A quest for the ultimate, beautiful, meaningful picture

Autumn in the garden

Is it not strange that people–like me–want to take pictures the likes of which are everywhere? What is it in, for instance, simple autumn colours of a Japanese maple tree that attracts us, that makes us press the button and makes us want to share this with the Net community? Everyone (in the right climate zones) can see things like this, they do not need such a picture to get an autumn feeling, let alone to know that autumn has arrived.

At a photo workshop I once did, we had a discussion: is a photo an expression that the photographer wants to make, or is it a means to communicate a message to the viewer? I was the minority of one defending the communication theory. And here I go and show you a picture that is purely expressive of my feeling of beauty of autumn in a corner of my garden.

I’m all in favour of falsificationism (one counter-example may be enough to show that a theory is wrong), but I guess we need not reject the communication theory: it’s different for different kinds of pictures. A press photographer in Afghanistan, in Sudan, or in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro has something to communicate in the first place. And I also guess that any photographer must keep in mind that even his/her expressive photos communicate something to the viewer–will it be the same feeling that the photographer had?

I’d welcome your reactions: is this a superfluous picture that has no communication value, or should I go on and put such pictures on the net, simply because I like them?


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