photography, writing and the spaces between
The Literate Lens is a weekly blog that investigates connections between photography, art and literature, aiming to bring more depth to the cultural conversation around camera art.
Welcome! I’m Sarah Coleman, a writer and editor based in New York City. I’ve always been interested in both literature and visual art, especially photography. For many years I wrote about books, art, film and photography for a number of publications including Salon, the San Francisco Chronicle, Art News, New York Newsday and Photo District News. I still contribute to some of those publications and I’m also now getting back to my Fiction MFA roots by writing a novel set during the early days of documentary photography.
I’m fascinated by the way photographs convey information. A successful documentary or art photograph combines formal visual elements with powerful content to tell a story. It offers us a chance to observe our fellow humans in depth and, like great literature, demands empathy from us. It exerts its own emotional pull, but is usually more complicated than it first appears.
The Literate Lens stands at the junction of photography, art and writing. It probes beyond the surface of photographs, analyzing their social elements along with their artistry. It draws connections between photographic images, other art forms and the literary texts that shed light on them.
My journalism web site is here.
Header image by Akbar Sim.