How Well Do You Speak the Visual Language of Photography?

How Well Do You Speak the Visual Language of Photography?

Most of us create images because we instinctively want to express our thoughts and feelings about the world we live in. In many ways photography is like a simple conversation we have with others.

Regardless of what emotion we wish to express, our body language, gestures and tone of voice all work together with the words we speak to convey our feelings. Every part needs to be ‘in sync’ to truly express a clear message. If one of these elements suggests a different message, the intention become confused.

Your goal is to communicate an idea and create an emotional connection with your viewer. Click To Tweet

Capturing an expressive image, which clearly articulates your feeling and ideas, requires much the same unity of elements. To avoid the chance of sending mixed messages, or losing your focus on what first inspired you to photograph a particular subject, start by identifying the most important information and eliminating the unnecessary details. Your goal is to communicate an idea and create an emotional connection with your viewer. To achieve this you need to decide what the real subject of the image is. In other words, what do you want to say?

Eva Polak Red Fantasy

In photography we don’t have words, sounds or body language to help us tell the story. The words and gestures are replaced by elements of visual design. Understanding these elements and how to use them helps you to present your ideas. Putting shapes, lines, colours and textures to work will help you to express your concept and at the same time entertain the viewer.

Putting shapes, lines, colours and textures to work will help you to express your concept and at the same time entertain the viewer. Click To Tweet

Before you pick up your camera, you need to make a decision about your intent. Begin by selecting a feeling or mood as your starting point. Choose from excitement, joy, tranquility, anger, fear, love or any other emotion. This choice will become the subject of your image.

droplets of water by Eva Polak

Once you have decided on the mood of your image you can start your photo shoot. As you shoot, pay attention to elements of design and make sure they effectively convey your message.

Mood comes in many shapes and forms, so there is no one way, because your interpretation of any particular mood will be different from someone else’s. Just listen to your heart and trust your instinct.

If you like to express yourself fluently in visual language, join my online course, The Secret Language of Abstract Photography.

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