Blog #60 Atmosphere
Have you ever looked out a window that has direct sun light pouring through and notice the specks of dust that dance around in a random fashion? Have you ever noticed and appreciated the grain associated with the film photographs and thought about the grain as though they were individual photons [particles of light]? There's an aesthetic there that is unique and special. I’m talking about the quality of a two-dimensional image that presents as a three-dimensional image. In other words, depth. When you can see and feel the air in a photography, it’s got atmosphere.
If you look at the Editor’s Favorite’s on the National Geographic website, you’ll know what I mean. There, you will find many excellent examples. Atmosphere is a special quality of an image that really makes it *POP* Sometimes this is due to the light. Sometimes this is due to the tones, or texture in the image. Atmosphere may be achieved through the gentle focus fall off that isolates the subject within the frame and allows everything else in the image to melt away. Grain or digital noise usually ads atmosphere to an image without degrading the quality or otherwise distracting from the subject.
Atmosphere is the proverbial cherry on top of the image that is already good, already works, and achieves greatness. It’s the holy grail of photography. This is equally as difficult to achieve conscientiously as it is rare. Look for fog, lighting, or some tangible aspect in the air quality to capture. One of the ways that you can put the viewer into your image is through the addition or inclusion of atmosphere. It’s a real challenge to achieve this but the results are well worth the effort.
The light is always right.