If My Photograph Makes Your Eyes Work More Than Your Mind, Then I Have Failed

David J. Carol


If my photograph makes your eyes work more than your mind, then I have failed. I was asked by a student why my pictures look so simple, but are actually quite complicated. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it got me thinking.

I think my most successful pictures are simple to "see". What I mean by that is that your eyes don't have to do a lot of work. You look at the image and your eyes are relaxed and you can see everything happening in the image without any visual confusion.

The mind on the other hand can and hopefully does spend time working after seeing an interesting picture. In fact, I hope the viewer comes back more than a few times to consider and reconsider what my pictures are about.

My point is this: a good photograph should be composed in such a way that the viewers' eyes have an easy job of transmitting the image to the brain. The brain then gets all the real work of deciphering intent and  meaning. I'm not sure of the physiological workings of the human mind vs. the act of seeing, but this is how it feels to me.

A good photo must be easy on the eyes...



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PDN May 2016: The Video & Motion Issue


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