Is ‘a picture worth a thousand words’? Recent research into how we read and interpret information would suggest not. In his article As it turns out, a Picture is Not Worth a Thousand Words, Paolo Gaudiano states:
‘…just as words cannot really turn into pictures, pictures cannot replace words in terms of their ability to convey clear, (mostly) unambiguous information.’
[Full article: wired.com/insights/2014/03/ ]
Despite this, images as text are on the increase and visual literacy is now as important to our educational development as digital literacy. This arguably rests with the technical advances in how we produce and reproduce images and the ease with which we are able communicate them widely.
Photography Visionaries by Mary Warner Marien is a chronological listing of the lives and images of 75 photographers spanning photography’s history from the 1800s to the digital age. Marien provides a fascinating insight into the art and inventiveness of some well known and not so well known photographers who have visually recorded and fashioned our collective view and memories for over 100 years. The imagery represented is captivating and indicative of the medium’s lasting impact. The list of inclusions is by no means exhaustive (and does appear to have a U.S. bias), however, there is great representative, historical detail to be found in the the photographs included.
We rely heavily on our visual interpretation of the world and visual literacy is as much about our world view as it is about what the world presents us.
In Photographs from the edge : a master photographer’s insights on capturing an extraordinary world by Art Wolfe and Rob Sheppard, the enormity of the world’s diversity and complexity is on magnificent display. Wolfe’s expeditionary photography takes us to all corners of the globe capturing some never-to-be repeated moments in nature and culture. Many of these photographs will always remain a unique part of our visual history, and Wolfe shares the techniques, experiences and decisions that helped him capture them.
While Wolfe’s work brings us a sense wonder at the largess of the world, Macrophotography : capture magnified photographs of nature’s smallest subjects by Dennis Quinn draws us in to look more closely at the things we might miss. This unique book teaches readers how to choose and use the tools needed to capture magnificent images of the smallest of the natural world. You’ll learn how to select and use your equipment and where to find your subjects. In each section of the book Quin shares the creative secrets behind some of his images as well as providing information on the life cycles of his subjects. This book is a fascinating mix of art and science.
Food photography : from snapshots to great shots by Nicole S. Young takes readers through the principles behind setting up, taking and editing great food photographs. The book contains some large, vibrant photos, accompanied by expert shooting tips. To look inside: http://amzn.to/2gISoDz
With the huge uptake of social media and smartphones, photographic images flood the internet and everyone has become an expert photographer, be it food, nature, fashion or portraiture.
Selfie : the changing face of self-portraits by Susie Brooks looks at the history of self-portraiture from the 40,000 year old hand stencils found in Indonesian caves, to famous painters like van Gogh & Picasso to modern photographic selfies. An interesting blend of stories, techniques and fashion insights into an activity that seems very recently trendy.
With Christmas just around the corner, getting a new camera or smartphone to record the festive celebrations may be on the agenda.
Now in its 5th Revised Edition, The Digital Photography Handbook by Doug Harman is still considered one of the best guides to digital photography. The book includes expert advice on the art of digital photography as well as guidance to making the most of your current equipment and software or what to look for when replacing it. A comprehensive book well worth reading for anyone with an interest. Follow this link for a sneak peek:
The 770s also includes Computer Art, Cinematography and Videography, which is handy because the technology seems to have converged with cameras making movies, and editing software turning film into stills. Many words are written on the topic, certainly more than a thousand, so I think I’ll just close with one single picture!