Friday, 17 April 2009

Photography, psychology

A strange thing happened to me the other day when looking at this photograph by Matt Alofs. I'd seen it a few days ago, and then returned to look at it again yesterday. Nothing strange there.

When I first look at a photograph, I create a mental picture of it and carry that a round with me for a while. With even a short viewing, I can get a pretty accurate mental picture and use it to formulate further thoughts and feelings about it. I have a very visual memory.

What was particularly strange about this one was that when I returned to it, I was surprised that it was in black and white (even more surprising as Matt doesn't do colour). My mental image was in colour: green grass, soft yellow light. I also wonder if I view certain colour images in black and white - mentally removing the colour, retaining form only.

How often am I doing this particular colour-reversal trick? Is my mental model of particular scenes that influencing my mental picture of a given image? As with my own photography, do I inherently see particular scene in colour or black and white?

I might come back to this idea after some more reflection.

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