Photography is psychology.
Why? Because understanding the process of creating a visual image is understanding the realm in which the psyche of the photographer and viewer intersect. Psychological principles about perception, emotion, creativity, personal identity, interpersonal communication, and human relationships help explain how we create visual images, how we share them, and how people react to what they see. Psychology can also help clarify the personality and social factors that shape photography.
How we create, share, and react to images in the digital world
Photographic Psychology is a journey into this realm where photography merges with psychology. It’s the exploration of how people create, share, and react to pictures. There are many books out there about how to create photos. I focus on that territory too but with a distinctly psychological emphasis, including how our mind and social environment shape how we think, feel, and behave.
Portraying concepts about psychology
I use images to express well-known concepts in contemporary psychology, including thoughts about personality, development, mental health, and psychopathology. What are the best techniques in shooting, composition, and post-processing for designing a conceptual image? Can creating such images help us better understand these issues in psychology? These are the essential questions of Photographic Psychology.
What is “photography?” It’s actually a rather tricky technical and philosophical issue, especially in this media-rich age of ours in which many types of visual images proliferate. At the most basic level, photographs may be black and white, color, film, digital. People sometimes rigorously defend their particular work as “real” photography.
Instead, I propose a flexible and fascinating definition of photography as any picture created mostly from the images taken by any type of camera, whether it’s a box camera, range finder, SLR, DSLR, digicam, pinhole, cell phone, or any other type, including the quintessential darkroom itself. In defining photography, I also place no restrictions on what type or how much post-processing is used to transform the original shot. Some photographers who think of themselves as purists will reject this very inclusive definition. I think they are almost always drawing an arbitrary line in the sand, it does not need to be that way.