As recent passages here — TERRA and The Library of Ice — hint, my reading’s had an Arctic preoccupation recently. I’ve never been north of 60o, so my polar regions are imaginary zones. Although reading is intensely visual, photographs still jolt my every-day, word-fed way of ‘seeing’ the distant world. I’ve dabbled in photography, but my brother does the real thing, and I’m envious of his skills and travels. I’d forgotten his recent Iceland trip, my anticipation of his new images and, checking his website, there they were: freshly discovered places that others’ words had been walking me toward.
In Picture this: How pictures work, Molly Bang says: “Pictures that affect us strongly use structural principles based on the way we have to react in the real world in order to survive. As soon as you understand these, you will understand why pictures have such specific emotional effects.” Of course, viewers don’t need to understand why pictures work to experience their emotional impact. But understanding enhances, and her guide opens the way.
“We exist outside the picture until our eyes fix on an object inside it, and we are ‘captured’ by it. The object draws us to itself inside the picture space.”