Photography & Photoshop

Hidden Stories

reflective horizontal

Here’s the same detail from yesterday’s photo, but set on the horizontal —  where it begins to make more sense.  As a detail, I like it better oriented vertically. I also think it would be more striking in black and white. 


Here is the original photo.


 I was surprised by the suggestion in comments that the detail had an O’Keefe quality to it because what I saw was not se*ual in nature at all, but spiritual.  I saw praying hands that seemed to be embraced by the reflection of something almost invisible, yet clearly in the likeness of the petitioner –something felt, but not quite seen.

And that is the nature of art and the eye of the beholder.

Little stories are hidden in the details of nearly every photograph — stories that are often missed because we tend to take in the image not in detail, but in whole.  As well, there are little stories in the details of your life, hidden within the larger context of your life.  If you will just look. 

I challenge you to take some time this week to look for the stories hiding in the details of your photos and your life.


24 thoughts on “Hidden Stories

  1. I love it! The whole picture is awesome, but as they say that the parts are greater than the whole – and that totally applies to your beautiful piece of the photo.

    I love the idea of turning it into black & white as well! I just wanted to let you know that if you ever have a need for any of your pictures to be photoshopped in any way (not that your pictures aren’t wonderful enough as they are though) I’d be honored to help you out in any way I can. I know sometimes I like to turn some of my pictures into sepia, b&w, brightened/color balanced, etc. I’d just love to be able to do something for you, since you’re always are doing such wonderful things for us! (you know, contests, entertainment, wonderful stories, and sharing your wonderful Sean with us – you know, just being you!)

    Again, beautiful shots :o) Much love to you and yours, take care and God Bless!

  2. Well don’t I feel really bad now. This is a great shot and not at all what I expected. I love how you took the original and found the unexpected in it.

  3. That’s cool. What I saw yesterday was 2 different sets of hands. Perhaps you hold Sean’s hands on the outside from the opposite direction. Also like you were pulling him up since it was vertical.

  4. Great explanation, AM. I saw something of the same–prayer encompassed by a physical representation of an answer. Marvelous photo and beautiful detail. Your boy looks like you!

  5. Again, I love the spiritual beauty you find in the most unexpected things.

    Thanks for the challenge to see more of these amazing details in our own lives.

    Can’t wait to meet you at She Speaks in just a couple of weeks. How are your preparations coming?

  6. My daughter just took a silly picture of the two of us — and all I can see is the clutter in the background that I wish I had put away first! But the real story is that my 12-year-old will still be silly with me. Thanks for reminding me to look for the IMPORTANT details!!

  7. Touching and moving, all at once. I love how you looked beyond and saw the hidden message inside an already beautiful photo.

    Thanks so much!

  8. At first glance, I saw “praying hands” as well and felt like the other hands were those of one loving and guiding the pray-er. You have a “spiritual eye” and find such simple truths in such unexpected places. You’ve blessed me today. Thank you!

  9. I thought from the first photo that it was your hands reaching down with Sean’s reaching up between them.
    Neat photo, and I love your analogy!

  10. I loved the detail shot, I think too often people look at simple things with a jaded eye, cos that is the society that we live in these days. I am on a mission now to find the detail in some of my shots. Thanks for the inspiration.

  11. I love your writing. “Look for the stories hiding the in the details of your photos and your life.” So much hides in the details.

  12. That is simply stunning. I saw the photo yesterday and was a litte confused as to why one side was a tad blurry…now it makes perfect sense.

    I’m heading to my photos now to see what might be hiding in the simple details. I loved this post!

  13. So beautiful! Sad to say that I wouldn’t have noticed that on first take. I’m needing to slow down and take the time for those glimpses of beauty. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. How interesting. When I saw the detail yesterday I thought they were your arms alongside his. Very beautiful.

  15. Brilliant! I’m tickled to see I actually guessed right about your technique (cropped & rotated). I interpreted it as “prayer” with eXtra support ~ reminiscent of a trapeze artist’s hold.

  16. I saw the praying hands too. I really like the detail, and agree it would be great in b&w.
    O’keefe’s stuff wasn’t all sexual. She did a lot of flowers and elongated skulls of animals, etc. Beautiful work.

  17. She also did a lot of cityscapes when she lived in NY that are beautiful. I never cared for the skulls, but most of her floral stuff is thought to be sexually suggestive. I don’t know why, but I was really surprised when some of the comments went in that direction, not offended but surprised, like it hadn’t occurred to me. But that’s what I love about art, how everyone brings their own stuff to the viewing of it.

  18. I love your perspective on photos and on life, AM. I recently read a quote by Anais Nin that said, “We see things not as they are. We see things as WE are.” The fact that you saw the spirituality & praying hands in the photo detail speaks volumes about your heart.

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