Reflection on Visual Literacy & Dorothea Lange

Images and literacy never seemed like two words that would go together to me.  However, after watching the video, I can definitely understand how pictures can sometimes mean more than words.  The images around us help us to define other images and ideas throughout our lives.  I can see how this can affect children with different Socioeconomic Statuses.  Perhaps our outlooks on life are created by our level of visual literacy.  This video showed how a picture really can be worth a thousand words.

Dorothea Lange’s story on capturing the Migrant Mother showed me that one photo can change millions of perspectives.  While the mother in the photo had become such a phenomenon, she was one of many who wore similar expressions–only hers was cemented in a photograph.  Dorothea took the photographs in terrible conditions, but it only enhanced the image she captured.  Had Dorothea just written down what she had seen that day, it would not have had the same impact as a visual aid that others could empathize with.  Dorothea’s experience shows that, if inspiration strikes, pick up a camera!

Photoblitz Reflection

Photoblitzing was fun!  However, it was much more difficult than I expected.  I can only imagine the frustrations that photographers go through daily, having to deal with different lightings and difficult subjects.  I decided to complete my Photoblitz in my living room and kitchen.  I had decided to use these places in my house because I thought they would have the most amount of objects that I could work with.  However, I would find that it was not the subjects that made the photos, but the technique.

I was also hoping that the natural light from the afternoon would help with my photos.  However, it was a very gloomy day and some of the photos were difficult to attempt.  I had many ideas of what I wanted to do, but many of them did not turn out the way I visualized.  I was very interested in finding a strange shadow in my kitchen, but the lighting wouldn’t allow for the photo to come through.  I also had some difficult subjects, my dogs.  Taking the picture where the subject is still but the camera was moving was the most difficult.  It took me almost five minutes to move my camera in a way that you were still able to see the subject.

The photos that I thought turned out the best were ones I wasn’t expecting.  The photo of my pond through the window turned out great.  I was playing around with angles in my kitchen and couldn’t get anything that struck my interest.  But once I saw the fish were out, I knew I had to snap a photo.  I found that using different angles would help my other photos too.  I also really liked the photo of the chair in the bright light.  While I wasn’t thinking about what was being portrayed in the photo (other than the bright light), I was pleasantly surprised.  I took the photo sitting on the ground, in an attempt to capture the lightbulb but found that the green chair looked really nice as well.  I was also able to see my living room (the red room) from a new perspective.  Maybe I’ll stand in corners more often to see what else I’m missing.