Nicholas Adams photography blog

Image Misinterpretation/ implied stories

When shooting documentary photography there is always a thought in your head to get "that shot" the one that makes people stop and stare at it, think about it and hopefully one that makes a "difference". These shots are rare and only come along maybe once or twice a trip. I have literally been tempted to put down my camera after taking an image that I have looked at on the back of the camera and thought "I cant do any better than that" not often but it has happened. However the temptation to create or manufacture "that image" is always there, I have been accused of this many times from people saying,  "you just took this shot like this to make it look dangerous" or " you framed it like this to make it look more desolate" etc.... or my favorite which is you took that with a long telephoto lens...something I love pointing out I dont do (majority of my work is shot on 50mm or 35mm on full frame as I believe in being close to the subject). I never manufacture an image or manipulate the viewer by lying in the tagline etc....

As a photographer you do find yourself framing up an image to make it seem more dramatic than it is, or to tell a story through an image, or sometimes you just do it by accident (I like to call it instinct) the following shot is one of those, its an image I have been tempted not to show as it can be interpreted in many different ways depending on the tag line attached:


image copyright property of Nicholas Adams (

so yeah thats the image now I will give you a selection of two taglines that could be used for this image:

- Small Palestinian child left abandoned on floor in Hospital in West Bank

- Mother lays child on floor to rest in hospital


The second one is obviously the correct tagline but it could be either and this is where the power of a photograph comes into play and the responsibility of the photographer to be truthful with his or her images.