Point of View: April in Paris

A Monitor photographer gets to the root of what makes a good picture – one that allows the viewer to connect with it on an emotional level.

Spring in Paris, what a cliché. Still, spring is the time when one pauses to admire the world with renewed enthusiasm. And on this sunny April Sunday, I was not the only one feeling this way. As kids played and adults strolled with their companions, I found myself filled with joy and excitement.

Today, when I look at the images detached from their emotional component, I see little faults in them. The top one cries for symmetry: The urn on the right is cut off, creating tension when compared to its fully framed counterpart on the left. The bottom image has the hint of a person next to the child, which calls too much attention to itself. More – or none – of the person would have been better.

However, photos are not just objective two-dimensional representations of the world. They trigger emotional reactions in us. I find myself entering the space pictured in the images. I can hear the sound of the water as the boy moves his boat around. I can feel the sweat in the palms of the couples holding hands.

I believe that beyond technical merits, a successful image is one that allows the viewer to enter some kind of emotional realm. If you've been to Paris in the spring and these images trigger memories, then I have done a good job.

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