An Ode on Visual Imagery: The Gateway to Being Effective
Imagery is an integral part of comprehension. Without imagery, it would be impossible for people to understand situations personally. Even words create imagery to describe a situation, allowing the reader to put themselves in the writer’s shoes or character. Reflecting on my Visual Communications college course, I learned the different elements of creating and interpreting images, whether it was to inform or to entertain the viewer. As a writer, creating imagery is essential to enhancing imagination, which is essential to capture the reader’s interest. Without imagination, it is not very easy for the reader to understand the situation or know precisely how to react to the circumstances of a scene or scenario. Furthermore, it allows the reader to connect to the story, receiving an emotional reaction from the reader. Like reading, commercial ads and photography can create an emotional response from the audience, but the responses vary depending on the individual’s personal beliefs.
Thus far, I have supplied articles that serve to reflect on the image provided within the respective article. Each reflection comes from a personal interpretation rather than a broad interpretation since not everyone has similar reactions to a situation. One article in particular that I would like to address is my first ever article on the Cheerios commercial, which featured a multicultural family—a white mother, a black father, and a biracial daughter. Seeing the commercial for the first time, I only focused on the wholesomeness of the commercial. However, after considering other elements that create a captivating advertisement, I started to elaborate on the creative and technical elements that made the commercial significant. For example, the different camera angles added emphasis to the product and the commercial’s purpose. Also, the coloring used reflected the wholesome purpose of the commercial.
Like commercials, there are multiple elements to photography that allow the image to capture the viewers’ interests. Nevertheless, unlike commercials, it is easier to find multiple elements within photography. Since the image is still, the viewer can wander the image, finding multiple attractions within the image. Like commercials, photography can evoke a variety of reactions that reflect the viewer’s personal beliefs.
Ethics are essential to visual arts, considering various beliefs. A brand’s image or the cover of a book or magazine reflects the message and purpose of the company or individual. It also determines the target audience and appeals to the audience’s beliefs and expectations. Often, images can be misguided, sending misinformation to the audience. The saying goes never to judge a book by its cover, but that is impossible when people try to find a product that aligns with their interests. Political campaigns, film posters, book covers, and TV show teasers all require images that align with what will “wow the crowd”. Some images are “controversial” since they are considered “extreme” and don’t align with the majority’s values. However, few people may consider the images passable and harmless, mainly as a First Amendment right. However, this is not always the case if an image targets a specific group of people or person—hence, being a moral issue.
People interpret visual images differently, which is a known fact. Nevertheless, having an open mind can allow individuals to consider a different perspective. Thus, a discussion can be formed on the underlying purpose of the image, whether to inform or entertain. When I create visual images, I consider different ideas and interpretations. How will someone who does not know the background interpret the image I created? How can I simplify it for everyone’s convenience? Keeping this in mind enhances the purpose of images, which is to get a reaction that leads to a call to action.