Jason Fulford on Visual Language: How Pictures Speak to Each Other


Jason Fulford, Scranton, PA, 2009

“Everywhere there is a grammatical mysticism. Grammar. It is not only the human being that speaks—the universe also speaks—everything speaks—unending languages.”

The single photograph, despite its specificity, remains ambiguous. The image is always relative to something else: another image, the mode of presentation, text, or the viewer’s own mood and memory. For this reason, context is an important tool for the photographer. Context can be used either to play on the photograph’s inherent ambiguity, or to clarify the photographer’s message. In this hands-on workshop, participants will discuss and experiment with visual language and the relationship between images. On day one, participants engage in a series of games and exercises that will teach them conceptual editing tools using found imagery. On day two, participants will work on their own and each other’s personal work.

In advance of the workshop, participants must send twenty-five found photographs and twenty-five of their own photographs, the latter preferably from a single body of work. Images may be sent to education@aperture.org.

Jason Fulford is a photographer and cofounder of J&L Books. He is a contributing editor to Blind Spot magazine and a frequent lecturer at universities. Monographs of his work include Sunbird (2000), Crushed (2003), Raising Frogs For $$$ (2006), The Mushroom Collector (2010), and Hotel Oracle (2013). He is coeditor with Gregory Halpern of The Photographer’s Playbook (Aperture, 2014), and coauthor with Tamara Shopsin of the photography book for children This Equals That (Aperture, 2014). Fulford is also a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient.

Tuition: $500 ($450 for currently enrolled photography students and Aperture Members at the $250 level and above)

This workshop has been filled. Please click here to explore more workshops. Contact education@aperture.org with any questions.

General Terms and Conditions
Please refer to all information provided regarding individual workshop details and requirements. Registration in any workshop will constitute your agreement to the terms and conditions outlined.

Aperture workshops are intended for adults 18 years or older.

If the workshop includes lunch, attendees are asked to notify Aperture at the time of registration regarding any special dietary requirements.


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Aperture reserves the right to take photographs or videos during the operation of any educational course or part thereof, and to use the resulting photographs and videos for promotional purposes.

By booking a workshop with Aperture Foundation, participants agree to allow their likenesses to be used for promotional purposes and in media; participants who prefer that their likenesses not be used are asked to identify themselves to Aperture staff.


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Aperture workshops must be paid for in advance by credit card, cash, or debit card. All fees are non-refundable if you should choose to withdraw from a workshop less than one month prior to its start date, unless we are able to fill your seat. In the event of a medical emergency, please provide a physician’s note stating the nature of the emergency, and Aperture will issue you a credit that can be applied to future workshops. Aperture reserves the right to cancel any workshop up to one week prior to the start date, in which case a full refund will be issued. A minimum of eight students is required to run a workshop.


Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Equipment
Please act responsibly when using any equipment provided by Aperture. We recommend, for instance, that refreshments be kept at a safe distance from all electrical appliances.

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