How Images Frame


“When words become unclear I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ~ Ansel Adams

Meaning “reflection in a mirror”, the word image is early 14th century. The mental sense was in Latin, and appears in English language in the late 14c.

What we see has a profound effect on what we do, how we feel and who we are. Images can be impressive and compelling. They grab our attention. While reading takes work, the brain visually processes much faster.


Images help educate. They enhance stories. And not surprisingly, vision is the far most active of the senses. Yet, do you intentionally create time to reflect on images and the empathy they can evoke? The teaching moment? Or the underlying sentiment?

When you seek to conjure memories or arouse emotions, do you find it challenging to find descriptive words? Rather than struggle with words, does an image more easily convey feeling, inspiration or thought? There is a reason that we are drawn to the works of photographers, illustrators and painters; there is promise, potential and reality in their renditions.


Think about it. Would you rather go deaf or blind? To live in silence is difficult but to live in darkness would be devastating. There are messages in images, sometimes deep themes. Just as the adage “Stop and smell the roses” encourages us to pause and appreciate, perhaps some willful breathing space could awaken you to an image’s more nuanced meaning and significance. Just maybe?

When contemplating how you frame images or how images frame your perceptions, considering these points may be helpful:

  1. Images don’t actually change; only what we think about it has. There can be plausible, alternative interpretations.
  2. Be aware of intentional image use in marketing and advertising. The subliminal message may be far from the accompanying, pleasing visual.
  3. Your unique experiences leading up to the moment you encounter an image will shape your appreciation of it. Like what you like, even if you’re not sure why, or can’t put the reason to words.

To close, a warming (perhaps to some) image…

Opening photo: Il cielo in una stanza (2013) credit Loris Rizzi

Two Requests from Eric

“Invisible threads are the strongest ties.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

This blogging experience is wildly fulfilling. The connections that have been created with readers and writers are gratifying and your thoughtful comments are equal parts warming and appreciated. To the above graphic, this is going horribly right. 🙂

In an earlier this evening conversation, a valued colleague made an interesting observation about the Awakening to Awareness blog. She sang its praises (and I know she would not have if she thought otherwise), yet she wondered if it wasn’t short on an important facet – that being me. She asked if there was an opportunity to infuse posts with more “personal examples,” as a way to more deeply engage or to connect with you on an even greater level. So I am inviting you to tell me what you think. If the posts stand on their own, as they have been written, please say so. If they need to reflect more of my experiences and thus, personalize a given topic, you are welcome to share your thoughts on that as well.

My second request, while for all readers, may be easier to answer for those who have followed this blog for a while. I’d like to know which one or two posts have resonated with or had the greatest impact for you? Even more meaningful feedback would be if you could share how the post affected or inspired you. If you’d prefer to communicate your thoughts privately, please feel free to email me.

The basis for my second question: I am writing a book and want to focus on blog topics that are most meaningful to others. As a savvy readership and thoughtful audience, I look to you to be comfortably open to providing (your) candid impressions.

From my heart, thank you for your willingness to share what you believe and how you feel about this blog.