Every day, stunning pictures is shared; they flicker on front of your eyes. In the moment they impress, only to be forgotten. Today I was pondering if I really care to see another beautiful sunset, from some distant place… and I am still undecided.
While I am undecided when it comes to beautiful sunsets, then I am very convinced that I will forget every one of them, and here is why humans remember through Emotional states of their minds. If we cannot relate memory to feeling, we will most likely forget it. In order to grasp the beholder, we need to need to create empathy and an emotional connection between him and the motive that he sees. The challenge for any photographer is to find a way to tell a story that will convey an emotion through an image. When that happens something magical appears, and a photograph becomes eternal.
When reading about the works of a big photographer then there is certain steps they bring themselves through every time. I am going to use a photo of Ivan Del Negro
“La disperazione di una donna al termine dei funeral” to exemplify this
What is the most important element in the scene?
It is indeed possibly to than one main character in your photograph, as long as they are distinct and each of them plays their role out for the viewer. Looking at this scene Del Negro has more than one main character in the photo, and it still makes sense while it follows the same pattern. The elderly women in behind is supporting crying lady, and a sweaty soldier supports her.
That opportunity do I have to prepare fore, what might occur?
It is clear to me as a beholder, that the scene is very intense with a lot of involved and hurt people present. I am sure it took a lot of overview and planning, positioning himself as a photographer in order to take this photo, without disturbing the scene. Obviously, had Del Negro no influence on the position of the scene, he simply had to shoot the photo of the scene in the place and position it took place.
How do I establish hock, a plot, and a story?
The hock can be anything that creates a emotion, it might be a facial expression, it might just be an object. What is important is that it draws the views attention and catches their eyes. In this frame Ivan Del Negro, catches the despair of an elderly women at a funeral. All the sudden is our mind at work, we think about why she is crying. Knowing the context of the photo sets the frame, and our imagination can grasp the horror.
How am I going to guide the eye of the viewer?
Harsh contrast and grain plays a big role here, the photo lacks any sort of simplicity and taking this in color would most likely have been a mess. A harsh black and white makes our eyes follow lines instead.
Why is it that I want to take this photo?
Here I can only speculate, but my mind goes in direction of how important the story is; Genocide played out, not in some far away reality, but next door, in the heart of Europe. As Del Negro expresses in the text did he find himself synthesizing emotions with Bosnian people. With his camera to tell the story that he has seen by photographing a mass funeral, letting his mind bring order in the feelings and impressions mediated by the camera during the day. I doubt anyone is able to grasp the cruelness as Del Negro documents his tour through the coffins, the look of a praying boy that manages to smile slightly.
Ivan Del Negro, an Italian photographer that I had the honor of meeting in 2014 has this ability, and his photo series from Srebrenica, 11-07-1995, 11-07-2015 has this ability to connect you to a strong story and make it everlasting, one moment in time… forever.
I hope that I’ll be able to shoot such a photo that moves another person’s lives one day, but remain doubtful that it will ever happen.