Photography Writing

Duplicating Images

Something said to me in comments about Emily Dickinson sent me scrambling online for information, as well as to the library for several books focusing on her life. I expected to find that her life was interesting. I didn’t expect to find such an incredibly sad story.

Oh, not sad if you read this biographer or that, but it is if you read the letters: to her, from her, about her. Eventually I want to write about my impressions, but I have to sort them out into some form of coherency first. Additionally, I’d hoped to have photographs to annotate the story.

I am finding a growing dependency on my photos to fill in where words cannot. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not: shouldn’t words be able to live independent of images? Or images without words?

I don’t know if it was the influence of W.G. Sebald’s books such as the Rings of Saturn or Austerlitz (or that of Emigrants and Vertigo, which I hope to add to my small collection someday) that led to my growing interest in annotating my writing with photos (or perhaps I’m annotating my photos with words). Few writers have impacted on me as much as he has, but I have no interest in duplicating his style of writing (as if I could anyway, it is so uniquely him). But his use of photos and other images in the stories – it was wonderful.

I do know that writing now, without the use of accompanying photos feels incomplete, lifeless. Probably a phase I’m going through. My Photo Period. Next year I’ll write only in stanzas, and you’ll scream for the pictures.

In fact, I don’t have a photo for this writing. How uncomfortable. I suppose I’ll have to find a copy of the one official photo of Emily and paste it at the bottom. Or perhaps I’ll include the newly discovered photo supposedly of Emily, discussed in How I Met and Dated Miss Emily Dickinson. (Ignore the overly cute title, the story is good.)

Eventually, I have a feeling that I will stop all writing without some accompanying image, and vice versa; including my technical writing, which should make it rather unique in form and format.

(I wonder what type of photo one would use to accompany pages of RDF/XML? Something cryptic and complex but rather Important, I’m sure. Giant squid photos come to mind.)

Unfortunately, my photographs are being held up because a film scanner I ordered from B & H in New York didn’t work when I received it. Equally unfortunate, B & H is taking far too long to process the return. In the meantime, I have both slides and negatives I want to digitalize but can’t because of no scanner. I’d kick something in frustration, but this would most likely be inadvisable.

I guess I’ll just have to go out this week with my digital and see what new vistas I can find that don’t require a great deal of walking.

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