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  • Writer's pictureZhenspace

Role of senses in photography and design

According to the latest data and analytics firm App Annie, an average person smartphone consumption is at 4.2 hours per day and in some countries it can even exceed five hours per day. And that has not include the screen time from other devices such as computer and television. Putting this statistic into context, the amount of time we spend staring at screens might be equal to the amount of working or sleeping hours which is pretty staggering.

Majority of people these days consume contents and informations from their devices on a daily basis. Putting visual input as one of the major ways humans consume media and information at this technological age. For this reason alone, it is concrete enough to show that we might have been neglecting other senses such as smell, touch, taste and feel to interpret information. As it may be an involuntary action becoming too reliant on our visual sense, being aware of it as a service provider expands the possibilities of maximising human experience through other senses.

In order to give humans a better and complete experience of something, it is important to consider ways to incorporate all the other senses when designing or photographing a subject be it a space or a product. By considering other senses, there is a chance of triggering emotional connection for people to connect which in return might become a strong DNA of what your company is known for. Looking it from business aspect, it may be an ingenious way of differentiating you from the others in the same field. While I cant speak for all designers, as a photographer it is important to shoot for how it feels and not just how it sees. That way we will be able to give viewer a better sense of space.

My work has always been about standing still and seizing moments which only made possible with proper planning ahead of time. I often prioritize how it feels to be somewhere rather than how it looks. The warm afternoon spent in front of a beachfront with the smell of sea, the dancing evening sunlights shaded by casuarina trees, and the calm morning with cooling breeze blowing into the house. That being said, there is no one formula that works for every photoshoot and more than rather picking up part and parcel of little details and making them work coherently to tell a piece of story.

I strongly believe that our life stories and experience are essential tools in developing our senses. As our senses of the world relates to where we come from and the place we've been. Activating these senses together with the environment we are in is precisely what is essential to tell the unique story when photographing a space for the first time. In short, "I think we trust our eyes way too much and we should keep in mind the other senses are also profoundly important in how we view a scene."



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