Yes, of course, we do not shoot for our­selves. Of course, we strive to express our­selves through pho­tog­ra­phy, to reveal our thoughts to the view­er and stuff like that. But even though aspi­ra­tions are good, but with­out know­ing the mech­a­nisms of per­cep­tion of the view­er, it is quite dif­fi­cult to build a dia­logue. It’s like talk­ing to an Eng­lish­man in Russ­ian: some­thing seems to be hap­pen­ing, we make a sound, some words are sim­i­lar, but there is no mutu­al under­stand­ing. In order to speak the same lan­guage with the view­er, it is nec­es­sary to under­stand how he builds speech in his mind when read­ing our images.

While read­ing the image, the view­er has sev­er­al per­cep­tion mech­a­nisms, giv­en which the pho­tog­ra­ph­er gets the oppor­tu­ni­ty to bet­ter under­stand who will per­ceive the visu­al con­tent he cre­at­ed. This under­stand­ing will help, if nec­es­sary, to cre­ate a visu­al prod­uct for dif­fer­ent tar­get audi­ences, both in com­mer­cial and non-com­mer­cial areas.

What mech­a­nisms work in the mind of the view­er? Let’s take them in order:

  1. Sub­con­scious — it is aimed at work­ing with mem­o­ry. Thanks to it, the view­er per­ceives a large part (empha­sis on the first syl­la­ble) of tex­tures, vol­ume, dynam­ics, etc. For exam­ple, when we see cot­ton things, we can eas­i­ly feel their touch, their heav­i­ness in the hand, the strength of the fab­ric, and the like. This is due to the fact that some­time ear­li­er in our lives we have already dealt with such mate­r­i­al, and the sub­con­scious pulls out infor­ma­tion about this con­tact from mem­o­ry in the form of a “feel­ing”. From the total­i­ty of the viewed ele­ments (mate­ri­als, their strength, weight, vol­ume, move­ment, etc.), the main impres­sion of the image is cre­at­ed. More pre­cise­ly the feel­ing of this image.
  2. Of course, if we see an ele­ment in the frame that we have nev­er dealt with like, then we will not be able to under­stand it. For­tu­nate­ly, this hap­pens extreme­ly rarely, because. view­ers still in ear­ly child­hood have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to explore most of the sur­round­ing mate­r­i­al world.

  1. Asso­cia­tive — it is aimed at help­ing in the per­cep­tion of the seman­tic con­tent of the frame. Basi­cal­ly, we are guid­ed by stereo­types. You can read the same Wal­ter Lipp­mann for a deep­er study of this issue. To put it sim­ply: a stereo­type is a sum­ma­ry, in our case, of the visu­al ele­ments of an image. See­ing a man in a fire­man’s uni­form, the view­er sees a fire­man; with lock­smith tools — a lock­smith; with a gui­tar — a gui­tarist, etc.
  2. Those. per­ceiv­ing any infor­ma­tion­al ele­ment of the image, the view­er wraps it in the infor­ma­tion that he already owns. Of course, the less edu­cat­ed the view­er, the weak­er his asso­cia­tive per­cep­tion.

  1. Fan­ta­sy — it is aimed at work­ing with a con­scious inter­pre­ta­tion of what is seen. With a weak devel­op­ment of the view­er, he has to “use” main­ly this par­tic­u­lar mechan­ics of per­cep­tion. Those. the view­er, when read­ing the image, due to a lack of life expe­ri­ence and / or col­lect­ed knowl­edge, tries to “fan­ta­size” the visu­al con­tent. (The scene from the movie “What Men Talk About” when the main char­ac­ters are exam­in­ing works of mod­ern art is well suit­ed here.)

Such a read­ing often gives rise to a “cliché” in peo­ple’s minds — this is the ugly broth­er of stereo­types. The cliche is based on imag­i­nary mem­o­ry and uncon­firmed (fic­ti­tious) judg­ments of the view­er.

These are the dan­gers that arise from the oper­a­tion of this per­cep­tion mechan­ic. But fan­ta­sy also helps to unleash the poten­tial of the embed­ded sto­ry in the image. And not only in images.

With prop­er devel­op­ment, a per­son will read, for exam­ple, in “Crime and Pun­ish­ment” about suf­fer­ing, the rebirth of the soul, etc.; oth­er­wise, he will see only a crim­i­nal sto­ry about how a young stu­dent kills an unpleas­ant grand­moth­er.

All three types of per­cep­tion work togeth­er and con­stant­ly. The more edu­cat­ed the view­er, the more knowl­edge he has, the deep­er he can per­ceive what he read. Whether it’s a visu­al prod­uct or some­thing else.

Visu­al pro­duc­tion, in fact, can­not be bad or good. It just touch­es and influ­ences dif­fer­ent audi­ences. It can­not be said (it is pos­si­ble, of course, but in our con­text it is impos­si­ble) that the work of Leonar­do da Vin­ci is bet­ter than the work of Vasi­ly Eduardovich Pup­kin (do not google, this is a fic­tion­al char­ac­ter), who pho­tographs pret­ty girls in biki­nis. They sim­ply have dif­fer­ent pur­pos­es, and our world would be equal­ly deprived if one of these authors did not exist. Per­haps such a judg­ment is dif­fi­cult to accept, because our opin­ion is formed due to many fac­tors: edu­ca­tion, pub­lic opin­ion, per­son­al expe­ri­ence, etc. But what is not inter­est­ing for us may be inter­est­ing to anoth­er.

By bet­ter under­stand­ing their audi­ence, the pho­tog­ra­ph­er can change the con­tent and aes­thet­ics of their prod­ucts to find or improve the dia­logue and impact on the view­er. Thus, it is bet­ter to achieve your goals in your activ­i­ties.

All of the above does not mean that you, a pur­pose­ful read­er, should not deter­mine for your­self what is good and what is bad, and what your audi­ence should be, because the dai­ly activ­i­ties of a pho­tog­ra­ph­er depend on this. To exag­ger­ate, if you want to shoot for the pri­vate sec­tor, then the visu­al pro­duc­tion should sim­ply be aes­thet­i­cal­ly true to pub­lic opin­ion, if you aspire to work in the high-lev­el adver­tis­ing field, then your pho­tos should car­ry built-in sto­ries, tak­ing into account the sce­nario and the tech­ni­cal task (aes­thet­ics is also impor­tant, but not para­mount), etc. That is, the goal deter­mines our dai­ly rou­tine, what we will do day by day. Here, to each his own.

The main thing is to set a clear goal for your­self, and its achieve­ment will be a mat­ter of time and labor invest­ed.

You will suc­ceed, suc­cess, infin­i­ty is not the lim­it and that’s it.