I can only give my heart

Words have a place as a companion to photography, as titles, in captions, in statements, and in books that combine words and imagery. It’s often a useful exercise to attempt to write about one’s own photographic process and goals, as well as writing to describe the narrative behind a specific image.

I can only give my heart © Harold Davis

I can only give my heart © Harold Davis

Regarding cryptic titles, such as “I can only give my heart,” modern painters have led the way with this, sometimes applying titles for abstract paintings that can seem far-fetched. But I believe that metaphorical titles can be appropriate and, when apt, do enhance the poetics of a photographic image.

Ian Roberts puts it this way: “Authenticity results from the depths of the artist’s feelings.” In other words, I only follow the labor intensive process of creating an image like this one because the subject and treatment move me, and because I speak from the heart. So, I can only give my heart.

From a formal perspective, “I can only give my heart” is about the relationship between soft petals and the “harder” flower core of the flowers with pistil, stamen and so forth. Compared to the fluff of the petals, all the flower really has is its core, or heart, which is another meaning for the title.

By the “poetics of a photographic image,” I am really talking about the subjective individual experience to the viewer. There’s no doubt that the image title can influence this experience (for better, or for worse). In your experience, doesn’t an allusive title like “I can only give my heart” lead to a more poetic viewing experience than the straightforward title “Echinacea” for the image shown below? Which kind of image titling do you prefer?

Echinacea © Harold Davis

Echinacea © Harold Davis

This entry was posted in Flowers, Writing.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Sunflowers and Friends on August 27, 2015 at 11:38 am

    […] echinacea, and other flowers are from our garden, and shown in In the field for transparency and I can only give my heart. The background is a sheet of old paper I put on a flat-bed scanner, and added in Photoshop using […]

  2. By Floral Tondo on December 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    […] alstromeria but also some rose petals and Agapanthus blossoms—around the central core of a rose. I then photographed the composition for transparency (see my FAQ for more info on this […]

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