Iwo Jima flag raising. Credit: Joe Rosenthal, February 23, 1945, The Associated Press
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Believing is seeing: What lies behind some iconic photos?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words - but sometimes it takes more words than that to explain what a photograph is really showing.

In his new book, Believing Is Seeing, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris dissects the stories behind a series of iconic photographs.

From the photograph of the US troops raising the flag at Iwo Jima to the controversy over snapshots of abuses at Abu Ghraib, Morris explores the connection between how a photograph makes us feel versus the reality hidden within the image.

Best known for his documentaries The Thin Blue Line and the Oscar winning Fog of War, Morris also investigates how it can be more important to focus on what lies outside the frame.

PHOTOS FROM BELIEVING IS SEEING: OBSERVATIONS ON THE MYSTERIES OF PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERROL MORRIS

Portrait of Errol Morris by Julian Dufort

Iwo Jima flag raising. Credit: Joe Rosenthal, February 23, 1945, The Associated Press

Rosenthal taking picture of Flag Raising. Credit: Marine Photographer Private Robert R. Campbell, National Archives.

The Hooded Man. Credit: Photograph by U.S. Military personel, Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq, 2003.

The Hooded Man. Credit: Photograph of "The Hooded Man", by Sgt. Ivan Frederick, Abu Ghraib prison, November 5, 2003. Taken by Shawn Baldwin, The New York Times.

V-J Day in Times Square. Credit: Photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, August 14th, 1945 for LIFE magazine.

Sabrina thumbs up. Credit: Photograph by U.S. Military personel, Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq, 2003.

Cow Skull 3. Credit: "Overgrazed land. Pennington County, South Dakota" by Arthur Rothstein, 1936. Library of Congress.

Cow Skull 4. Credit: "A homestead on submarginal and overgrazed land. Pennington County, South Dakota" by Arthur Rothstein, 1936. Library of Congress.

Cow Skull 1. Credit: "Dry and parched earth in the badlands of South Dakota" by Arthur Rothstein, 1936. Library of Congress.

Cow Skull 2. Credit: "The bleached skull of a steer on the dry sun-baked earth of the South Dakota Badlands" by Arthur Rothstein, 1936. Library of Congress.

Migrant Mother. Credit: "Migrant Mother" or "Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California," by Dorothea Lange, 1936. Library of Congress.

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