Photography and Context.

So, I’m trying to take some bits from Predictably Irrational and apply them to photography. Basically, the book says humans need a frame of reference to evaluate anything in. A number by itself without any comparison or context doesn’t hold much meaning. For example, say a person who knows very little about a Real estatate was asked to make a decision about how much value he’s going to get by paying 250k for a house. He’d find it very hard to come up with a good answer. Now, if you provide a context, by showing another house which is, for the sake of argument, say, objectively worse off, for 400k. Then suddenly the 250k looks like a very good value.

Another example: Say you go to a store to buy a pen. It costs 10$. You realize that there’s another store that’s 15 mins away that sells the same pen for 2$. The odds are you’d leave the store to get the pen from the other store. However, you’re buying a suit. It costs 300$ here and 292$ in a store 15 mins from here. Would you go? Probably not. Everything’s relative.

Coming back to my original point, even in photography, say you go on a trip to some place. You can’t just upload what you think are the best five pictures from that place. A casual viewer flicking through them would have no context in which to evaluate them, and therefore might not be able to appreciate how good they are. If you create a context and upload some of your other not so great, but okay-ish pictures and sprinkle the best ones in the middle, they stand out much more.

Fairly long winded way maybe, to say a simple thing, but there.


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