Photos and Blogs

Do the photos illustrate the text or do the words supplement the pictures?

Photos should tell stories and stories should form pictures in the reader’s mind. I keep revisiting the thought of doing an exclusive "photo blog", but half the time I don’t like the idea of not including written things – text for tempo, words for background, sentences for structure. And when I write something, there’s always a picture in my head – the columns of words look incomplete without some visual anchor.

The fact is, I get bored flipping though photo galleries on the web and hardly read anything on the net if it goes on for more than 700 words. Books and printed media are another story, and I have no problem chilling with a novel, calmly thumbing through an Annie Leibovitz photo book, or staring at the photos on my walls.

That photo of my Jack Daniel’s bottle is boring on it’s own, but to me it looks interesting when juxtaposed against that photo from Greece.

And that picture from Chaco Canyon just seems so at home next to the one of a doorway in Berlin.

But let’s be honest, they’re actually a bit boring if you don’t have an emotional connection to the back-story. I like them because I lived, wrote, and can remember the background elements which lead to their creation.

On their own I might not really care.

But on their own, they might invoke a backstory that you have stored somewhere.

Then they might mean something to the viewer.

From a consumption standpoint, the net is boring and poorly written with lax formatting and little inspiration because it’s easy to do – and so, most people don’t appreciate the little effort that most people put into making their webpage (like me).

Writing a blog gives some motivation to make the photos for the story and learn .css and get a feeling for CMS. Things that I wouldn’t do otherwise because there wouldn’t be much outlet for the effort. The words on the blog then give a framework for the photos.

When a paycheck isn’t involved you’re free to do what you want. Without the economic pressure you can publish whatever you want, because it means something to the author; not to the advertisers, and there’s no editor to worry about pleasing.

3 thoughts on “Photos and Blogs

  1. Kate says:

    It's so funny – I was supposed to go to an Annie Lebowitz exhibit tonight, but the event got sold out. I'm going instead in a few weeks.

    And to add in my two sents – photography is art and speaks words, but I words are also art and look pretty damn good themselves.

  2. me says:

    the graphic designers i know would string you up. text, font, san serif and rhythm are a language all of their own and can paint some pretty intense and emotional pictures. but it's not easy to do. me? i like the pretty photos 😉

  3. Mark says:

    Yes, the main point I wanted to communicate is that I love both the writing and the photography, and for me I like it when the work together. When it's a web page I think both are totally needed, whereas for a novel the writing is enough. But with a book you have that physical connection to the medium, with the computer you only have the keyboard, and I always feel more distanced from the words on my computer screen. Text, font, san serif and rhythm are what I love trying to create.

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