LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Photographs can help inspire change

Friday, August 17, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — I value the opinions of William E. "Gene" Roberston because he tends to speak from a higher conceptual level than normal, which requires some thought in bringing concepts to a physical manifestation. His commentary on Aug. 14 delineated and clarified an observation that I had made a week before.

In the last week alone, I have noticed three national level photographs that were not advertisements. When I saw the first photograph, I felt a vague discomfort from the imagery. The next two photographs made me wonder if the subtle social messaging was intentional. All three photographs showed a man and a woman with the woman placing her arm and hand on the top of the shoulder of the man. That seems to me to be a proprietary gesture that is more common with children and pets.

Whether one can argue intention is not important. What truly matters is what Mr. Robertson said in the article: "We can plant seeds of constructive thinking and behaviors rather than destructive thinking and behaviors."

This topic might be something readers or students could pursue and observe on a national and international level. Photography has clout and can change the social environment very quickly to one that is inspiring, hopeful and creative in a positive, productive way.

Julia Williams is a Columbia resident. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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