For the most part, still pictures are used to assign importance to experience. Here are the essentials.
Today, most photography is based on recording the experience of living, for communication.
Experience is primarily communicated as an emotional and mental description.
Experience itself need not be objectively factual; it can be invented.
The purpose of the description is to identify a kind of importance asserted to be immediate to the experience.
Immediacy is actually about fidelity to the preferred importance of the initial experience.
Where descriptions do not already have high fidelity to the preference, people are happy to change the description; this is true whether the person is the originator or the viewer.
Within a given audience, most types of importance are conventional. This means that there can be a group preference; but it also means that “importance” can be defined differently in one group than in another.
There is a range of generic types of importance; they can be distinctively associated with the likely behaviors and intentions of a photographer.
Both composing and editing are photographer behaviors driven primarily by preference. Preference pertains to why the picture is made, not how.
Driven by preferences, modes of behavior are stronger than genres as predictors of future photographic output. This will be true both in the attempt to start a picture and in the criteria for final acceptance of its appearance, post compositionand editing. For any given photographer, each individual mode can vary greatly over time as a proportion of the person’s ongoing effort. The most typical behaviors that account for most pictures are included in the seven intentions below:
- sharing events in real time: immediately include friends
- reporting news and sports: characterize a moment
- “hunting”: show a trophy
- glamour and romance: promote fantasy
- scenes: invent or illustrate a story
- evidence: display proof
- navigation and history: provide clear and accurate identification
(c) 2014 malcolm ryder