Friday, November 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

How to look at photographs

By
From page A5 | September 13, 2012 |

A photograph of a Death Valley sand dune can tell quite a story. Samer Alassaad/Courtesy photo

Check it out

What: Photography by Design: An introduction to experiencing the world in new ways

When: Fridays, Oct. 26 to Nov. 16, 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, 1909 Galileo Ct.

Cost: $45

Info: http://www.photoclubofdavis.org/PhotographyByDesign.cfm

By Samer S. Alassaad

We are constantly exposed to photographs in social media, magazines, newspapers, books and photography shows, either printed or in digital forms. When we see a photograph, we sometimes have the tendency to instantly determine whether we like it or not due to its subject or due to an obvious “wow” factor. We then could miss the opportunity to discover what would be a wonderful expression of a photographer’s viewpoint.

By knowing how to look at photographs, we can enhance our own experience and also the experience of those around us regardless of the subject. Three-steps have long been advocated to be followed when viewing photographs.

We first should simply describe what elements we see and how they are visually composed. For example, in the sand dune photograph, we see a sand dune and sky. The dune has a curving line and ripples created by the wind and has bright and dark areas created by side light. The curving line leads our eyes to the center of the image and at the same time separates the dark and bright areas. The sky, on the other hand, serves as a non-distracting background.

Secondly, we would interpret our descriptions; this addresses what our descriptions mean to us and how they make us feel. It is hard to feel loneliness around this sand dune although we are only surrounded by a simple element which is sand; the many shapes, shades and textures bring the sand alive in such a tranquil manner. The line defining the shadow is curving and thus could be soothing. However, its sharp edge adds tension, it is also a testament to nature’s ability to craft such crisp lines and thus is admirable. The harshness of the sunny area and of the dune’s texture is in contrast with the softness of the cool shadow. This interplay of harshness and softness of the desert life creates mixed feelings that could be fascinating. Interpreting photographs is slightly complex because we experience what is implied.

Finally, we can judge the photograph. Judging a photograph addresses its success by determining whether the elements and their presentation in the photograph support its purpose. For example, in the dune photograph, we would wonder if the photographer was successful in demonstrating the interplay of harshness and softness of the desert life and in communicating his feelings, which in this case could be solitude and serenity.

Looking at a photograph could be a journey of discovery similar to that of the photographer. It should not only be seen as a visual experience, but also as an experience of all senses. This would be possible when we let go of our preconceived perception of what a good photograph should look like.

— Samer Alassaad is a co-founder and past president of the photography club of Davis and a UCD-Extension Osher Lifelong Learning Institute photography instructor. Reach him at sameraldds@yahoo.com

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    UC regents approve 5% tuition increases

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    California unemployment steady at 7.3 percent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
     
    A new home for the holidays?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Lecture illuminates state water bond

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Apply now to take Master Gardener training

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolobus will reroute Saturday morning for Turkey Trot

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Help feed the hungry at Saturday’s food drive

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Volunteers sought to advocate for kids

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Village Homes gets crafty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Nowhere to go, nothing to do

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Davis voices concerns over new oil-by-rail proposal

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Cheers and Jeers: Katehi front and center

    By Our View | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Council misses an opportunity

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Together we can do so much

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Have you read this book?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    We DO have a water shortage

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    Silveria has been there through thick and thin

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Whose seniors will go out in style at Causeway Classic No. 61?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    LBSU takes down UCD in matchup of Big West’s best

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCD men get to 2-0

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Wire sports briefs: Kings cruise past Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Raiders beat K.C. to snap a 16-game skid

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Aggie women start 4-game homestand Saturday at 11 a.m.

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    The Purple Ones to play tribute to Prince

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1′ fails to catch fire

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Wealth of Nations show is Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Davis Feminist Film Festival accepting submissions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Founding pastor of UCC’s now-famous painting on display

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Automakers debut key models at L.A. Auto Show

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, November 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER3

    RE/Max Gold

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER4

    Kim Eichorn

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER5

    Joe Kaplan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Melrina A Maggiora

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER6

    Marcelo Campos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Lennar Homes

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER7

    Tracy Harris

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Yolo FCU

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Team Traverso

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER8

    Travis Credit Union

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER10

    Ciana Wallace

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Diane Lardelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Jamie Madison

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER12

    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Malek Baroody

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER13

    Julie Partain

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER14

    Coldwell Banker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER15

    Cynthia Gerber

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Karen Waggoner

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Jamie Madison & Associates

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER17

    Dana Hawkins & Caitlin McCalla

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    Chris Snow

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: RER20