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So Expressive
By Rebecca Stibrik
In the article, Humans Can Express at Least 21 Distinct Emotions by Alice Park, she
discusses a new study that has been made into the realms of facial expressions. According to
the article, a study has determined that the human face is capable of showing at least 21
emotions, which is far more than was originally thought. Despite some similarities, these
emotions are all visually different from one another. This article has impacted me by making me
think more about the expressions I can get from people when I take my photographs. The
distinctness of each emotion makes it even more important to pay attention to the unique
expression of the person. You can tell do much about a person by just looking at their face.
The article To Really Read Emotions, Look at Body Language, Not Facial Expressions by
Laura Blue takes the idea of expressions in a different direction. This article explains that
according to a study, much of our perception of emotions is determined through the body
rather than the face. While the face is used, it is not used as much for strong emotions. For
these, people are more identifiable by their body language. Reading this article has inspired me
to pay more attention to body language, as well as a person’s overall expression. Body language
can be very telling and convey a wide variety of expressions. When taking photos, I need to
make sure that the face and the body are working together in order to accurately show the
emotion that I want to portray.
Lastly, the article Emotions May Not Be So Universal After All by Alice Park, discusses
some of the differences in facial expression interpretation. Contrary to previous studies, Park
discusses how some studies have determined that facial expressions may not be universal.
While some emotions are easy to express, they can often be viewed and interpreted many
different ways based on the person and their culture. Knowing this will influence me in my
photography by making me become more aware of a person’s expressions. If emotions are
subjective, then I need to make sure that my subject is portraying the exact look I want to
capture a specific emotion.
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