What is “haptic”— and why is this concept important to us as photographers and visual artists?
HAPTIC: Relating to the sense of touch.
In photography, we used to have a sense of touch with our pictures. We loaded the film, pulled it out, processed our films, printed them in the darkroom, cropped the pictures, and framed them in picture frames.
With our family pictures, we had a hands on “haptic” Experience, putting and arranging our pictures into family albums.
Not only that, but in the past, we used to take down notes on our photos. We used FILM NOTES to write down our technical settings, and we had a memory or a trace of our photo experiences and journeys.
Also, I feel that in our human DNA, we have so much perception and nerves in our fingers and hands. If we don’t keep cultivating our sense perception in our hands — what happens to the sensitivity of our fingers?
Even a more interesting question — how is our sense perception in our fingers and hands connected to our eyes and visual perception?
The more we develop our HAPTIC touch perception in our hands, the more we develop our visual and eye perception.
Therefore, to become a better photographer, or to build your visual acuity — build your HAPTIC sense of touch.
Consider as a human being — we love physical touch and connection. For example, apparently children who are held a lot when they’re young, they are more emotionally resilient, less anxious, and actually physically bigger and stronger.
I know that one of the best ways to build trust with others is through physical HAPTIC touch — like shaking hands in business meetings, hugging friends, and kissing your partner and children.
To build your HAPTIC sense of touch,
- Draw more on paper. Feel the texture of the paper, and the feeling of the pen in our hands.
- Write more on real paper.
- Try shooting film photography with FILM NOTES
- Try to read and buy more physical books. More paperback and hardcover books, fewer ebooks.
- As a photo assignment, touch a gritty texture before photographing it.
Increase your HAPTIC sense of touch: