One day while driving home I noticed someone rocking out in their car to a song on the radio. This got me thinking about the different ways people react to art that they connect to on a deeper level. Most of us, whether we’d like to admit it or not, at some point in our lives have “rocked out” to a song we really liked. Yet a similar reaction to a photograph would have those around you thinking you’re insane.
While music elicits extroverted physical movement, being moved by a photograph results in a more contemplative absorbed pose and/or perhaps a low-key conversation. An exception might be a raised hand to point a friend or acquaintance to the image being admired. Funny how different senses being fulfilled yield different reactions.
As a photographer having an image resonate with a viewer is the ultimate. Photographers don’t get the opportunity to fill stadiums and hear the roar of the crowd as an image is displayed… yet Photography, being a more intimate art form, requires the viewer to internalize that which is being viewed. If a photographer is lucky what he/she has captured will resonate with the viewer and that brief pause or facial expression of awe is all the photographer will see or hear to let him/her know he/she’s impacted the viewer.
It’s an interesting relationship between photographer and viewer, one in which the applause is silent.