Photo Challenge #1 – Words

I’m here to tell you about my experience with Photo Challenge #1; adding words to a photograph. As Kristina mentioned earlier, the relationship between words and images is complicated. While we might be trained to read the words first, a picture is also worth a 1,000 words. With these two competing concepts in mind, how do I choose words worthy of an image?

These were the thoughts swirling through my mind as I’ve been thinking about which image to choose. I felt the photo needed to be an image with no obvious story, an image open to interpretation and of course horizontal because I would be using it here on the blog.

I eventually settled on an image and I have been visualizing it in my minds eye for the last two weeks thinking about what story might be hidden within. I have also been asking myself a series of questions. What was I feeling when I took the photo? What was happening at the time I took the photo? What was my original intent in creating this image? Could the answers to any of these questions help me create an interesting story line that would enhance the image? The original instructions were clear: “create something that doesn’t destroy the magic of the photograph. …Do not use adjectives or fancy words. Do not explain the picture; enhance it.”

Dragon at sunrise WM

“When he awoke that morning, he was engulfed by a mist that obscured the world and filled him with a silence so complete it confirmed what he already knew… he was alone. “

I am not sure how I would rate my attempt at words and images. Did I explain the picture too much? I probably did. Did I enhance the photo? Yes, because I understand this image better now with the words added. Do the words add value for the viewer? I hope so. Is it more work to add words? Without a doubt! Creating words that are simple, that will not destroy the magic of a photo is a difficult task, but it’s a task I will be doing more of in 2016. Like Kristina, I find I enjoyed the process.

~ xxSJC

Have you tried to add words to an image? How did it work out?

Did you enjoy this first challenge? Should we continue on? 

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Lyn Miller-Lachmann
8 years ago

I find this to be an effective use of text, Shelly, because it sets the photo at a moment in a chain of events, which the photo alone cannot do. “When he awoke…” implies that something happened in the past to change the dragon’s situation, and “…he was alone” leaves the reader wondering what he will do next. Nice job of storytelling using words and pictures!

8 years ago

I really love the end of the text and felt something I couldn’t describe reading it and looking at the picture at the same time.

Otherwise I received your book today and loved reading the stories of the Chima little guys! I hope you’ll soon receive mine ;-)

Leila (Brickandmordor)

I agree with Lyn’s perspective. Great storytelling which completely enhances the image. I am instantly immersed and want to know/see what happened before and what will happen next!

ps. I’m slowly catching up on blogs I missed last month. What a whirlwind December was!

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