Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time with your camera ready to capture a picture that is sure to create an emotional response with your viewers. Try to remember photos in the news or magazines that have made an impact. Examples may include war scenes and disasters or delightfully happy moments.
But you don’t have to be lucky to create emotional works of art. You just have to do the work of deciding what impact you trying to achieve, imagining ways to realize your vision, then creating and capturing the scene and finalizing the image.
Here is an example I shot earlier this year…
This image was literally years in the making. I thought of the concept in 2009 and jotted it down in my notebook, then refined it occasionally. I knew what I wanted to convey… a sense of finality, hopelessness and loss. I also knew from previous visits that the beaches of southern Washington and Northern Oregon were ideal for the shoot. They are broad and flat reaching out into an unbroken Pacific ocean. The shoot had to occur during cloud cover, and preferably gloomy, light rain. In 2012 the weather and my schedule aligned.
To prepare for the shot I packed a pair of dress shoes and two plastic bags, my Nikon D700 and a 50mm lens. I searched for a spot on the beach that would afford me a good vantage point and sand consistency as well as good placement of the breakers. The scene would consist of the simplest of props: a beach, waves and footprints. It doesn’t take a complicated scene to illustrate an idea such as this.
I slipped on the shoes and the plastic bags over them. I then walked into the shallows, turned right and walked far enough so that my return steps to the camera wouldn’t be visible in the scene. I then waited for the waves to appear in line with the footsteps and took the shot.
I have applied multiple post processing filters to change the look and feel of the image with the result what you see above.
I am interested in hearing your comments about this image as well as staging emotional images.
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