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Photographing Friendship and Loneliness

Updated on October 17, 2014
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Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) | Source

Friendship and loneliness are two distinct relationship states. One is joyful and the other can be dismal. Photography can capture images of both which can be use side by side as comparisons. This theme can also be used as a study of the human condition and society as a whole.

Friendship is an easy theme to record and loneliness can be a little more difficult but still possible. Look for groups of people that are interacting in a social setting like a party, just watching an event, or just plain hanging out.

Capture images that show their relationship as friends, their facial features are an important aspect of this theme. The same applies to images of loneliness and facial features also play an important role. Loneliness should include some captured with monochromatic film as this format accentuates the sense of being alone; it adds a "gloominess" to the shot contrary to color which tends to distract and can have an opposite effect.

Some samples of loneliness can include a lone person walking by a beach, sitting on a park bench and surrounded by park goers. A person sitting alone at a party who is surrounded by other party goers mutually interacting with each other while the subject is completely alone.

More poignant images will include a child playing alone in a park while other groups of kids play together. A stare into the nothing is also a powerful scene. For friendship images the foreground is not as crucial since the emphasis should be on the face , the smiles, the looks and body language. However, for loneliness images, the foreground can accentuate the feeling and including scenes which appear to show a desolate setting heightens this theme even more.

Nature can also be a good source for both friendship and loneliness; a single animal in a cold or musty environment has the same effect as it it were a person instead. Groups of animals like in a pride, emphasizes their social interactions but a lonesome specimen does not.

If the lone animal subjects happens to be young like a lion's pup, then these images can evoke a feeling of loneliness to a greater level. Try if at all possible to capture animals shots on which the eyes are clearly visible and in sharp detail. Your focus should be to precipitate the "oh what a poor ..." reaction to the moment with a lonesome theme or a wide smile with a friendship theme.

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CC-BY-SA-3.0 | Source

Sometimes you don't really need a live subject. Desolate and gloomy looking places can portray the same effects while sunny colorful locations do too.

Even inanimate objects can work; a shot which focuses on an abandoned, perhaps ragged and dirty kid's sneaker is a very powerful image and symbol that can elicit a sense of loneliness or even a stronger one. While a scene which shows a group of toys in a nice room does for the sense of friendship and comradeship.

An image of girls' arms full of those distinctive friendship bracelets next to each other says nothing but friendship. While an image of a person just starring at a watch or at a drink at a crowded bar speaks of longing.

Children are very good subjects for both themes but adults are easier to portray. A scene which captures a group of girlfriends leaving a restaurant walking side by side is one which cannot be mistaken for anything other than a group of friends while a group of people waiting in a line, such as the unemployment line and looking aimlessly at the floor elicits a strong sense of loneliness as well as one of desperation and frustration.

The theme does not have to have recognizable subjects, sometimes the effigy of togetherness or lonesomeness is sufficient. It is the appearance not the subjects which will represent the feeling. Don't forget oddities such as unlikely animal friendships. The world is full of unusual animals companionship.

Submit your best and most exceptional samples to greeting card companies and general photography publication. The images must be of the best work that you can, since this topic is widely popular but widely covered too.

Be creative with a topic that has been covered extensively in photography. Adding your personalized touch is what makes your images your own.

© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez

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    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Another very interesting concept Luis. I like this one too.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi LuisEGonzalez, I have enjoyed reading your very interesting and beautifully written hub .

      Vote up !!!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      kashmir56: Thank you

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 5 years ago from Utah

      Very interesting subject matter. Thank you for sharing, voted up, marked interesting

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      pmccray: Thank you

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 5 years ago

      Sometimes when I read your hubs I think you are just as much a psychologist as a photographer. Nicely done!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image
      Author

      Luis E Gonzalez 5 years ago from Miami, Florida

      timetraveler: Well thank you, that is really nice of you

    • profile image

      walid 5 years ago

      binga

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