Camera angle is essential for great photographs, but Murray White asks if we spend enough time considering it?
"There is an assumed link between a photograph and reality that is not replicated by other visual art forms. While it is possible that sculpture, drawing or painting for example, could reflect reality with remarkable accuracy, would we believe their interpretation without question?
"Perhaps we would if the work looked authentic and appeared to be crafted with great skill. However, a photograph will almost certainly be seen as authentic, even if we have reason to question its content.
"In this context, I am not referring to those compositions that deliberately and openly alter reality (in most instances we understand the distinction), but rather those works that present a puzzling or unexpected element. Our minds know that reality is the foundation of a photographic image, so consequently anything that does not seem ‘right’ must have a tangible explanation.
"We seem to be more inclined to look for reasons that validate any discrepancy, than we are to dismiss the photograph as a fake rendition, or a defective capture for some unknown technical reason.
"Why is this important to us as photographers? Well, in my view, it allows the mystery embedded within reality to become an art form in itself. Puzzling features attract our attention, perhaps with just as much magnetism as other more aesthetic, but routine subjects. We spend time assessing their relationship with the image and try to find meaning within what we believe is reality. This intensive scrutiny can reveal the inner beauty of a mysterious component because we have invested time in studying its more intimate physical details; we may even find artistry within the ambiguity itself."
Murray's article is full of useful advice for creating your own mysteries! Read all about it in the current issue of Better Photography magazine! Not a subscriber yet? We'd love you to join - take $20 off with our coupon code IDEAS20.