Re: Photographs vs Line Illustrations

Subject: Re: Photographs vs Line Illustrations
From: Peter Gold <pgold -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 17 May 1996 14:50:16 -0700

[snipped]

I used to be a photographer and agree that a camera, film, light, and
trigger finger light do not make one an expert. It's pretty clear that the
original manual was created with photos just to meet a deadline while the
re-release was done with drawings to make the points more clearly. But
computer drawing tools don't make one an expert any more than the camera
does.

I remember seeing my first technical line drawings in some kind of school
standardized testing situation. There were tools and hardware items and
they seemed strange, being abstractions, not what I was used to seeing
with my eyes. I did catch on early that there was some consistency about
the handling of curves, shadowed areas, intersections, etc. In other
words, there's a syntax to technical drawing, just as there is to
language.

Years later I bought things with instructions, maintenance manuals, etc.,
and found the same kinds of drawings, but some were clearer than others.
It soon became obvious that drawings made with mis-understood or
idiosyncratic syntax was harder to understand than "standard" or "uniform"
syntax. Viewers and readers should not need to spend effort on learning
idiosyncratic stuff. Again, it's the signal-to-noise ratio that's at
issue, whether the medium is words, photographs, or drawings.

Regards,
__________________peter gold pgold -at- netcom -dot- com__________________
"We shape our tools; thereafter, our tools shape us.
We ape our tools; thereafter, our tools ape us."
________...Marshall McLuhan, based on Ted Carpenter's idea_____

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