|Right to left: Brian Ricks, Johnny Barnes, and Wang Xuan in Johnny's back yard. Photo by Kari Sawden.|
A picture is worth a thousand words.
When I first began my university studies, it was as an English Literature major. I cherished the privilege of being able to daily immerse myself in stories and being challenged to explore not only what the text said but how it was crafted. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder about the stories that existed outside of the literary canon and off of the written page. So, eventually, I found myself in folklore studies, where I continue to learn how to read buildings and objects, to explore the stories in people’s own words as well as their actions, and where the written form is only one of so very many types of expression. And it has made me wary of comparisons between pictures and words.
In returning to this phrase throughout the day, I became far less concerned with discovering this elusive pixel to word ratio than with the very idea of equating one form of communication with another. I have seen photos that are beyond the capacity of language to express. There simply are not enough words, they are not fine enough, expressive enough, to capture that singular moment. Conversely, the poetry of photography cannot capture the texture of a well-crafted word in relation to the ones that come before and after, how they can tickle your mind, or how you can carry them with you as though they had actual weight. Each form, and the diversity within each, is equal, valuable, and essential, but not interchangeable.
Today, by taking pictures throughout Quidi Vidi and reviewing these photos with my classmates and teachers, I learned about the worth of the photograph, not in comparison to any other form of communication, but completely in its own right. I learned that photos remind us that it is always worth it to look past the exterior…
|Beer bottle in kettle in Johnny and Anne Barnes' backyard. Photo by Kari Sawden.|
|Inside Johnny Barnes' shed. Photo by Kari Sawden.|
|Tourists in Quidi Vidi. Photo by Kari Sawden.|