First Impression

The First Impression of a Photograph

There is that saying that “you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression” and we are all aware of the importance of making a good first impression. In social encounters our future relationships are shaped by those first impressions.

In our world, where everything and everybody seeks our attention, we are constantly bombarded with images. Rarely does a photograph get as much as one second to make a “first impression”.

But what is that first impression? A photograph conveys a message, but what is that message and is it received? How well does a photo transmit the intended message? There are those who argue that the intended message is irrelevant, what matters only is the perception of the viewer. If the viewer experiences a message, a feeling, and cherishes the image, that is all that matters.

You have been invited to participate in a short research project. Below are a group of photographs. Please take a quick look. Pick one or more of the photos. Then please share your first impression in a comment. Please provide your initial reaction to the image. What did it tell you? What else do you feel about it?

You are welcome to express your opinions about more than one or two of the photos. You are welcome to provide more extensive critiques, indeed that would be greatly appreciated. In any case, the thoughts you share will not show in comments below for others to see here. However they are intended to be included, in whole or in part, with proper attribution, in the summarizing article that will be the outcome of this project.

Please be advised that only a handful of notable photographers from around the world have been invited to participate in this experiment. This blog is not visited by the general public, it does not show in the WordPress Reader or other aggregating services.

Now to the photos. There is intentionally no information provided about the images, just an identifying number. Some images are derivations of another. Just take a quick glance, one or a few images may jump out at you. Pick those, or look more closely and make a choice on the basis of any criteria you wish to apply. You may view a larger version by clicking on an image. It is your first reaction that counts and that you are asked to share. Any other remarks are also very welcome.

Move your pointer over a photo to see its number. Click to see it in a lightbox. There, scroll down for more info (including full view). You may also add comment there.

To comment here please scroll down past the “boilerplate” to the comment section.

Thank you very much.