Photography in Literature

Photography in LiteratureEvery photograph tells a story and often, stories also contain photographs, images etc. Photographic metaphors, frames of the camera determine the points of view. All these elements have a lot to do with narrative methods. In the early days, people were terrified by photography. How was it possible that an object could be able to “capture” and reproduce exactly a scene of reality? What was that all about? A photograph is nothing more than a very peculiar relationship between time and reality. It can capture a moment that happened, a moment that no longer is but that, at the same time, still exists through its permanence, enclosed on a piece of a paper.

A narrative also captures a moment, but perhaps in a different way. And words are also written on a piece of paper, and through them you can also preserve and save a moment. Moreover, going back to the origins of the word photography, you will find that it is intimately linked with storytelling. The word photo comes from the ancient Greek word foto, meaning “something that comes from light” and the English suffix “graphy” is linked to the Latin and Greek words for writing or field of study. Depending on the type of light, however, the observed scene can be vary greatly.

In many works of modern and contemporary literature, imagery, metaphorical photography and even painters, portraitists and photographers usually appear in different contexts. Perhaps, they are not as abundant as other characters or devices, but their presence definitely has the same importance as the actual narrative. Devices or literary figures, such as images and imagery are very important and authors use words and phrases to create “mental images” for the reader. These images help the reader visualize and experience the narrative more realistically and awaken sensory perceptions.