Compared to verbal print media, the mechanisms for making, disseminating, and managing photographs are all quite new. At the same time, there is little precedent for how to think about pictures as items to be managed for the use of others. In Photo Provocations, O'Connor and Wyatt provide us with "threads of thought" from which can be woven into more effective systems of access and use. While some of the essays in the text are aimed directly at librarians, archivists, and those whose professional work hinges directly on deep understanding of photographs, the majority is aimed at all who want to make better use of images: whether in shooting photographs, using photographs to tell stories or make presentations, depending on photographs for evidence in numerous academic arenas, or using family photo albums to help make sense out of being human.
We are exposed to thousands of images every day, many barely noticed. In Photo Provocations, O'Connor and Wyatt expose us to a few more, and in remarkably few words, examine the nature and meaning of photographs in great depth. Anyone who makes or works with photographs will find much to ponder.--Ben Blackwell, Principal Photographer, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive University of California