Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words"...

   We've all heard that one.  There was a time when the photograph was considered the ultimate snapshot of reality. Ansel Adams once said: "Not everybody trusts a painting  but people believe photographs".  He wouldn't say that now with the emergence of Photoshop I'm sure!  Now we cannot trust our eyes, what we are seeing may be a totally manufactured reality.  I have to admit, I still struggle with this.  The creative side of me argues, "It's art, you can't tie a persons hands!"; the contemplative side of me replies, "Isn't the world beautiful enough... amazing enough without altering it?   Do we have to play god with our photographs?"

How does this image speak to you?
   I suppose there are degrees of manipulation and I keep mine as minimal as possible but this post isn't about the pro's and con's of Photoshop.  It is about that old phrase..."A picture is worth a thousand words."  I totally agree with that but not in its original intention.  A good, heartfelt photograph should be able to generate a thousand words in response to its visual message.  You should be able to go on and on in your journal about what you see and what feelings you receive from the image.  If you can't then something is lacking.

   A photograph should elicit a personal reaction that stimulates something more in the viewer.  It should be like a chain reaction...the initial response leads to another feeling, and maybe another after that.  That is what happens when I'm able to create my "icon of experience"...the image that says it all.  It is  really the landscape that is speaking to me through my photograph, if I've done it well.  I think I would rewrite that phrase to say, "A picture can speak a thousand words"...you just have to listen to it with an open heart.

   If you have any reflections about the photograph above, send a comment.  Let's see all the different ways a photograph can speak to the individual viewer!

  

5 comments:

Deborah Tisch said...

It brings to mind a prayerfully created mandala.

John O said...

I wonder does the contemplative photographer "see" something, then take a photograph: Or does she take a photograph then "see" something. I guess it's a bit of both.

Patricia Turner said...

Good comment John! In this case, I was drawn to the pattern...the alternating river stones and bricks. Later, on reflection, the image engendered thoughts about unity and diversity. So yes, it is a bit of both!

kimmanleyort said...

I see individual uniqueness woven together to create a beautiful whole.

kimmanleyort said...

I see individual uniqueness woven together to create a beautiful whole.