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I’ve heard this proverb many times since i was little and I’m sure most of us heard it at least once. Seeing this image by gromovataya i realized i didn’t know the story behind it and decided to search the web in search of it. Like with many proverbs, the origin of it is shadowed by the passing of time. There are reports of versions of it dating back to Ancient Egypt. The first example of it in English is from the poet Thomas Carlyle, who translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, 1831, in which a character expounds at length on the virtues of silence:
“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule. Not William the Silent only, but all the considerable men I have known, and the most undiplomatic and unstrategic of these, forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties; what wreck and rubbish have those mute workmen within thee swept away, when intrusive noises were shut out! Speech is too often not, as the Frenchman defined it, the art of concealing Thought; but of quite stifling and suspending Thought, so that there is none to conceal. Speech too is great, but not the greatest. As the Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silvern, Silence is golden); or as I might rather express it: Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.”
Silence has also been considered a virtue in religious circles. The 14th century author Richard Rolle of Hampole, in The psalter; or psalms of David, 1340 wrote: “Disciplyne of silence is goed.”
What’s so great about this picture?
1. It’s a good example of how a very simple composition can look complex. There’s only a model making a hush sign with her finger.
2. The gold face and body make-up gives a great contrast on a black background. It’s always important in stock photography when you have a black background, the main composition to be of bright colors, otherwise the subject gets lost in the dark, literally.
3. Even though it is a very simple image, it hides metaphors and sayings for the ones who like discovering what’s beneath the first look. – which in my opinion it’s the the most beautiful and meaningful way to look at photography.
4. It has copy space where the buyer can write his/her message.
5. The isolation is very good so the model can be cut out from the background in less than a minute, giving the buyer the opportunity to “move” it into different creations. The hand with the finger can be used separately from the model, so basically it can be a 2 in 1 image.
How could we use it?
- Book covers/interior and wallpapers
- An advert for a beauty parlor/ cosmetic clinic.
- An advert for a broker/investment company. Could very well go with a motto like: “We’ll turn everything into gold!”
- For websites, templates, logos and the likes.
- A sign at the entrance of a library where you have to keep quiet not to disturb the readers. Silence is indeed golden and cherished in that type on environment.