A Google search reveals that Frederick R. Barnard coined the term “a picture is worth a thousand words” in 1921 to commend the effectiveness of graphics in advertising. He correctly noted the Chinese proverb claiming a picture to be worth 10,000 words. The discrepancy is irrelevant.

The pictures in the Portland Press Herald’s Jan. 4 Photos of the Year supplement, “Maine Through Our Eyes,” were – in my view, and in one word – stupendous.

I cannot wait to see this exhibit at the Portland Public Library. Indeed, the only letter I’ve ever written to the publisher of this newspaper was to acknowledge Gabe Souza’s stunning image of a Native American elder’s ponytail, taken last April.

This picture conveyed the “essence” of the entire (brilliant) series “Unsettled: Triumph and tragedy in Maine’s Indian country” in one, solitary yet unspeakably powerful image. I was not surprised to see it make the supplement’s cut.

I grew up mesmerized by the great 20th-century photographers in Life and Look magazines. I’ve been grateful in my life to earn a decent living with a camera in my design work, along with, I like to think, a discerning eye.

Back in California, I was honored to teach the craft at the municipal recreation and university levels. My advice to students in a relentlessly gear-driven genre was always the same: “The most important photographic equipment is between your ears.”

Plying my trade In Los Angeles, I got to meet and work with some great image-makers. My hand to God – I once held an elevator door for Annie Leibowitz!

Years ago, Kodak ran a terrific ad campaign when Paul Anka wrote and asked, “Do you remember – the times of our lives?” We do. And we always will, because MaineToday Media photographers and photojournalists everywhere do what they do with such vision and grace. I’m grateful.

Buddy Doyle

Gardiner