Photography as Language

Photography as a language refers to the ability to communicate and express ideas, emotions, and messages through visual images.

Thinking in photographs is the process of mentally framing and conceptualising scenes and moments as if viewing them through a camera lens.

It involves developing a visual mindset where one actively observes and perceives the world in terms of potential photographs, considering composition, lighting, subject matter, and storytelling elements.

Thinking in photographs allows photographers to capture and convey their unique perspective and artistic vision through their images.

To quote the adage:

“a picture is worth a thousand words”

Frederick R. Bernard

But which and what words?

Bernard probably never dreamt of digital photography and social media when he came up with his immortal phrase. In today’s world, the idea of photography as language is critical in considering how we think, share and consume information.

Photography is central to ethical and moral cultural representations of our mediated world. With photography accessible to anyone with a camera or smartphone, we become overwhelmed with reams of images and their messages.

We can portray messages and events in carefully curated ways. Add in editing software and we can potentially distort reality.  Through social media, and how we use it, we can miss out on the heritage, and critique of an image; what is it trying to tell us?

In my photography workshops, you won’t be told what photography is.

Instead, you will be introduced to key approaches to thinking in photographs and making photographic work. Rather than being told what to think about photography you’ll gain the theoretical knowledge to think about and through photography. By understanding the theory you can combine this with technical skills to take pictures of meaning.

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