Photographs are Pockets of Emotion

By: Roy E. Klienwachter

What happens to you when someone hands you a photo? Your reaction may be anything from indifference to an overwhelming burst of emotion. Not only is the photograph a pocket of emotion it is a portal to a flood of forgotten memories and feelings.

More than 60% of the world's inhabitants are visual by nature and it is how most of us interact with our environment. Advertisers learned long ago that if you included a beautiful woman in a picture of a new car you would sell more cars, but what they were really selling was an image that was already buried in your mind that was attached to personal feelings and emotions. Even in the days before TV and motion pictures during the time of radio, broadcasters and narrators would paint a picture for you with words. Deep emotion always has an image and a memory tied to it.

Imagine yourself taking a leisurely stroll in the country fully relaxed and open to the sights, smells, and sounds that surround you. At some point you will stop for a moment to take in your surroundings, what you are doing is taking a mental photograph of what you are seeing. Your eyes are the lenses of the camera and your memory the film. You are focusing on different aspects of the surroundings and composing the best possible mental picture that you will enjoy and share with others later. What you see has special meaning for you and is a combination of what is now and what was before you come to this place.

As a species it is within our nature to collect everything, to try and hang onto as much of the past as we can. After all for better or worse we are a culmination of our past experiences. We have been molded with each stroke of the brush or the cut of the sculptor's tool to become the unfinished product we now experience as self.

My photographic passion is to record time in the images of old houses, farm buildings, machines, fields and images, and rusty gold representing the rural life. The images for me represent not what is now, but what once was. The old farm houses had life in them; man and women united as one to create life around them. Farms are always about new life renewing itself. The old barns were warm with the body heat of the animals that lived within, and the fields lush with sprouting hay and dotted with trees and the promise of fresh fruit at harvest.

When I come to an abandoned farm and have my first look at it, I am frozen on the spot unable to lift my camera and begin shooting. My first emotion is one of elation having found this treasure which quickly turns to sadness and tears as I begin to imagine the life that once was.

Pictures live forever in the minds of the survivors, long after we're gone. A few mega pixels on a monitor is not the same as holding the photograph in your hands. The touch of the paper is the connection that begins your visual journey. Your emotions are as physical as the printed paper in your hand and the photo is the key that opens the flood gates.

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Roy Klienwachter is a published international spiritual author of 13 books and eBooks as well as a contributor of more than 500 articles to ezines and article sites. Roy is also an amateur photographer who specializes in rural farm photos of abandoned homes, barn yard buildings, and rusty machinery. His gallery of more than 2600 images can be seen at His books can be previewed at or every major ebook distributor on the net.

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