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Photography as Visual Poetry: Using Pixels Instead of Words

by  Editor Rob Darby

“Memories of Modest Emotion” by Delphine Devos


“Windy weather” by Greetje van Son

Visual Poetry, or Concrete Poetry, is a particular genre of prose written in such a way that the words/stanzas form a pattern, usually related to the subject-matter of the poem, such as this poem called “Bye.”


For this article, I have taken “poetic license” to describe photography in the terms of Visual Poetry. To me, I can’t think of a more apt description of photography.


“Never Ceasing Whisper of the Sea” by Yvette Depaepe


“Lost inside” by Cecy Jup


“smoke on the water” by Roswitha Schleicher-Schwarz

Photography is an artistic cousin of Visual Poetry. Pixels (I will use a digital example here) are the “words,” and the foundation of a photograph. A photographic image, then, is the alchemy of light, the physical world and the unique perspective of the photographer.


“My Mother, My Best Friend” by Zuhair Al Shammaa


“The last passenger” by Marc Apers


"Rainy and Misty” by Marek Boguszak


n/t by Veselin Atanosov


“Fall Impression #2” by Austin Li

Photography uses visual imagery to convey a story, a mood, or an idea without the freedom of words to aid us. We are challenged by the limitations of light, visual composition, and the scene itself to “write” the poetry we see with our eyes using a camera instead of a pen. Like the creative process of writing a poem, many versions end up as crumpled pieces of paper in a waste bin or, in the case of photography, as images sent to virtual trash bins on our computer.

The most successful images (and poems!) touch us because they provide a lyrical expression of our world that resonates on an emotional level. Like a poet, a photographer documents the human condition, captures the breathtaking power and beauty of nature, shares a mood, or tells us a story from their unique perspective.


“Rome” by Carmine Chiriacò


“the dream” by Thomas Vanoost


“In lonely cities live lonely men 7” by Adrian Donoghue

Making a selection for this article was challenging and humbling. There are so many examples of images on 1X that tell a story, evoke emotion, and, frankly, reminded this author of the infinite creativity of humans. What was interesting, however, was that poetry and photography are often linked in images on 1x: the image’s title may be a shard of a known poem, the image title reads as if it is the start of a poem, or the word “poetry” is a keyword or part of the image’s title. What was universal, however, is the fact that the images were themselves “Visual Poetry.”


“Shimmering reflections” by Yvette Depaepe


“Not With A Bang But A Wimper” by Michael Bilotta


“Peace” by yousefnorouzi


“I've Heard the Mermaids Singing” by Rob Darby

To be sure, creating art is not, generally speaking, as straightforward as saying “I think I will create a piece of art today!” Instead, we conceptualize an idea and begin a journey fraught with challenges to turn an idea into the expression we envisioned or that evolved through the creative process.


“Breaking the Sky” by Marc Adamus


n/t by Veselin Atanasov


“The desolation of ancient times” by Bingo Z

As photographers, some days the light does not cooperate and what we conceptualized is not possible, but may lead in a new and equally creative direction. We use the palette the universe gives us to “write” a different narrative. Perhaps this helps us grow as photographers, as visual poets, as we document our interpretations of the world through a viewfinder.


“Immersed in invisibility” by Izis


“What we can’t speak, we say in silence” by Ruslan Bolgov (Axe)


“Calle Cuba” by Roxana Labagnara


“Oradour, 1950” by José C. Lobato


“...those dark days...” by Charlaine Gerber


“Spirit of Dance” by Nuno Borges


“Flow!” by swapnil.


“Red Umbrella” by Ivan Huang


“Portrait face off” by Mikhail Potapov


“Jaisalmer” by Lou Urlings


“After rain comes sunshine” by Huib Limberg


I am so glad to see one of my images included. Thank you Very much, It's a great honor to me.
What a beautiful surprise was to see one of my images included in this note, among so many wonderful artists, I am honored!! Thank you Yvette and congratulations to all!
Thank you for including one of my images!
Michael - Apparently we are both fans of TS Eliot. I love your image and the title is perfect. Regards, Rob
Thank you Ivan. Your work “speaks” for itself. Have a great week. Kind Regards.
Great article Rob. Thank you for sharing and choosing one of my works.
Bingo Z CREW
Great content. It's a great honor to see a photo of me. Thank you.
Thank you BingoZ. Your image was perfect for the article. Regards, Rob
Very well written... and amazing list of examples. Thank You for choosing mine as well )
Thank you Axe. I am glad you enjoyed it.
This article with all those splendid 'poems' really touched my heart. Thank you so much!
Thank you Katarina. Have a wonderful weekend.
Love this article. Thanks so much Yvette and Rob! Congratulations to all the authors. So glad to see one my teacher's image was selected ("“The desolation of ancient times” by Bingo Z") Cheers.
Janice - I love your work and was so happy to include your wonderful image. Have a great weekend. Rob
Dear Rob: I am taking class with BingoZ. That was his image not mine. I am a new comer to Thank you for your article. Very interesting. Janice
Indeed, my mistake. Having said that, I took a look at your portfolio and liked it very much. You have a very delicate and distinctive style. Good luck! Rob
Dear Rob: Thank you very much for your kind words. It means a lot to me. Much appreciated. Best Regards. Janice
And thanks Yvette as always, for everything, for all the good you do. Greetings dear friend.
Excellent article Rob. Some texts that reflect in the best way the idea of photography. I share it completely. And thanks for having me with one of my images. Greetings and thanks for such a brilliant work.
Thanks José. I am glad you related to it. Means a lot to me.
Thank you for sharing !
Have a wonderful weekend Jorge. Rob
Superb serial of images, thank you for sharing!!
Thank you Jacob. One of the best things about writing an article is getting to “curate” the many amazing images on 1X. It is both humbling and inspiring. Have a great weekend. Rob
Thnak you very much Yvette and Rob! Congratulations to all! Best Regards
Best to you Veselin. Have a wonderful weekend.
Thanks so much for choosing one of my pictures! It's an honor! Congratulations to all the authors.
No thanks necessary Cecy. Have a wonderful weekend.
Thank you for choosing one of my pictures for these beautifull poetry series. Rob. The complete selection is reayl wonderful!! And thanks for Yvette for this publication.
No thanks, Greetje ;-) Have a great weekend!!!
No thanks necessary Greetje. Thank you for sharing your work!
Thank you for an excellent poetic journey, and for using my photo....its a huge compliment!
Best to you Charlaine. Have a great weekend.
thanks so much Yvette and Rob! congrats to all
Thanks for your appreciation, Carmine!
Thank you Carmine. Have a wonderful weekend.
Cool selection! I thank Rob and Yvette for their work. Good day everyone!
My pleasure, Mikhail!
Thank you Michael. Have a great weekend.
Thanks for taking us on this nice poetic journey, Rob. Great to start the weekend with a gallery of excellent images. Real "food for the soul". Congratulations to all the authors. Cheers, Yvette
Thank you, My Friend, for the helpful critique and “shaping” of this article. I took great pleasure in writing it, but even more, I enjoyed curating the amazing images of the authors.