PHOTOSPEAK! : Photography and Documentation




The old cliché is right: a picture tells a thousand words. And, thousands more! Photographs do much more than capture moments in time. Photographs add authenticity to text, the spoken word and are a visual record of things- known, unknown and unnoticed. Images transcend language barriers and weave a powerful narrative of the history and culture of a place and its people. As a tool for recording and understanding history it is “all of the above”. 

Increasingly, with the passage of time and the loss of cultural artefacts, historical projects and patrimony have become indelibly intertwined. It is certainly not urban legend that many countries have come to realise the loss of national information to cultures with enough assets, cognisance and timing to purchase the rights. The question is asked rhetorically for example: How many rights does Jamaica own to the works of Bob Marley?

 The painful lessons of the past have been learnt. The importance of documenting and keeping records is being realised and countries and organisations are spending large sums of money to ensure that national heritages are preserved. Information and communication technology (ICT) is a powerful ally in this regard– new and emerging technologies are creating electronic tools and platforms that enable a variety of digital initiatives by libraries, archives and other similar institutions. These are now being used to collect, store and share information though the processes of scanning, electronic audio and video files-sharing, databases etc. Great effort is being made to reduce the scatter of photographic images, restore, preserve, digitise and store them in databases for storage and retrieval. Best of all, an impressive percentage of these efforts and energies are making the news.

This blog  provides commentary and critical appreciation on the headliners: photographic documentation projects and preservation activities that are making the news. It will promote the importance of preserving one’s cultural heritage by way of visual documentation and share the work being done by others to document and preserve patrimony.


Hopefully the zest that created this blog will be contagious.





26 Responses to “PHOTOSPEAK! : Photography and Documentation”

  1. Selwyn Rodulfo Says:


    Congrats on your work.


  2. Persia Says:

    A worthwhile effort. Look forward to reading more posts. P.

  3. Vibes Says:

    I Like the photos shown. Best wishes

  4. Geri Holder Says:

    I love the layout, I think it is quite innovative. How about adding some of the work that is going on here in T&T.

    • Hi Gerada! Thanks for your comment. I was hoping to feature something local in the early posts but nothing was actually making the news at the moment. Thankfully Indian Arrival Day activities did cause honorable mention of one project in the Newsday, which is what will be featured next. Thanks again.

  5. A couple of layout issues. Reading white on gray is not a good idea. And I am not sure the font, in the current size and leading, for the main text is heavy enough for the black background. I love the orange and the photos really pop. Visually, it is gorgeous.

    • Petal…. it must be something at your end. At this end of the pond there is no white on grey just colour on black! 🙂

      I have to admit that I had to endlessly tweak the design of the blog to give it a “Niala” look and feel.

      I have no control ( I think) of the layout. Any techie ambitions I’ve ever had were drained in the 6 hours that it took me to read and properly apply some of those non-generic blog features features you see in my widgets column. Did I mention I also had to have a command of the jargon? This is useful when consulting the blog support.

      Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate the time you took to evaluate the project. Cheers!

  6. Sheldon Says:

    Congrats on your new blog Niala!
    Very professional and informative.
    Keep up the good work!

  7. Gruvee Says:

    Great photos.
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Nareena Says:

    Wow Niala, this truly is your work, everything looks so professional.

  9. This is a very interesting and informative web site. I wish you all the best in your success and endeavor with your project.

  10. Marissa Says:

    Hey…I really like the layout…good job

    • Thanks. I can’t claim 100% credit here as most blogs have generic features and layout. But for this same reason I wanted a look and feel that was intrinsically ‘me’ so I used colour and contrast to create what I hope is a memorable look. It also helped that I have a small knowldge of newspaper layout.

      lol…. creative arts librarians don’t die…they create blogs!

  11. Shamin Says:


    I can appreciate the time you took to have the blog reflect your creative nature. The photos have the perspective of someone who loves photography. Good luck and all success in this venture.


  12. nice work white on black alittle hard to read but its nice visually

  13. Nadra Says:

    Interesting blog I must say.
    You mention Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It makes me think we often take technology for granted in a range of different ways. Cameras and photos are almost as a universal language. People of different languages and cultures can understand what’s going on in a country through a simple a picture, without having to read a caption. Indeed photography is a very powerful tool.There are even cameras used by medical specialists in the process of taking photos to diagnose patients and performing the invaluable corrective procedures. Imagine cameras can explore the insides of your body!! A lot of people think only about the warm Caribbean sea, the beauty or the memories captured by a photo when actually thinking about photography, but the value and importance of photography extends to far beyond just one’s personal memories…

    • Thanks Nadra. I hope that the energies that created this blog would sustain it for along time so that I could highlight the work being done worldover to preserve memories, heritage, times that cannot be returned. 😉

  14. Jayna Says:

    Photography…what a thing! It is something that CAN also be considered to assist in making or breaking one’s career!!!…..

  15. Varesha Says:

    Cool blog, keep up the good work Niala!

  16. This is really, really cool Niala.
    I am looking forward to more of your articles.
    You must teach me how to do this.

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