Language has always been central to the meaning and exploitation of photographic images. However, the various types and "styles" of language associated with different photographic genres have been largely overlooked. This book considers the nature of photography, examining the language used in titles, captions and commentaries, particularly as they relate to documentary photography, photojournalism and fashion photography.
The Spoken Image addresses the question of how the photograph communicates its message, with or without the aid of language. The book looks at the work of film-makers such as Antonioni and Greenaway to contrast filmic methods of narration with those of photography. Scott concludes that photography has arrived at a level of communicative sophistication equal to that of modern textual narratives, in conjunction with which it often works.