from the eMusings Archive...

Volume 2 • Number 1 • April, 2009

Lilies #93, 2009

A Picture is Worth 10,000 Words

A Picture is Worth 10,000 Words

by Huntington Witherill

As writers become more numerous, it is natural for readers to become more indolent.
– Oliver Goldsmith- 1759.

A picture is worth ten thousand words.
– Fred R. Barnard- 1927

Soon after the first issue of eMusings was sent out I had a call from a friend in Oklahoma who exclaimed, “Hey, I love your new newsletter.” I thanked him profusely and then asked, out of curiosity, “Did you actually read it?” He replied something to the effect of, “Well, uh... no.” And of course we both had a good laugh!

Based upon the ensuing conversation I decided to conduct my own informal survey to determine if people actually read the numerous e-newsletters they receive (including this one).

For a period of several days after sending the first issue of eMusings, and as opportunities arose to speak with some of those to whom I’d sent the newsletter – and if the subject came up during the normal course of conversation – I would ask them if they’d taken the time to read it.

The results are in! (And yes, you guessed it.) Out of the ten recipients to whom I posed this question, eight responded that they did not read it. And six of those eight volunteered that although they do enjoy looking at the pictures displayed in the various newsletters they receive, they rarely (if ever) read the text contained in any of them. Two people responded that they actually did read the text, and of those two, one insisted that she had read “every word”. (Obviously, I best choose my words carefully!)

At the conclusion of my little survey I decided, in all fairness, that I should also query myself. I discovered that I too like to look at the pictures but rarely do more than quickly scan the written content in all but a very few of the e-newsletters I receive.

Cape Primrose, 1993
Pyramid, Las Vegas, NV, 1998

What does it all mean? Well, for those two of you who may actually have read this far, I thank you for your diligence and hope you won’t be too disappointed to learn that eMusings will, henceforth, contain more pictures and perhaps a bit less writing. (I’m hedging my bets here because I can tend to be hopelessly long-winded.)

Truth be told, I think we all might benefit from the relative change in content as I’ve always considered myself a far better photographer than a writer. 

I hope you’ll also be able to excuse the newsletter requiring a couple of extra seconds to fully open in your browser as additional pictures are added. (While you’re waiting you can reflect upon how long we used to wait for prints to develop in a tray.) 

And come to think of it, if a picture really is worth 10,000 words, I’ve just saved myself the painstaking task of composing nearly 30,000 words of text... for this newsletter, alone!

I trust your overall sense of relief will be as palpable as my own.


Huntington Witherill