Many photographers make use of text in their images, whether deliberately or inadvertently photographed. Text often comes into sight in images because it appears almost everywhere: on people's shirts, logos, shop fronts, public transport, book covers, street signs.
Within my research on the use of text in images, I try to find out what a photographer's motive can be to use text and, most importantly, what the effect of the text is on both image and viewers. After all, seeing and reading are two distinct modes of information gathering. We seem to not be able to do both simultaneously. Reading occurs using the rational, logical part of the brain: the left brain. Seeing is much more open for interpretation and is done by the non-logical, intuitive part: the right brain. Combining reading and seeing could result in a collision in the brain.
On the other hand, writing and image making do share the same technology and have common roots. Writing, thus, could also be seen as a visual language. The existence of thousands of typefaces illustrates the fact that writing is a visual language. Text does not only appeal to the mind, but also to the eye.
For my research on this topic I will interview photographers and designers, look into how we/our brains perceive text and images and gather historical information as well as semiotic theory. I will try to compare work of different photographers, experiment with images and text and use a focus group for examining perceptions.
I share my findings on textinvisuals.tumblr.com