Is a picture worth a thousand words? In fact, what is a picture worth these days when we are subjected to images from every direction? Photography has come to us all. We are all photographers. And what is the point of photography? If a photograph creates and emotional reaction in us, then it has been worthwhile and there is a point to it.
I've always had the greatest admiration for photographers that cover war and conflict, partly because I've frankly never had the guts to do it myself but mostly because they have told stories and given us an insight into what goes on in the world, what is happening in parts of this planet that we otherwise would never know about.
I recently came across two pieces of work that reminded me what a valuable contribution to society these photographers bring. We should all be thankful that these people put their lives at risk, particularly in light of recent middle eastern events. The first is a video from eminent photographer James Natchwey. His words and delivery are without prejudice and ego and his photographs really are worth a thousand words.
The second is a small book I spotted this week. It's from the photographer Christoph Bangert and it's titled War Porn. I think the title trivialises what is a book of hard hitting pictures, some of which one may find disturbing. It is however an arresting series of photographs that remind you just how important it is to record mans inhumanity to man. If it was not for these brave men and women we would all be ignorant of these things. So, is a picture worth a thousand words, in these cases, definitely. Of all the billions of images taken and uploaded every day, very very few are worth the time of day. One could now probably say, is a word worth a thousand pictures?