Why give context to your photos?

At a time when digital dominates, the number of photos taken each day is increasing. Giving context to a photo amplifies its message and increases its depth.

Why give context to your photos?

Why give context to your photos?

french version of this post

Giving context to your photos


Before and that was before the silver cameras were usually sold with a 50mm lens. This was that type of lens fitted to my Nikon FE.

A few years later, I was then tempted with telephoto lenses and more particularly a 100-mm, which corresponded more to my desire to get enlarged portraits.

To be honest, since we are between us, since I switched to digital SLR I also have a 300 mm that allows me to go get far enough my main subject.

Yet even if I remain a fan of this type of material, it is still missing in these magnified pictures, all the elements around the main subject. Travel press, press conference or a private trip, I prefer today the use of a 28 mm or a wide-angle lens that captures the environment of the main subject.



For example if you compare the photo below with the cover photo you will understand my point.

The two photos have for main topic, the Opera Nantes (Graslin theater).

On the first one, shot with a 50 mm, you can see the architecture of the building, very nice for that matters. By cons, you are unable to know the background.

nantes opera

On the second photo, taken with a 28 mm, you discover the ambiance:

  • Nearby houses
  • Pedestrian Square

You could not guess the atmosphere without seeing the context. Besides my two pictures are taken freehand and without composition. The bikes could have been passers-by.




In street photography, I am more and more convinced, and it is at the moment my photographic approach, that by looking at a photo you must be able to breathe in the atmosphere.

Compare the two photos below from the Cathedral Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul de Nantes. The first is technically acceptable and allows visualizing this religious building.

However, as important as it is to know the places that make the reputation of a city, once more time if you’ve never been there, you cannot know the atmosphere nearby.

On the second photo the main subject remains the Cathedral Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul de Nantes, but you can imagine how to get there, life and the human that exists around.

nantes cathedrale atmosphere

environment nantes cathedrale

Sunday Context

This is my contribution to the Sunday of the project « Sunday Photo » I recommend the environment, the ambiance and the atmosphere. Yours Magda

And you, do you give context to your photos?

french version of this post

Translated by Carrie

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Moi, c'est Bernie. Incubateur d'actualités pour vous informer autrement.

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