Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Pen is Mightier than the Camera?

One of my pictures that I know for certain made a difference when published in Spain, starting a dialogue about the acceptance of gay couples with children. Pictured above: Jeff, Brett and Madeline (clockwise). The four month old baby was conceived by artificial insemination. Both parents are donors; they chose not to know who is the actual blood father. Photo: ©Isaac Hernandez, All Rights Reserved

Well, we´ve heard it before, a picture is worth a thousand words. One picture can change the world. Right. But how many pictures can I take in one day that will change the world? The pen is indeed mightier than the sword. But is the picture mightier than the word? I'd like to think so. Well, I know so. There have been photos that have stopped wars, generated interest to create schools, and stopped injustice. And I'm working on a photographic project that I hope will make its contribution, featuring Difference Makers in the Social, Environmental and Creative fields.

If a picture is really 1000 words, I can produce thousands of words in a fraction of a second. However, will they be significant? Poet Lenore Kandel told me once in an interview that there are too many words out there, and that she only wrote the words that really needed to be said (I'm paraphrasing). Yes, I can "write" thousands of words in the shape of pixels in an instant. Millions of pictures are taken each second in this digital age. Do I really need to add more? I'm enjoying not owning a digital camera these days. Film slows me down to focus on significant subjects.

Which brings me back to writing. I can write 1000 significant words easier than I can take one significant photo, especially having the forum of elmundo.es/america, for which I now serve as West Coast Correspondent. After a few days of official business, I've written about sea lions vanishing from San Francisco, an environmental Mayor that campaigned on bicycle, the possibility of a new abolition of the death penalty in the US (it was already abolished in 1972), the possible legalization of marijuana in California, and new green regulations in the California building code.

These words seem to have started a dialogue among the readers, just like the photos that I took in 2000 of gay families with children started a dialogue in Spain, where several years later gay marriage and adoption was legalized.

1 comment:

  1. The photodifference.com project belongs to me, please remove misleading information from your blog. I can see them all.
    Thanks
    Greg

    ReplyDelete