Download the curious-eye PDF file of Basic Camera Controls



Photography, like any other visual medium, provides the maker with a vehicle for communication.

The subject matter of a photograph is selected by the photographer in the context of a particular time and a particular place, and for a particular purpose.

It is the work of the viewer with a 'curious-eye' to know as much as possible about a photograph's contexts so that s/he can make real meaning from the photographs he/she reads. It is important that he/she also be aware of his/her own personal context, and recognises what he/she brings to the interface, between image and viewer, where perception occurs.

It is the work of the photographer with a 'curious-eye' to recognise the potential affect, influence and/or power of his/her photographs on others.

Thirty years ago, David Curl in Photocommunication - A Guide to Creative Photography proposed that photography is "the closest thing we have to a universal language."

He recognised that there are cultural variations in the way people respond to photographic images, but noted that "photographs transcend most social boundaries". He saw photography as a vehicle for transference of information and for education; and recognised its "power to tempt and persuade us".

He saw it as one of the "most potent means of communication" and recognised the importance of knowing when "a photographer is speaking to us with facts and when he is speaking to us in visual simile or in visual metaphor".