This week, a friend in the Blog-o-sphere who writes under the pen name of RulesOfLogic weighs in on photography along with a couple of comments on his favorite topic, automobiles. I discovered his blog several months ago and have enjoyed reading his take on classic automobiles. As an aficionado of classic cars, I usually have a comment or two about his posts (though mine is definitely not an “expert opinion.”) You can read his blog, “Disaffected Musings” here.
Without further ado, I present RulesOfLogic.
So, How Many Words Is A Picture Worth?
No, the post title is not the setup for a punchline like in this commercial, which may be my favorite ever. (“Ah one, ah ta-hoo, ah three. [Crunch] three.”) Even though I am a numbers nerd with OCD, I would not want to be guilty of “Breaking A Butterfly Upon A Wheel” to use Pope’s famous line.
The power of pictures is undeniable. They can create the entire gamut of emotion. Look at this IMDB picture of the beautiful Melanie L Lewis:
To me, this photo is more magnificent than any painting. I am happy when I see this picture and not in an unseemly way. However, without the photo, I would not have this tangible artifact of an example of the beauty of women.
Another example of a photograph that creates joy and awe would be this one I took in photobyjohnbo’s winter residence of Arizona in March of 2020:
I do not possess photobyjohnbo’s ability to compose and to create photos, but in this example, nature and man combined to generate an amazing image. By the way, I don’t compose photographs. That is a skill beyond me. I see an image I like, I try to make sure the lighting is good and that I don’t stick my finger in the frame. These computers we all carry around are amazing although I think the vast majority of us take them for granted at this point.
Of course, photography has the power to sadden and to shock us. I haven’t been in a position to take such a picture, and hope I never am, but such photos can remind us how fleeting and how sad life can be. Below is the famous picture taken by Richard Drew of Associated Press called The Falling Man. It shows a man seemingly having jumped from the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11.
As sad as an image as it is, it is also difficult not to stare at it.
Hearing Shakespeare’s famous words in my head, “This above all: to thine own self be true,” I will show three photos on a subject near and dear to me and one of the few in which I have genuine knowledge.
Above are two fuzzy photos of my first car, a 1967 Pontiac GTO, taken in front of my dorm in my second year in college. (I will not bore you with why I wrote “second” year instead of sophomore year. If you really want to know, you can read this.)
These pictures bring back very strong memories, so strong that I can go back to the day these pictures were taken, back to the days when I owned this car. I don’t think an oral narration can have the same effect.
The ’67 Goat was the beginning of my car ownership. So, where am I now? How about this:
This is my 2016 Corvette Z06. Hoping I’m not jinxing myself or ruining my karma, I can say it’s the best car I’ve ever owned and my favorite car of the ones I’ve owned.
Such a car was inconceivable to me when I owned the GTO. When I see this picture or others of my Z06, I am very happy and proud, hopefully not to the point of hubris.
The answer to the question of how many words a picture is worth is like so many things in life. It all depends and it usually doesn’t matter, anyway. Despite my “love” of numbers, I would never want to be accused of being a person who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.