Article Reflections

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Brittany Mansourimoaied
Photography
Article Reflections
The first article, Human Faces Can Express at Least 21 Distinct Emotions by Alice Park,
has made me realize that human emotions are not just limited to the six basic ones – happiness,
sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, and fear – but can be expanded to about 21 variations of these
traditional six. When taking pictures of people, I will take this into great consideration. There are
differences between the same emotions depending on the situation an individual is in – for
example, the article explains how the happiness one expresses while eating ice cream is very
different from the happiness expressed when receiving a marriage proposal. Because of this,
when taking photos of a person, it is necessary as the photographer to put the subject in a
situation that will allow them to accurately portray the desired emotion.
In the second article, To Really Read Emotions, Look at Body Language, Not Facial
Expressions, author Laura Blue discusses how body language and social cues can be more telling
of an individual’s emotions than facial expressions. Based on a study described within the article,
it was found that it is sometimes difficult to determine what emotion a person is expressing when
just observing their facial expression. Specifically, it is difficult to tell if one’s emotions are
positive or negative only based on their face. This article, for me, has stressed the importance of
capturing body movements and gestures when photographing people. A photograph of a face can
very often be a wonderful image, but when the face and body language of an individual are both
captured in a photo, the image becomes even more compelling and allows for a better insight
into what the subject was experiencing during that moment.
The third article, Emotions May Not Be So Universal After All, also by Alice Park,
continues the discussion on the six major emotions within western culture, and how they may not
be universal as many people believe. She discusses how, in other cultures, what westerners
would view as a happy emotion or expression, for example, was viewed as anything from
laughing to wonder. Park also explains that how individuals express their emotions is strongly
influenced by how those around them express how they feel. This last piece of information is
something that I will take into consideration when taking photos of people in the future. I think
the mood of the photographer can greatly affect the way the subject will feel, so if the
photographer is very positive and outgoing, these emotions will most likely be reflected in the
subject.
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