A picture tells a thousand words … or does it

When I was growing up, life was simpler. You knew where you stood so that you could wipe that smile off the other side of your face and be that early bird that catches the worm. Otherwise the wind would change and you’d stay that way. If you weren’t whisked up the faraway tree, that is.

In that black and white, yet strangely rose-tinted 70’s world, a picture also tells a thousand words. Which was bad news for me as I couldn’t draw and even Pagemaker hadn’t been invented yet.

But it made sense. It was also a good excuse to read a book as boringly earnest as Storm Boy, and just look at the pictures. Who doesn’t love pelican pictures?!

Segueway to WordPress in 2013. There is a weekly challenge called, strangely enough, the Weekly Photo Challenge, which I do on my other blog (shameless plug for www.bikewalkeat.com). I really like it as it’s a chance to connect with bloggers from all over the world and check out their blogs and take on life, in general. It’s also a chance to dust off some of those old photos. The premise it, each week a word is given as a challenge and you post a photo. Recent challenges have been words like Unique, Home, Beyond, Love … you get the picture.

Here’s the point – I reckon the point is to decide on that single photo that encapsulates the idea of say, Home. But many people post photo essays. Many of the bloggers are outstanding photographers and the galleries are a joy to look at. They clearly spend lots of time arranging these galleries – time they could spend drinking wine and gazing into the middle distance.

I haven’t read the fineprint, but I reckon a single word challenge on as broad a subject as, say Home, deserves a single photo entry. I also reckon it’s part of the photography process – making a technical and emotional decision on what captures the brief best.

But, I could be wrong. What do you reckon?

ABC self-promotion channeling commercial networks

My remote is stuck on the ABC. I hate advertisements and most of the time ABC (and SBS) shows are better anyway.

But lately I’ve noticed that the ABC is big on talking itself up. Smug promo after smug promo run between programs. Some shows are not even starting on the half hour, as the ABC is too busy promoting The Slap, Crownies or just generally talking itself up. Big time.

This just doesn’t feel right. I’m used to the ABC of my childhood, where the ABC was modest, self-effacing and stuck to the facts. If there was any self-promotion, it was the test pattern. For hours.

This bright, shiny, uber-confident ABC is so far up its own yinyang, that I just don’t know it anymore. It’s like the Managing Director has been to a conference where they told everyone to talk themselves up, before walking on hot coals.

It’s not working, it’s just not cricket and it’s definitely not the ABC.