saying that Beethoven’s Fifth can be played on a harmonica. The blues harp is excellent at blues but it doesn’t do orchestral very well.
So the poem exercise will consist of mood images in my offering, pictures which are personal to me and probably meaningless to others (though I’m happy to explain them). I’ll try to make them as good photographs, with some intrigue, visually engaging and well-formed.
In this part, the coursework book asks us to consider the number of images we submit for this and future assignments, asking “Have you given the viewer enough information? Would another picture help?” This is a question I’m struggling a bit with – it implies that there is a goal of understanding, that an extra picture or two, or more, would help the viewer…. to what? To understand the photographer’s purpose? To experience enhanced empathy? I shall bear this question in mind in the work which follows.