Ever noticed how newspapers use photographs of public figures? If Obama scores a big one, we get smiling Obama, maybe with a fist pump. When the roof caves in, we get tight-lipped, greying, worry lines Obama. All underneath screaming headlines. If the paper has integrity, we are not disappointed with the text that follows, our minds having been conditioned for it. They say we see with our eyes and we see with our minds.
And yet after I left primary school, my books, whether novels or textbooks, were devoid of images except for academic (boring), charts, graphs, drawings, and photos illustrating the concept being taught, as if to say, now that you’ve mastered comprehension, you don’t need visual aids or we want you to concentrate, no mucking around!
The web changed everything. Of course, it had to since everyone became a (potential) content provider. The downside of information overload is digital ADD. Mixing text with pictures and videos means we might win the scramble for eight seconds of surfing attention. However, beyond this, I integrate photos with text because it breaks monotony and can say what words cannot, helping to build emotional connections. Moreover, we decipher meaning from images, adding to the reading experience.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it might not tell the whole story. Perhaps that’s why on the web, text continues to dominate information exchange and videos, which combine visuals and words, are on the rise.
Visual art and writing don’t exist on an aesthetic hierarchy that positions one above the other, because each is capable of things the other can’t do at all. Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating. – William S. Burroughs –
After writing an article, I hunt for images that complement it. During my search, I encounter photos that have nothing to do with the text, which haunt me and inspire me to manufacture a story, like this one.
The right story hasn’t come along for this image yet, but I can’t wait any longer. Let’s find the story together. You don’t need to be a writer, just human. Tell what the photo evokes in you. There is no right or wrong, because we see the sun at different times. Day for me may be night for you. You can write your headline (title) in sentence caps and/or a few lines of the story. Indulge me, please? I’ll start.
The Boy Who Stole Tomorrow
Truth did not have consequences when we were young, so we exchanged it freely as though playing Ping-Pong. Some days you won. Other days I won. We did not keep score but maintained equilibrium until she came. Then, you made me lose more than I should have.
P.s. Like seriously? Of course there’s no prize, I’m not Oprah! Alright then, just comment on how multimedia content enhances online interaction. See? Told ya! The story option is easier 😉
©Timi Yeseibo 2014
Photo credit: Photo credit: ©Lisa Runnels/www.pixabay.com (used with permission)
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