I recently stumbled upon a site called The Visual Dictionary when I accidentally typed dictionary instead of thesaurus as I was searching for the Visual Thesaurus (which is so cool and so amazing, and one of these days I'm going to cave and buy a subscription!).
The Visual Dictionary is a collection of photographs of single words found in the real world--on signs, graffiti, tattoos, and the like. You can browse the collection randomly, or search using a specific word. Here are results from searching for the words life, is, and good. (I pasted screen shots together so you could see them all together.)
They even have collections of numbers, which is really cool:
The neat thing about The Visual Dictionary is that the photographs are submitted by users. I'm going to keep an eye out for interesting signage and be a contributer.
I wondered if there was a similar site that had single letters. I found lots of commercial sites that had photographs of alphabets, like Alphabet Photography, but I couldn't find one like the Visual Dictionary. Instead, I discovered a trend called "found alphabets." There are lots of people, it seems, looking for the alphabet in everyday objects. There's even a Found Alphabet flickr group.
I did a google search for Found Alphabet, and here are some really cool images I found. This one from flickr from someone named Chelsea Sektnan:
How about these images found by Rachel Young using Google aerial maps of Britain:
These letters are really neat--Eine’s East End of London shopfront shutter letters, found on Dave Gorman’s Flickr pages:
This collection is pretty, from someone named Anniemarie:
Photographer Eric Tabuchi photographed trailer trucks on empty highways, each bearing one letter of the alphabet. How clever!
And finally, this lovely collection of black and white images from photographer Abba Richman:
So what does all this have to do with paper crafting? I see fantastic possibilities of using such images for titles. Or how cool would it be to challenge yourself to search for words and letters in the world to photograph? I can imagine a fun field trip with the kids to do this! And here's a neat idea I found--use these kinds of images to create cards, like this one I found from Rees Digital Photography:
I hope you've enjoyed looking the images I found. If you find a source like The Visual Dictionary for letters, please let me know. And if you've got some ideas for how to put such images to work on a scrapbook page, I'd love to hear them!