Photographs can exist on their own, and as metaphors with meanings.
It has been said that a camera is a device for making other people see what the photographer does. That can certainly be true.
Most people pass by things that might stand out to artists. The ability of a photographic, or other artist, might be partially defined as the ability to make one’s vision visible to others.
I have a student who thought that a tennis pro she knew was strikingly handsome. She decided to photograph him. She told me that her mother couldn’t believe that she wanted to, because he was ‘not particularly interesting looking’ and ‘kind of unattractive’. When shown the pictures, her mother was shocked to see how beautiful he looked.
That, to me, is a perfect example of how the photographic artist made her vision, otherwise invisible to others, visible in the real world.
The next step would be whether the photographer, in the course of rendering a real-world subject visible, can make its metaphoric meaning visible as well.
I often see and shoot things as they are and as metaphors for something they invoke in me. Perhaps I can make it visible to others too.
A Haiku About a Bird was shot on the streets of San Francisco a few days after rain.
A bird leaves the tree
Snap. the photographer goes