Happy Valentine’s Day!
When I ran across the above photo I decided it might be fun to pull out some of the images I love about Love. So here goes. As you view these photographs, look for the common photo elements that tie them all together. What is working here to create the warm feelings?
So what do all these images have in common?
Well for starters, they are all tightly cropped so that all the emphasis is on the subjects, and they all make use of a blurred background to help keep the eye viewing the photograph right there. (Set your controls for as wide an aperture as you can given the light and the need to have your shutter speed set at 250th of a second.)
The focus is on the eyes and they are sharp because the fast shutter speed of at least 250th of a second assures that the subjects are frozen in time.
They all have an emotional connection between the animal and the person, an emotional connection that is easy to see and identify with so that the viewer is transported into the photograph and feels what the person in the image is feeling. Sometimes this connection is a result of a lucky shot, but it is never the result of sloppy technique.
And there is something else involved in an image that projects love between a person and an animal. Patience. The willingness to slow way down. To relax. To take the time to look deeply into the soul of another living being and see.
Ansel Adams expressed this beautifully when he wrote that of the millions of photographs he had exposed of the natural world, only those that were intensely felt at the moment of exposure would survive the test of time.
So if you are worried, or in a hurry, or uninterested, it will show in the final image. Slow down. Come back later and try again if you can’t take the time to be present. A great Love photograph has to be felt in the heart of the photographer as well as the heart of the person being photographed.