A picture is just a moment. One frame in time. It is the world frozen in reality depicting that exact instant. As the first two pictures of this post display, not all pictures need to involve people to invoke an emotional response. Lighting and composition are just two of the many ways a photo can speak without a particular foucs or subject. But think about the people’s aspect. When there is a subject involved, photos take on a new meaning. Not only does the landscape and background of the photo speak loudly, so does this person. A person with a story. A person with a vision. This duality between subject and surroundings becomes a back and forth marked by human interaction. How does the subject relate to its surroundings? Do they feel comfortable? What is the basis of interaction?
To answer these questions, study the pictures. There has always been the saying, every picture speaks a thousand words. The job as the viewer is to verbalize them. Take into account not only background, lighting, composition but heed the personal aspect of the photo. Think of how the subject relates to symbols in that reality. Think of personality parallels that may have affected the way the subject acts in that moment . Art is not always what you see, it is sometimes how you feel.
“Worldview through a viewfinder.”