When talking about my photographic work to a group of photographers I mentioned that in my view a “good” photograph should be more than ” just an image”, more than just a rendering of “what was there”. After all, why call any photograph art, if a machine could do the job… I came up with the term a “layered” photograph, that I had come across. But of course, this led to the question, what were these layers, could I identify some of them. At that moment I discussed some of these aspects that constitute a good photograph starting from the pictures that I had. The challenge, however, was to make a total scheme, encompassing all the “layers” that I discern in a picture. The scheme, which will follows here has been used by me to explain the idea of the layering of photographs. Hopefully, it may serve to deepen your insight when applied to your own photography (or in judging the work of others)
1. cognitive aspects
2. psychological impact
3. symbols and associations
4. combination of pictorial elements
5. graphic aspects, framing, textures etc.
6. light and dark (I am discussing b&w photography)
The order of these layers is from sophisticated to “primitive”, or from intellectual to instinctive if you like. See if this is of any help to you; if not just keep taking those photographs, good luck!