VII Gallery: “Speechless”

by Dave Etchells

posted Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 6:50 PM EDT

Canon-2011-200x42How many ways can you say "speechless"?

Canon USA has been running an interesting campaign recently, looking at how differently various single-word assignments are interpreted by members of the VII Photo Agency. VII, pronounced "seven," is a collective of world-class photojournalists who've come together to create a common distribution hub for their work. Initially founded by seven leading photographers (hence the name), it has since grown to include nine members.

In the VII Gallery project, Canon gives the VII photographers photo assignments consisting of a single, abstract word. The results of each assignment are then published, and (here's the best part) photo enthusiasts are likewise challenged to respond to the assignment and submit their own interpretations. If your entry is selected, your own work will be exhibited on the VII Gallery site alongside that of the pros.

As I write this, the VII pros' results for the latest assignment "Speechless" have just gone up on the site, and they're pretty interesting.

I guess it goes without saying that different people would interpret an abstract word like "speechless" very differently, but just how differently and the specific directions taken makes for some pretty interesting viewing.

Check out the VII Gallery site for yourself, and see for yourself just how varied the VII group's visions were. (There's also an archive of previous assignment responses you can browse through as well.)

Look at the pro's shots and then think: "Speechless" can mean a stunned silence, prohibited speech, things incapable of speech, communication that needs no speech. What else, though? What's your vision? Sign up and upload your own essay, and maybe your photos will find a home next to those of the VII pros. : - )