Ways of seeing
Posted by Olena Fedyuk on April 03 2014
After reading in the eNews about Radek’s entry into the Images of Research Competition 2014 with his photograph I have dug up some of the sources I have been using, when trying to make sense of how my own images, taken during the field-work, informed my writing.
I'd like to share here: “Ways of seeing”, a short documentary by “Master” Burger himself on how images work their magic.
PS. Radek, I will vote for your image!
15 April 2014 11:50
Very interesting look on image by John Berger. I've seen only the first part so far but already thought I would write down short reflections. I think the quote "Everything around the image is part of its meaning. It’s uniqueness is part of a uniqueness of a single place where it is. Everything around it confirms and consolidates its meaning" - is particularly important for us playing with visual sociology. Images on its own do not convey the full meaning so in our fieldwork we have to try as much as it is possible to capture and present to the reader the uniqueness of a place where the was taken so that it's full meaning can be appreciated.
P.S. Thanks for votes :)
15 April 2014 16:11
"Everything around the image is part of its meaning. It’s uniqueness is part of a uniqueness of a single place where it is. Everything around it confirms and consolidates its meaning"
I agree, Radek, it is a key phrase. If you want to read more into it I highly recommend the following book: Sarah Pink (2001). Doing Ethnography: Images, Media and Representation in Research. London: Sage, 196 pages. YOu can read a review here: http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR15-4/pink.pdf
I think what Berger also means by this quote is not only about the faithful rendering of "a place" but about the alteration and manipulation that the author's perception of the place, the choice of frame, the ways of presenting the image does to its content. The added layer of meanings then comes from the audience's own interpretation.
What I though was really important for us, dealing with visual in our research is to remember that we cannot use the image instead of a text, because "pictures are just so much more telling". Images are the TEXT in themselves, and one needs to learn to "write" that text, precisely through the choice of frame, context of presentation, and a function to the image.
Lets continue this conversation!