The silence in photography
By Excio Photo Community profile image Excio Photo Community
3 min read

The silence in photography

Join us on a visual journey to explore the serene and contemplative photographs that beautifully encapsulate silence.

What is silence? What is silence in photography? Is it about capturing moments that evoke a sense of peace, stillness, or solitude? Or is it about the absence of sound? Or is it about creating a space in the image that allows the viewer to breathe and feel the stillness?

Together with our members, we tried to find and frame the answers to these questions. Below you will see the serene and contemplative entries that beautifully encapsulated silence, exploring how silence affects the viewer and enhances the visual narrative.

How silence impacts viewers

  1. Emotional resonance: Images that capture silence can resonate deeply with viewers, evoking feelings of calmness, introspection, or even melancholy. These emotions are elicited by the absence of visual noise, allowing the viewer to connect more intimately with the photograph.
  2. Focus on the subtle: Silence in photography often shifts the focus to subtle details that might otherwise be overlooked in more dynamic or colourful scenes. This can include the play of light and shadow, the delicate textures of nature, or the solitary forms of structures or individuals.
  3. Creates a narrative space: Silent images often leave room for the viewer to construct their own stories or memories around the scene. This narrative space invites a personal interaction with the image, making the experience of viewing more engaging and personal.
  4. Sense of time and space: Photographs depicting silence can also convey a strong sense of time and space, often creating a timeless quality. This can make the viewer feel either isolated from or deeply connected to the depicted scene.

The featured photographs were chosen for their ability to make the viewer pause and reflect. This photo challenge has been a testament to the power of photography to convey not just sights but sensations. Our members have beautifully captured the essence of silence, reminding us of the quiet moments that ripple beneath the surface of everyday life.

By Cynthia Stoks. Boys don’t talk much, but a lot is said just by being together.

By Stephen Garner. I like looking up at buildings. Something about that lifts them above the bustle of the street and gives them, I think, a solemnity.

By Kelvin Wright. I’m in the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park. This is a deeply silent place. There are sounds -the rivers gurgle past and every so often there is the roar of a (hopefully) distant avalanche. There are a few birds, and sometimes there is wind. But somehow these only accentuate that deeper silence: a silence of time and depth and majesty.

By Penny Milner. An empty park bench at Point Erin Park.

By Ann Kilpatrick. In the City of Sails.

By Chris Dungan. Mangahui Wetlands.

By Dan Winner. The Wairau River.

By Lorraine Neill. Some early morning shots at the cemetery, when everything is quiet and still. Not always silent. There are birds, it’s a popular spot for people walking their dogs, and as the morning progresses there is the sound of traffic in the distance. But in the early mornings especially it’s a place that always evokes an atmosphere of silence and solitude.

By Lorraine Neill

By Damon Marshall. Solitude.

By Cynthia Stoks. When a town is trying, but not many visit on this day.
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