Let’s Get Emotional!
By Brad Herndon
I never was much for school since I always wanted to be outside doing something. That is not to say I didn’t have fun in school at times. I did. In fact, several times a couple of us would pull some prank and get so tickled in class we couldn’t stop laughing. We usually got chewed out for disrupting the class because of our emotional outbursts.
On the other side of the coin, when I was little I didn’t have much patience. I can remember playing with a little battery powered tank one time when I was about six years old. I suppose the battery was low, for the little tank wouldn’t climb over a small pillow. I first became frustrated, then angry. I hunted up the hammer and promptly beat the innocent tank into small pieces. Obviously I showed some undesirable emotions while doing this, but it did get my mom’s attention--unfortunately.
Griffin after a long day at the beach!
Good Pictures Show Some Type Of Emotion
Like the strong emotions of laughter and anger I just mentioned that get someone’s attention, all really good pictures will convey some type of emotion. A picture can capture various kinds of emotion. Among them are laughter, happiness, joy, peace, hate, love, anger, stress, relaxation, fear, excitement, sorrow, amazement, and many more. This is why it’s so important for you to evaluate each picture you plan to take and determine what type of emotion you have the opportunity to capture.
In the first shot with this article, Pastor Paul took a picture of his young son Griffin sound asleep with a great snack in his lap. Obviously he was sleepier than he was hungry. This picture, while tremendously cute, probably appeals to us more because of his peacefulness. Wouldn’t we all like to sleep that soundly?
In the next picture a young lad named Landon shows what his emotions are like when he is at home with his mom Bridget and his dad Adam. The second picture shows his happy disposition when he stays with Grandma and Grandpa. Bridget Disque took both pictures of Landon and both are great pictures because of the emotion she was able to share with those viewing the pictures.
Windows, Wonderment And More
In the black and white picture of my son-in-law’s nephew Tai I used the light from a window and was fortunate enough to have Tai look up, which produced a feeling of wonderment. This shot is actually an excellent portrait and sometime in the future I’ll devote an entire lesson to doing portraits using the light coming in through a window.
The picture of the two men overlooking the valley gives one a feeling of peacefulness and relaxation. It makes you wish you were right there with them, enjoying the day as they are.
The waterfall picture, while showing no people in the picture, also gives the same emotional feeling of peacefulness and relaxation. Interestingly, the feeling in this picture was purposely planned by me and was achieved by using a certain shutter speed on my camera. This will also be the subject of an article in the future.
Fun and excitement!
Capturing action in a scene produces the emotion of excitement. Two weeks ago Miss Carol and I attended our Granddaughter Hannah’s 10th birthday party. While there I got an action shot of Hannah (right) and her sister Jessica having fun sliding into a pool of water. They were excited and having fun and it shows.
People love to see action
Later on that day I positioned myself behind home plate (yes, there was a fence in front of me) and was able to get some great shots of Hannah fast pitching the softball during one of her games. Great action photographs, whether they are sports related or wildlife related, are real eye catchers because they contain so much emotional excitement.
The picture of the grizzly bear, meanwhile, is associated with an emotion we don’t like at all—fear! Believe me, as I was standing there 20 yards away taking pictures of this bear the idea I might be this grizzly’s next meal produced a little fear in me.
The last picture in this article shows a military graveyard in southern Illinois. On the tombstones are various words, among them beloved father, beloved husband, and loving grandfather. When I show this picture in one of our Creative Photography Seminars everyone, regardless of age, is so quiet you could hear a pin drop. The emotional impact it carries is tremendous--a feeling of extreme sadness for the lives that were lost in war.
An Emotion Without A Picture
In this short piece I’ve only been able to show a few pictures and talk about the type of emotion each one captures. However, it’s enough, I believe, to convey the idea to you of how important emotion is in each picture that you take.
There is one emotion, though, that I didn’t show a picture of for illustrative purposes. The emotion is love. I could have shown a photograph of a young couple kissing on their wedding day. Certainly this would have shown love. Or perhaps a shot of a mom and her young daughter walking down a lane. Or how about a couple who have been married for 50 or more years sitting in a porch swing holding hands. Long lasting love is precious.
The reason I didn’t show any pictures of love is because the greatest love ever shown never had a picture taken of it. It was the day Jesus Christ, the only son of our heavenly Father, laid down his life on the cross for our sins. Jesus’ life, death, burial and resurrection, while a word picture, conveys to us a love almost beyond our comprehension.
Keep this wonderful emotion of heavenly love in your heart as you go about living your life, and taking your pictures. Be an example to others and share with them the love that has so graciously been given to you. By doing so, you will not only have eye catching emotion in your pictures for people to see, but you will also have the emotion of love in your life that will draw others to Jesus.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life". John 3:16
Brad and Carol Herndon
Brad and Carol Herndon live in a small cabin nestled in beautiful Browstown, In. Brad and Carol have the unique ability to see the world through the lens of a camera! They take this wonderful gift and use it to bring those who view thier work closer to the Creator, Almighty God, who has created all things seen and unseen!