Photographic safaris bring you to the most beautiful wildlife destinations in Africa. Their beauty is striking and they teach the visitors not only about wildlife and nature, they also teach about light and contrast and sometimes light and contrast are mirrored in what the bush and the animals are experiencing through life and death.
Contrast makes us see and is what makes a photograph striking.
A picture says more than a thousand words. Nothing is truer. Do you know how your granddaughter looks like when her mother tells you or do you rather want a photo of her? But what more is in the picture than her curly hair and her pretty face?
When you look at photographs, you can feel immediately the moment that was captured. Have a look at holiday photos, you on the game vehicle during a photographic safari or you swimming in the ocean or you and your family in the garden at home. You are back in that moment and you can tell immediately everything what happened at that moment, because photography captures a moment in all its dimensions.
This is great to experience holidays again and other memorable moments in life, but it is also very useful for everyday communication and even business communication and success. An image carries all sorts of information and one can utilize that for “noiseless” communication. Nothing is added or removed, the moment is captured or the information one wants to provide or the idea one wants to share. The image carries it, accessible to anyone at any time.
And the image tells even more than the eye first sees. Also the emotional dimension and intuitional dimension are captured and carried by the image. For what would one need that when showing a photo of a granddaughter? Grandmother would feel immediately if the child was happy or not, although it might show a smile, she would feel. And what works with the granddaughter works for all communication through images, for a decision to buy a house or to manufacture new shoes or to acquire a company. All information for decisions is in the image, one needs only to read it.
And here comes the most interesting part. We always read all dimensions of an image, like the grandmother the mood of her granddaughter, but we do that mostly unconsciously. In order to use photography for communication, we only need to do it consciously and we have an everyday practical and easy tool of visual communication.
An image is endless. A photograph is a captured moment, yet a moment of infinity and so is the photo, infinite. No rewind, no replay button, its doing it all by itself.
With music one had to rewind and/or press replay to listen to the favorite song again, but not anymore. For those who cannot get enough of Gangnam Style or other persistently for replay asking hits Infinite Jukebox has arrived.
Read how it exactly works here and experience the infinity of a song, just like the infinity of a photograph.
Now the photography enthusiast and Reddit user hallbuzz made a list of all the camera settings of the 95 images from the Reuters list including camera brand, lens type, shutter speed and f-stop. Then another Reddit user mathiasa turned all this information into charts. See the charts on petapixel.
When looking at the charts one could be tempted to think that in order to be one day on the list of the 95 greatest photographs of the year, chosen by Reuters, one just can buy the equipment mostly used and the settings mostly applied. But is that so?
How often do you shoot a sports event like the Olympics? Are the best photographs shot with a Canon, rather than with a Nikon?
What are the charts tell? Photographers of press agencies get equipped by their employer and the employer chooses a camera brand of good quality he can get a good deal with. Same for the lenses, reflecting also in the f-stop stats. And from there it’s a bit of everything, depending on subject and location.
So, what does this example of stats of popular settings tell us? There is nothing like a popular setting one can just use, because others do. Camera settings always depend on the light and nothing else.
We had planned to stay the whole day out, with packed breakfast and the lodge would bring us lunch later. We were on a photo safari in the Sabi Sand in Kruger National Park in South Africa, the heaven for leopard photography lovers.
Staying the whole day out in the bush has the advantage that you can stay with the animal when you eventually found it and follow it the entire day. We had found a female leopard. She had two pretty “old” cubs of about 18 months old, two boys, still staying with her. Usually the cubs have to live on their own by this age, but the boys seemed to enjoy their mother’s care and were in no rush to live on their own and do all the hunting themselves. The mother is a good hunter and also this morning she had a kill hoisted in a tree. But there was no sign of the boys. After she had fed on the kill for a while she started calling for the boys. No response. She started walking away from the tree looking and calling for the boys. The calling is a gentle sound, heard by the cubs and telling them mom is calling and expecting response. But nothing. The mother kept going and calling and after about one hour doing so, she seemed to have enough. Now she was really calling, a loud, strong leopard call that made clear she will take no nonsense anymore. And suddenly one of the boys popped up, just a few bushes away from her approaching her in apologies and trying to sooth her anger. After a moment of accepting the cubs attempts to make it up again, they wandered off to the tree with the kill.
“Ten percent of all of the photographs made in the entire history of photography were made last year — an astounding figure. More than ever before, thanks in part to cell phone technology, the world is engaged with photography and communicating through pictures.
Nonetheless, a great photograph will rise above all the others.” This quote comes from TIME Picks the Top 10 Photos of 2012.
But what is a great photo? Somehow the first image they choose with the man from Ghaza reminds me very much of the winning photo of Word Press Photo 2012. Are they playing safe by choosing what won an award elsewhere or do they really find it one of the greatest photos of 2012?
The problem is, that all rankings and awards are subject to the subjective judgment of the jury. They have an idea what they want an image to look like and the one that gets the closest to the idea is the winner. But what a jury likes is not necessary what you like and find a great image.
A great image is an image that appeals to you, an image you love and can’t stop looking at. A great image draws you into it and makes you discover new things all the time. It lets you experience the feeling it captured and takes you on a journey.
Wantful, isn’t this a wonderful word? It doesn’t exist officially, but it should.
The word reflects our desire to want something in a gentle way. Its not that rough “I want it and I’ll get it no matter what”, it’s the gentle desire of something very beautiful and precious, like for example great design, amazing art, fabulous quality or impressive craftsmanship.
When you look at your photographs do they feel wantful? Try it and make a Wantful Catalog your loved ones can choose from for their Christmas presents. Of course you can include also all the other things you make and that are wnatful to others. Just make it as an online catalog and send it around to your friends and family and see how their wantfulness emerges.