Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Transition from Postmodernism

Now that I’m teaching J210, Visual Communications, it is surprising how short a step it is from teaching about good writing to teaching about great visual rhetorics. In fact, in this transitional period from postmodernism to whatever is coming next, more and more of our rhetorics are visual indeed, thanks in a large part to the power of the Internet (more on this in a moment).

One of the key issues in visual rhetorics, of course, is the quality of the images involved. As J210 develops over the course of this semester, I’ll be getting more and more into photography, and in fact we’ve already started by looking at some photos from such great historical icons as Henri Cartier Bresson, Ernst Hass, and Civil Rights photographer Charles Moore. Two attributes these photographers had in common were a stunning sense of timing plus an uncanny ability to be at the right location (at the right time.) I’ll talk more as the semester unfolds about lighting, a third important attribute of any visual image, but for now let’s stick to timing and location.

Thanks to my life-long buddy Paul Broderick, who served with me in Germany during the Vietnam War, I can simply illustrate what I want to say about timing and location. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! Check out the two photos below the fold, sent to Paul by a friend, by a friend, by a friend, over the Internet (of course). These are shots from the space station, over Florida last fall during the shuttle launch: talk about location and timing!


Post a Comment

<< Home