Saturday, February 5, 2011

Establishing Mood

Words. Images. Processing?

Mood is as important in fiction as it is in photography. The composition of words and phrases creates those feeling of joy, sorrow, and dread that ripple through us as we read. The composition of colors and light accomplish the same emotional effects.

I thought about this as I processed two images of the same shed. It sits just off a road that we travel fairly often, but last night was the first opportunity I've had to snap its picture. I processed the first one (seen below), was fairly satisfied with the results, and began to work on the second one (seen further below). I tried the same process but it just didn't work. I tried another one, and there. I saw the drastic difference that the three elements can make...

Karen skated around the edge of the pond before gliding inward, spiraling in the slow loops she had learned to do as a child. She heard clapping, and she smiled and waved at her husband who had already removed his skates and who was standing in the open door of the small cabin. He raised the red, plaid thermos full of hot chocolate in her direction, and she nodded, skating toward him. Even across the frozen pond, she could see the warmth in his eyes as he watched her draw near. God, how she loved they loved each other...

Caroline sobbed as she stumbled and slammed into the icy ground. Fresh scrapes covered the palms of her hands, and she cried as she pulled herself to her feet. Even as numb as her hands were, she could feel the edges of pain from her raw nerve endings. Blurring tears sprang to her eyes, and she wiped them away with the back of her hand. The shed was only a hundred feet away. She could hear Cecily's screams ripping across the frozen field. Renewed horror gripped her, and Caroline tried to run. Bright, red blood ran down the palms of her hands and added itself to the blackened blood already splattered across her ragged and dirty clothing. She gripped the open wound in her side and ran, desperately praying that it wouldn't be too late, that she could somehow rescue Cecily from them...


  1. Excellent demonstration Nichole! You nailed both moods/words. The second one totally has the feel of dread attached to it. Well done!

  2. My God but you are talented. I was drug into both stories with such different emotions. The difference in the photos was more subtle but still just as effective.