Emotion in Photographs – Seeing Lisianthus – Picture to Ponder – v7-issue10

by Sheila Finkelstein on March 10, 2011

If you are one of the followers who relates to Self-Reflecting Queries, as well as the photographs, I thought you’d appreciate the following statement, “Empowerment in using a camera has altered how I see myself,” as shared by Marifran Korb.She was referencing her experience resulting from participating in the Through and From The Len telecourse. The next session starts on Tuesday night, March 15th. See TFTL.

Before going further, without adding words to interfere with your responses, I invite you to pause at each of Today’s Photos. Then consider the emotion, or response, that comes up for you with each one individually.

pink and white lysiantha in a glass vase


lysanthia 2

lysiantha pink front view

The above are photographs of Lisianthus flowers. Each view “spoke” to me in a different way. How about for you?

This last one moved me to post it on Facebook with the label, “A rose by any other name is not a rose.” An exact description, since this looks so much like a rose.

Today’s posting of Picture to Ponder addresses “emotion in photographs“. It comes, in part, out of a recent “e-versation” (email conversation) with a participant in the last Through and From The Lens class.

Today’s Photos Story and Emotion in Art
This past weekend, I purchased a full bunch of Lisianthus. It had enough stems with flowers and buds to fill the vase you see above that sits on my desk, plus another large vase in my living room and one with two stems in my bathroom. Needless to say, I’ve been enjoying them immensely.

Instantly bringing back memories and emotions, they originally grabbed my attention as I passed them in the produce section of the store in which I was shopping.

My first experience with Lisianthus was with a bunch that Sam brought me from a roadside stand many years ago. For a long time they remain unidentified. As the subject of my very first photo/drawing (image below), they were simply titled “Purple Flowers” for a long time.

The emotional memories (relating to Sam) reminded me of the discussion, mentioned above, with the participant after the last Through and From The Lens course. She had sent me a link to the work of a photographer who was demonstrating the lighting set-up he used to photograph flowers. Although the flowers were beautiful, I was surprised that I found the photos somewhat flat.

It occurred to me that what might be missing for me was an emotional connection with the flowers. And, it’s quite possible that the main concern of the photographer was to show off the “traditional” beauty of the flowers, without his having a deeper connection to his subject.

I’ve often been surprised at the very strong positive responses people have had to some of my photographs. At one point, I finally realized that generally, when I photograph, there is something that “catches my attention.” It is this “something” that evidently then connects with you. Though not intentional, most of my pictures have some “story” that I see... well “make up,” almost automatically.

And, this IS an important part of what participants experience in the Through and From The Lens course, connecting with what they see, using the camera to go beyond that. Invariably freedom and play result, and much more as indicated in the quote at the start of today’s issue.

Self-Reflecting Queries
Scrolling back up the page to Today’s Photos, did you have an emotional response to any of the above Lisianthus pictures? If “yes”, can you distinguish to what specifically you were responding?

Was it, perhaps, to a story you made up about, or saw in, the full picture or part of it?

Or, were you responding to one or more of the elements of the specific picture – color, textures, shapes and more?

Lastly, can you relate your responses, or lack thereof, to the way you see things in other areas of your life?

As always, have fun, and please share on the in the comments below what comes up for you.

Nature Art Gift Shop –

Purple lisianthus photo drawing on a tileThe first photo/drawing I did – a Purple Lisianthus on a ceramic coaster tile in my Nature Art Gift Shop. See Tile.

This photo/drawing is also imprinted on pillows and the tile is an insert in a lacquered keepsake box. All on the purple Lisianthus page.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren Strouse March 11, 2011 at 11:16 am

I love photos of flowers, but I especially respond to shades of pink, purple, and yellow. This is definitely an emotional response because those colors remind me of my childhood and my mother – good memories. The Lisanthus in these photos remind me of the wild rose bushes that grew on our farm; yellow always makes me think of the wild black eyed susans that grew along our driveway; and purple – the lilacs that grew alongside our house and the iris my mother loved so much. As always, thank you for sharing. If I got home from work earlier I would love to take your course again because now I have a digital camera!


Sheila Finkelstein March 11, 2011 at 11:45 am

Thanks for chiming in, Lauren, and sharing yourself.

Glad you have a camera now and I loved your writing responses to photographs and images when you didn’t. Just checked out your poem on my photo which I entitled “Fireflag Calligraphy.”

Appreciating the fond memories.


Mel August 21, 2012 at 5:05 am

As always, I find your photography amazing, as well as the inspiration to go with it. I’m going to go grab my camera. Thanks again!


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