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Can you photograph the 6 “senses” (sight, touch, feelings, smell, sound, taste)?

Can you shoot all six senses involving the same image or subject?

When your friends or colleagues do the OMG on a good shot, take a second look. What is it they are hit with?

Technology and equipment is fast pacing and always changing, but if you “sense the-sense” effect upon most viewers of the shot, and before the shutter shoots, you most likely rang the bell toward a better and possibly a great shot!

Observers will say, “I can just “smell” or “taste” that mouthwatering peach.” Not many would say that, since most shots stop at the point of the dripping juicy peach as a matter of sight. That is if the shot captured it. This takes practice too; to push for that different sensory reaction. Regardless of the setting or subject, the largest wow- factor seems to come from that extra sense captured. I take 2 or 3 second looks and many times just don’t shoot it because it only is susceptible to just the 1 obvious sense. We all get that one.

Go ahead and get out a few of your pre-digital age framable-exhibit quality shots. The first evoked reaction might strongly ring the bell for 1 or 2 of the six senses. Technology just cannot do this one for you; as the photographer behind the lens must sense that on the sense meter. Sometimes it’s just too late, and we miss the shot. Yes-yes “lighting” is everything, I know I know. But if I cannot change the light factor I have 5 other senses to go to! We all know that split second when the light was best. But if we think of how can we additionally depict that other sense, sometimes it really notches it up.

I have hundreds of pre-digital and post digital omg-shots. I am amazed how those invoke the different senses. We all love the boring street shot where cold ice cream is tastable in the frame. I recently toured a Curtis-exhibition. His shots were from the early 1900s. I keyed on his simple water surface-pool shot by a waterfall; he focused on the silver smooth surface and evoked the velvet “touch” sensation. But it was the photographer that sensed that first, merely from a pool of water in the rocks. Brilliant I thought, especially when he had to develop it with metal type development back-in- the-day, in order to create the sensation.

I have examples below for each sense. It would be my challenge to see what you could do to the same image; sometimes triggering 2 or maybe 3 senses at first sight!!!!

Think of all of your senses, before hitting that shutter!!!

Lars Derak
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Lars Derak

Photographer / Author

Lars Derak currently resides in the Coachella Valley Palm Springs, California.

His first photo award came on a black and white shot at 15 in Ensenada, Baja Mexico.  He carries lenses and film everywhere; as a retired lawyer he previously shot thousands of items for evidence. His focus is to strain to find beauty for a flammable shot in everything; his travels throughout the Southwest United States encounter never-eveding events, people and opportunities that always are new and different.

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