Visual communication is a sort of specific communication whereby information is expressed in the form of visual aids and as a variety of different visual elements. British critic and artist John Ruskin, who died in 1900, was best known for initiating the Arts and Crafts aesthetic that was celebrated in handiwork. In context (Paul, 2006), Ruskin once wrote, “The greatest thing that a human soul ever does in this world is to see something…. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy, and religion, all in one.” We experience the world predominantly through our eyes. Recognition of vision’s unique power has led to the development of many new forms of visual communication. In context (Visual Communication and Knowledge building. (2011). Retrieved from (http://andragroza.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/image-analysis/) Visual communication comes in many forms, many of which are designed to entertain us through moving images, such as film, television, and video games. Communication through the eyes entails the visual message one is able to see from that image. The image we see comes into two dimensions, both the visual part and the analytical part. It is important to understand that visual analysis is an aspect of the mind to internalize lessons that come with visual aids and learn from them. Analytical approaches though are said to be time consuming, are valuable because they help you to notice even the smallest details that make up an image, which often leads to greater, universal truths. Visual analysis involves the following aspects such as composition, visual cues, semiotic signs and codes, cognitive elements and image aesthetics. In order to understand in depth we use six perspectives for analyzing images.(From wikipedia:) They include personal perspective, historical perspective, technical perspective, ethical perspective, cultural perspective, critical perspective. I will use the example of an image below for analysis.
Refers to the initial reaction to the work based on someone or your opinions. Analysis is made from the illustrated values of the image. Like in the above image is reading a book or bible on her bed. Big breast and long hair suggest to me that she is a female. Besides her bed there are luggages. Personal perspective are important because they reveal much about the person making the comments. But such opinions have limited use simply because they are personal. Personal perspective might be sometimes in conflict with cultural values. The way one person views an image and the conclusion made from it may differ from another. A memorable image always sparks strong personal reaction, either negative or positive, and also reveals much about the culture from which it was made. A viewer who rests a conclusion on personal perspective denies the chance of perceiving the image in a more meaningful way.
An image’s view can be arising from the history of the use media. From the above image one can tell that its origin dates several decades that have past. It dates since 1931, the person was in a Hotel room. Through times sort images have been changed, because the use of different media. For example: The result of using the computer to edit images (e.g. Photoshop) is quite different when comparing images that are made and edited by craft. Knowledge of a medium's history allows you to understand current trends in terms of their roots in techniques and philosophies of the past. Creative visual message production always comes from an awareness of what has come before, so present applications also influence future uses. Since images are artifacts that immediately are thought to preserve past events, a historical analysis is of utmost importance in understanding the present meaning of an image.
When the view of an image is influenced by the use of lights, position and the presentations is more of the technical aspect. The right use of light, position and presentation of the image can improve the view of the image. It makes the image looks better than the reality. E.g. Banksy’s work is graffiti done with the use of stencils. Although there are critics who believe this is called cheating, he argues that it is just a way of saving time and avoiding getting caught by the police. With an understanding of the techniques involved in production an image, you are also in a better position to know when productions are high or low, when great or little care has been taken, or when much or little money was spent to make the images. The above image displays little technical aspects such as high resolution since its a painting.
From this perspective, the maker of the image, viewer and the image itself must be responsible morally and ethically to the image. There are various principles included in this category (like Principle of Utility, Categorical Imperative, Veil of Justice), which basically help the person in the cause to make the right ethical decisions (in this case, whether it’s appropriate or not to create the graffiti, what implications and consequences the decision might have). In th image, we can say that its more categorical and thus the person has to do what she has to do.
Symbolization is an important definition for this perspective. Cultural perspective involves identity of symbols. The uses of words that are related with the image, the use of heroes in the image, etc. are the symbolization of the image. The cultural perspective can also be seen as the semiotic perspective. There is a clear link between the image, the writing and the context, the artist suggesting turning the parking lot into a park. The letter play is the key to understanding the message, which being so straight-forward, shouldn’t be so difficult for any of us. The image of the woman reading clearly shows a striking view that she enjoys reading before bed time.
The view of images in the critical perspective is when the viewers criticize the images, but the critics have been made in interests of the society, although an individual makes the critics. This way this perspective differs from the personal perspective. Some images represent an act of vandalism and when having such a powerful message behind them and such a strong and beautiful visual impact, they can only be seen as the most legitimate pieces of art. Critical perspective redefines initial personal perspective in terms of universal conclusions about the human nature. The woman in the picture leaves one in a convinced manner that she is either a scholar or reading is her hobby.
Through the six perspectives one can deduce the importance of using images in visual communication. It’s clear that in the image, personal and cultural perspective plays a major role in analyzing the image. Image-analysis is core form in message delivery as one is able to see and come up to informed decisions. Having in mind the knowledge of the six perspectives, one can either combine or use one as a way to understand the content message in the real picture.