Caution: This article is not scientifically substantiated, just my thoughts!
One of the bloggers I follow is Kiki, a talented German photographer and food blogger. She bakes and cooks, and shares the recipes along with gorgeous photos. Her photos are wonderful, and it occurred to me that they have a feminine touch. This got us wondering: What is a feminine, or a masculine photo?
My question for you: Can you tell the difference between men and women in the world of photography?
Disclaimer: A special thanks to my niece Elianne Bordeaux for letting me use her photos and her feedback on this post! Only the photos without name reference are mine, the others are her photos.
Difference between a male and female brain
Did you know that men and women are different? Man are athletic, have great logical reasoning capabilities, have a fine sense of humour, know how to solve problems, and are completely and utterly hopeless without their partner (and mom).
But all kidding aside, according to some studies, men and women do have differently operating brains. Men are able to isolate one issue and block-out excessive information, whereas women look at an issue from a holistic point using all parts of their brain. While ladies are better in multitasking, men are able to focus on one job for a longer period.
One of the biggest differences is the structure of the hypothalamus (I totally knew this word before writing this article – not), the part of the brain that controls sex-drive, aggression and food intake. Which, apparently, is more active in a man’s brain. Scientist also found out that the parietal cortex (used in space perception) is slightly bigger in man’s brain. While the part of our brain responsible for emotions, problem solving and decision-making, is slightly larger in a woman’s brain.
Another big difference is that the male brain has 6,5 times more “grey matter” (a.k.a. thinking matter) than a female brain, yet a female’s brain contains 9,5 times more “white matter” (the matter that connects different parts of the brain).
These differences in the operation and size of our brains, result in different psychology. Ladies have a more developed communication- and emotional system. Men are very result-minded: Go straight to a solution.
Do different sexes take different photos?
What they photograph?
Because of the diversity in our brains, we look at the world differently, this could be traceable in the subjects photographed by boys and girls. I think that, while boys shoot very objective images, girls tent to look at a scene “with emotions” and are more inclined to shoot subjects they are emotionally attached to.
In my humble opinion, ladies are also more attracted to subjects they can “nurture”, like children, flowers, and little animals. While men (having a larger part in their brain reserved for aggression) are more attracted to wild landscapes and rough weather.
How they take photos
Our varieties in brain structure result (in my theoretical opinion) in different approaches to photography. Males approach taking a photo, with a very technical perspective (problem solving). A room full of male photographers will result in a lot of “nerd-talk” about aperture and depth of field.
For girls it is easier to let go of the technical dependencies, and use their imagination. I believe that in a room with only female photographers, there will be more conversations about beauty of a photograph, rather than “nerd-talk”.
Girls will remember the emotion they felt when taking a picture, while boys will remember the lens and settings.
Besides, women and men react differently to scenes, because our emotional system is slightly different. That’s why men miss some things a girl would see (and vice versa).
Even though there are differences between men and women, I don’t believe that it is (always) obvious to tell which photo is taken by what gender. But there are some subtle differences in the approach and subjects of photos taken by both sexes. Not limited to the subject, or how they photograph, but also in aspects like how we use colours and contrast.
In this post, I used some photos, taken by me (male) and a female photographer, my talented niece Eliza Bordeaux. A special thanks to my niece for letting me use her photos!
Tell me my dear readers, can you tell what photo is taken by what gender? Or is it not that obvious? What are your thoughts, please share them with us by leaving a comment!
Oh and for those wonder: No, I am not a neuroscientist, I just a “Google” a lot.
Thanks for reading and kind regards,
Elianne is Dutch photographer, studying Fine Art (photography) at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. During her study she already works as a professional photographer doing bridal photography and portraits. She already has won several prices for her work.
In the near future she’ll be releasing her website: www.elizabordeaux.com