Magazine article Communication World

Using Abstraction to Portray Employees at War

Magazine article Communication World

Using Abstraction to Portray Employees at War

Article excerpt

Pictorial coverage of employee involvement in the Persian Gulf War continues to flow across my desk. Snapshots of soldiers in Saudi Arabia, stock shots of military equipment in action, welcome-home celebrations. Yet only a handful of images appearing in organizational publications really told the story as it should have been told. Pictures made as photojournalism were hard to come by--corporate editors usually had to rely on what was supplied to them. Thus very few pictures of employee involvement in the Gulf War were able to bring this intensely human event home to readers.

Those that did so, worked primarily because of what they did not show. Photographic abstraction, not description, is the key to involving the imagination of the reader.

Southern Company Highlights (Atlanta, Ga.) ran Mississippi Power's Pat Wylie's shot showing an employee and his son bound for Saudi Arabia that captured the moment of departure. It is quite abstract--we see only hands, arms, faces, part of a truck. One set of hands is frozen, the other blurred--the camera freezes a moment of time forever.

Elsewhere in the same magazine, Alex Irizarry uses abstraction to turn a routine homecoming shot into a poignant moment. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.