photography — derived from the Greek words photos meaning light and graphe meaning drawing

George Eastman Museum — Photographic Processes Series

Ellen Leathers-Wishart — Tintype Photographer

Fanny Boucher — Héliograveur

I think it’s hugely important to talk about the history of the medium because it’s not quite a universal language, and the idea that we’re all visually literate is not quite true. We can all probably extract some very basic level of information from photographs but I think you have to learn to understand how images work and how images are constructed. Who made the picture, why did they make the picture, who edited the picture, who cropped the picture, who captioned the picture, what pictures did they leave out, what pictures are being censored?

It’s a malleable medium, and I think people need to be aware of that. That’s one of the big goals in visual literacy is for people to understand how many different ways you can make and use and understand any kind of image. There’s nothing like it, there’s no other experience like it because when we’re walking around the world, you don’t have time to see everything around you.

— Marvin Heiferman