Updated: Mar 27
Written by Carl Scharwath
Henrik Ibsen first said "A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed." This quote in a more modern photography form is. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I believe there are “ 1000 ways to take a photo.”
A beautiful Florida walk in the woods and there it is! Four trees of different sizes draped in Spanish moss, Eerie and beautiful at the same time the shadows dance everywhere. Four photographers are about to take a photo, the results are all different. One might use a different perspective and framing, another concentrating on the play of light and shadow, the third, takes just a close up of the intricate webbing of the moss and the forth adds the flowers 6 feet in front of the trees and used that to add more color. So, we have four different results and maybe only one will command an emotional response and be the one that is published, if that is your goal.
Your picture can be brilliant in terms of their technical properties and visual beauty however they also have to have a strong emotional impact on your viewers. When you take a photo please think of this impact for a few seconds while setting up your photo as this can make all the difference in having your art published.
You also have to think of the story your photo will tell. You have two options to meet this challenge. Open or closed stories will again pull your viewer in. Open stories give a lot of freedom to you and your audience. Perhaps the viewers past experiences will guide them in interpreting your story with their own emotions. Your photo could illicit a happy or sad memory of your viewers past and these photos will be the most powerful.
A closed story does not allow your photo to have many open-ended interpretations as both you and your viewer would reach the same conclusion.
Which style you choose does not matter, what matters is again to draw an emotional response and be heavy layered with meaning if possible. This is most difficult as it does not allow the random taking of just beautiful pictures but challenges you as the photographer to take it to the next level.
I will now share some tools that I have used in my photography. First, I never use Photoshop. Toi get some special effects I love taking a photo of a store window. You can get some amazing reflections off the glass of the cityscape behind you or you can bring that beautiful mannequin right out into the street. A simple mirror can also add some spectacular images.
I love double exposure, putting one image over the other .In this technique you can add the model or a photo over another photo and you have an instant special effect. A great place for me to find the base photo is a local antique store. They are loaded with items from a past history and yes history equals storytelling.
A great instant story telling photo is taking pictures of abandoned buildings, common items, surrealistic model poses and extreme close-ups which can add mystery and excitement for your viewers.
Since I am also a painter, my newest style is doing an abstract painting on a small canvas. I take a photo of the canvas, then double expose another photo over it for a colorful and different effect. You do not have to be a painter to accomplish this as any abstract painting will work with the right positioning.to your photo.
My absolute favorite photo project is ekphrastic poetry. When I first shared my photography on Facebook, poets would ask me if they could write a poem for my photography. Now as an artist this is the most beautiful compliment you can receive. It means my photography not only evoked an emotional response, but another talented artist was inspired enough to take the time and write a poem for my photography. This is a great way to work as a team, make new friends and support each other. I am happy to say I have worked with over ten poets and everyone had at least one work published with me as a team.
Photography is a fun art, and not that time consuming. Please find a style that is you, do not be afraid to submit your work and if you ever need help or have a question, please find me on Facebook and I would be honored to help you.
(Photography/Artwork courtesy of Carl Scharwath) Carl Scharwath has appeared globally, with 150+ journals selecting his poetry, short stories, interviews, essays, plays, art and photography. He has two published books under his wings, 'Journey to Become Forgotten' (Kind of Hurricane Press) and 'Abandoned' (ScarsTv) and soon-to-be published book, 'Playground of Destiny' (Imspired Publishing). His first photography book was published by Praxis. Carl is the Art Editor for Minute Magazine, a competitive runner and a 2nd degree Black Belt in Taekwondo.