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

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

 

For two days Jason Fulford guided participants through in-depth discussions and hands-on activities centered around the processes of editing and sequencing images. On the first day, Fulford introduced a handful of exercises using found images and words that were designed to open students’ minds and allow them to make new associations. These activities proved to be both humorous and helpful for photographers who wish to view their work with fresh eyes, aiding students in thinking unconventionally and recognizing that a viewer will see images differently than their creator does. On the second day, students took part in editing and sequencing each others’ personal portfolios, offering proposals on how the work could be presented as an exhibition or book. Students gained insight into alternate meanings in their own work as well as a deeper understanding of how to listen to their gut when sequencing, finding the rhythm and motion of each group of photographs.

“There is meaningful depth in play.”

 

“Excellent instructor who helps you figure out ways to order/pair photos that you previously never thought of.”

 

“You can learn a new way to see a body of work and can help realign your sense of perception.”

 

“Definitely worth taking this! Get a lot out of it—makes your mind more nimble.”

 

—Workshop participants

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.

 

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