Friday, 30 January 2009

Emotion in photography

Emotion is so important in all types of photography. There are the photojournalists who capture the moment for the sake of a news item. The really famous photos in the news are the ones that have been the most emotional. Which do you remember? There is the photo taken by Nick Út during the Vietnam war, of the children running towards him but away from the napalm bombing. The second photo that comes to mind is the photo of the Hindenburg airship that was taken seconds after it burst into flames.

To take a really good portrait you want to see some emotion, unless you are taking a picture for a passport. It might be deep thought or happiness or nervousness. Yousuf Karsh was a Canadian photographer who took a very famous photograph of Winston Churchill. The story goes that he only had a couple of minutes to take the photo and Churchill was in no mood to have his photo taken. Karsh stepped forward and took Churchill's cigar from out of his mouth. Emotion is certainly visible in this photograph.

Emotion is everywhere even if it is the way the light falls on a landscape. Half the battle is to recognise the possibilities, the other half is to take them.

Happy snapping

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