The advent of high quality digital photography has allowed photographers to capture scenes that would be nearly impossible with film in the past. By combining different exposures, and using various ISO settings, photographers are able to create idealized photos of very dynamic scenes. These photos are often awe inspiring when shared on photo forums.
This past September, I shared several new prints at ArtWalk on the Bay — a leading art event in San Diego. While setting up my booth, I made an observation about my work. All of my images are calm. They reflect a quiet moment — one of contemplation, and serenity. Even my most dynamic photo — a seascape taken in La Jolla, has a calm hush to it.
When printed large and hung on a wall, a calm photo will add to the ambiance of a room. It serves as a reassuring breath of fresh air.
Conversely, a ultra dynamic photo has the opposite effect when hung on a wall. This visual noise of the image dominates the room, overpowering the decor. An image that stands out in a photography forum because of its dynamic appeal may be the worst when hung on a wall.
Regardless if you are shooting film or digital, the experience of viewing a print is much different than viewing online. An print doesn’t need to SCREAM AT THE VIEWER to be good.
Yesterday, I hung two new photos in my house. A framed 20″x 25″ print of Approaching Storm now sits above the couch in my living room, and a framed 20″x 25″ of Thermal Spring now hangs over my mantle. These two photos changed the overall feel of the room. A calm, reassuring feeling now prevails.