Good Essay On Analyzing A Visual
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Visuals are one of the most powerful forms of representation. Visuals have the potential to immortalize a particular moment- the emotion and representation of the moment in time that cannot be recreated ever with all the similar attributes. From the very inception of photography, human kind has engaged in capturing moments in photographic frames that have stood the ravages of time preserving the moment of capture. The subjects of visuals have transcended the scythe of the temporal world as they live on in the visuals with all the expressions and articulation that can only be termed as something closest of reality. Visuals of people or messages have a resonating effect in the minds of the people viewing the images. Images involve contexts, interpretations, artistry of the photographer or graphic designer. With the combination of inanimate and animate objects, a visual speaks volumes with all the technicalities and composition that should ideally be called the work of aesthetic quintessence.
One might take into consideration for the sake of comparison and contrast three visuals that are very popular among people. One of the three is that of the eminent scientist Albert Einstein. The photograph shows the stalwart personality sticking out his tongue. This one is a very famous visual that is known by many across the world. The photograph focuses on Einstein’s expressions. Another visual one might consider is that of the famous revolutionary, Che Guevara. Guevara is one of the most famous iconic figures in the entire world. He is popular among the youth of the society. The photograph shows him looking sideways. The visual focuses on his expressions.
If one delves deep into the image of Albert Einstein, the subtleties of the visual become clear. The subject of the photograph is essentially an iconic figure known all around the globe. The picture was clicked at a time when Einstein had reached an old age, and was widely known for his seminal scientific works. Interestingly, the background of the visual is black in color that portrays the subject of the visual with utmost clarity. The black background makes the viewer focus on the subject who is shot from close proximity, thereby nullifying chances of any deviation of attention on the part of the viewer. As a result, all one can focus on in the visual is the face and expression of Einstein.
The expression of Einstein in itself is quite interesting and contextual. The visual transforms the image of the eminent personality from that of a serious, nerdy individual to that of someone with a quirky sense of humor. This visual was captured by Arthur Sasse at the time when Einstein was leaving his 72nd birthday celebration. The stalwart was clicked at a moment when he was playfully sticking his tongue out.
The picture in context is the cropped version (the wider image portrays his companions who are placed in the back of a car). This visual was chosen by Einstein himself so that he could put it on greetings cards that were sent out to his friends. This visual is arguably one of the most famous press photographs of a 20th century famous personality. The visual went on to establish Einstein’s public image to be that of a ‘nutty professor’ rather than being the serious physicist who was recognized by the Nobel Prize for his development of the theory of general relativity.
The focus of the photograph is on the face of the physicist. Thus, the viewer’s attention is zeroed in on the expression of Einstein. Apart from this, the lighting goes on to illuminate his face that stands in stark juxtaposition to the dark background. He is thus shown as a vibrant person amidst the darkness around.
According to the article “Cultural Meaning of Sticking Out Your Tongue: Exploring Eastern and Western Cultural Meanings of This Gesture,” “Albert Einstein stuck his tongue out in photographs as his ultimate trademark. In the writings, Einstein: A Biography he is quoted to say, "Sticking out my tongue reflects my political views.” (p.1)
Indeed, this photograph is metaphorical of his genius that made him stand out. He brought light in the realm of scientific discoveries with his excellence and vision. The visual successfully shows the other lighter side of the serious person. Thus, it is extremely successful in portraying Einstein in his true essence. His personality is reflected in the visual.
Next, one could talk about the photograph of Guevara. Guevara was another iconic figure of the past century that inspired gazillion people with his valor, ideology and grit. The photograph aims at portraying the iconic person in his truest essence as a human being. The background of this visual is white in color. Quite similar to the black background of Einstein’s photograph, the white background of this particular picture also makes the viewer focus entirely on the subject of the photograph- Guevara. The iconic figure is kept at the center of the visual.
The visual illuminates his face with the light, and thus portrays the subtle expressions of his face. The stiff jaw, piercing eyes, stubble, long hair all work in unison to bring out Guevara’s courage, strength of personality and immense resolution.
Both the pictures of Einstein and Guevara are captured in black and white color. This color combination works to alleviate the effect of the visuals. The white background in the visual of the revolutionary can be seen as his enlightening aura that worked tirelessly in favor of the common man against all the impediments.
Both the visuals are similar in another way as they both portray two different iconic figures in the history of mankind. The visuals are quintessential in their portraiture of the iconic personalities. The pictures are the most famous examples of how the moment is immortalized with all its intricate essences in a visual. The visuals have become a part of history owing to the iconic portrayals.
These iconic images have got immortalized in the culture of the human kind. Quite interestingly, the image of Einstein has become a part of popular culture. This image has become representative of the famous personality. Another great feature of the photograph is that is captures an emotion of Einstein. Since this photo is quite idiosyncratic in nature, it has become very famous. It captures an iconic moment, and is iconic for the same reason. Similarly, the picture of Guevara has also captured his emotions. His expression might not be so much overt, but it expresses his traits at the same time.
While the image of Einstein was meant to be a part of popular culture, the photograph of the great revolutionary has also gone on to become a part of popular culture. It is very interesting to notice that the picture of a communist revolutionary went on to become a part of the popular culture- something that Guevara himself stood up against.
Guevara’s photograph portrays the personality in utmost detail. This is something that works in favor of making the photograph more iconic in its nature. This photographic representation of the person is the most famous one in the entire world. The photo is taken from a slightly low angle. This means the photograph tries to portray the personality as someone who ought to be looked up to by others. That is something that adds to the iconic character of the photograph.
Thus these two photographs have gone on to become two of the most famous photographs in the history of photography. Although these pictures were clicked many years before, they still contain the life and timelessness that set them apart.
Thus, all the three visuals have messages in them. While the first two show famous personalities, and thus reflect their character and traits to bring out the message, the last one portrays more of a social message that talks of inequality, aspiration, success and failure. The visual is an exploration of the dichotomy of the desires of a person and the harsh reality. One can conclude that visuals speak a lot with all the technicalities, lighting, focusing, foreground-background, and so on. Visual portraiture can be taken to be the most powerful form of communication in the present times.
“Cultural Meaning of Sticking Out Your Tongue: Exploring Eastern and Western Cultural
Meanings of This Gesture.” In Bright Hub Education. Retrieved from http://goo.gl/pXs7bv
Image of Che Guevara.
Image of Albert Einstein.
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