On Photography

Photography is one of my favourite activities and interests me both visually and in terms of words and language. One of the intriguing aspects of photography is the words and language we use to describe the image, either to ourselves in the silent monologue inside our brains, or in conversation with other people.

I was lucky enough to be in London last December and visited the British Natural History Museum and saw the Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2006 exhibition. The exhibition finishes there on 29 April 2007. There were some stunning images but my experience was made all the more interesting by reading the concise photo and photographer information beside the displayed images. When I left the exhibition, I recall wondering how I would have felt about the images if there had been no added words, just the images on display. I imagine that I would have been working through words and stories in my head to enhance the meaning behind the photographs. Is it possible to look at the visual arts without finding meaning and explanation with words?

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