“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” – Albert Einstein
The concept of the curiosity gap is well-known to marketers and copywriters (“click bait” is a particularly annoying form of this), but as photographers we can use the curiosity gap to encourage our viewers to engage more fully with our images. Put very simply, the goal for this challenge is to leave the viewer wanting to know more about some aspect of your image.
“Essentially the curiosity gap is creating a hole or space that the viewer needs to fill in some way. You drive the desire in them to want to learn more. And what we can do as photographers… is hold some of the information back from the viewer that pushes them to lean in to learn more about what’s going on… What we’re trying to do is mask the obvious from the viewer.”
A quick scroll through Joshua’s Instagram feed shows the many ways in which he creates curiosity gaps in his photos. These techniques should not be new to followers of this photo challenge – the links below bring you to some of our prior challenges:
- Shooting through glass, e.g. steamy or wet window panes create a sense of mystery
- Selective focus / shallow depth-of-field
- Motion blur and Intentional Camera Movement
- Deep shadows
- Multiple exposures
While we’ve had photo challenges for all of these techniques in the past, approaching them with the intent to create a curiosity gap for the viewer is not something I’ve consciously attempted before. To complete this challenge, you can use one of the techniques above or come up with your own ideas. A couple of other concepts that I can think of are:
This week’s challenge summary:
- Take a photo with the intent to mask the obvious from the viewer and arouse their curiosity.
- For those of you who have COVID restrictions in place, one way to approach this challenge would be to find a photo in Joshua’s repertoire that you particularly like and then identify the elements that speak to you and try to imagine how to create those elements in a more controlled (indoor) environment. You can do a self-portrait or substitute dolls, pets or stuffed animals for people if that is an important element for you.
- When commenting on others’ photos this week, feel free to mention what questions come to mind and/or what story line you might have made up to fill-in the missing information.
- Post your photo during the week of Sunday, February 28 and Saturday, March 6.
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo: #2021photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2021 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.