There are rules about why a photograph is rewarding to view that involve the structure and composition of the image. These are somewhat mechanical and can be applied with thought and logic. However, the purely subjective aspects of a photograph’s charm can be applied to some extent by logic as well. A perfect first step in dragging subjective enjoyment out into the light is by paying attention to the seasons.
Matching colors and images for seasonal viewing gratification:
In the summer it is hot and dry and people are sweating and thirsty. They are cursing the heat, … The perfect photo for instant popularity will be something cool, something blue, … something like blue ice:
During the summer you can get away with posting a cold gray image. Imagine viewing the photo above during an ice storm. Exactly, you are saying to yourself, “Sorry, but that isn’t making me feel very much better”.
Which brings us to winter when it is cold and forbidding. During those ice storms, driving rains, and howling winds our desire is for warmth, comfort, and safety. The perfect photograph in this case would be something warm, something bathed in golden light, something comfortable, … something like a warm and fuzzy all-is-right-with-the-world sleeping cat:
There you go. You are saying to yourself, “Wow, I’m feeling better already”. There are many subjectivities at work in the unconscious viewing process; but, start with exploiting the seasons and observe instant positive results. I promise.
Until the next installment: If you can’t decide which rule to apply the desire to laugh is always reliable. Just post something silly, something ridiculous, … make that really ridiculous:
(all photos ©Howard Faxon)