chapter  3
14 Pages

Communication and design

Context In reality the context of a studio photograph is the studio environment. The photographer can, however, create a different environment in which to place the subject. The context of the subject is therefore determined by the photographer and not by the subject. This enables a studio photographer to control, to varying degrees, the amount of information and thereby communication within each image. The image can be made obvious or ambiguous. Advertising illustration often excels at making the message obvious. Abstract images are by their very nature ambiguous. It is the viewer’s interpretation of the photograph the photographer is attempting to influence. A viewer can be guided towards an objective opinion by placing the subject on a plain background (e.g. an egg on a white background). The information is singular and indisputable. However, if the egg is placed in a box of straw and lit and composed in such a way as to imply the egg is no longer in a studio, the viewer will be inclined to form a subjective opinion about the image. Imagination will create an environment ‘existing’ outside the frame of the photograph.