The Visual Image
Image of a Retinal Cell
Structure from Web Vision
Images – what to analyse
What is the Image of? Why was that
image chosen? How does it relate to
Photography Elements & Techniques
• Shot Size
• Mode of Address
Close up, Mid Shots, Establishing or
long shots etc.
High angle – subjects look smaller, Low angle – subjects look bigger, more domineering,
Tilted – can give subjects a sense of chaos and disarray
Direct – engages with
Indirect – looks away
Elements in images such as Patterns, Lines & Symmetry – eyes are naturally drawn to Lines
Is the positioning of the subject in the image – what has been
foregrounded and what has been placed in the background. Where is
the focal point of the image?
High contrast uses only a few tones to create a dramatic
look. Low contrast uses man tones and shades to create a
Directional lighting – lighting a particular area can be used to look
harsh . Natural lighting gives a soft look. Both can create atmosphere
• Negative Space
Advertisers often use Negative Space to focus the eye on the subject
• Rule of Thirds
• Breaking the Rule of
• Shutter Speed
• Aperture & Depth of
Positioning subjects on key third
lines where eyes naturally focus
Shots can be
taken ignoring the
rule of thirds but
the eye ‘looks’ for
a natural line
Sharp focus is very important for
a good image. However,
sometimes elements can be
deliberately out of focus to add
interest, layers of meaning and
When the Shutter is kept open for
a long time, it captures
movement in action. When it
open and closes in a fraction of a
second, it freezes the moment in
Aperture is the hole which lets in light to the
camera. A small aperture means that everything
stays in focus and gives a large Depth of Field. A
large aperture means only the closest elements
are in focus and gives a shallow or small Depth of
Photographs can show….
Often emotive, dramatic,
shocking, capturing the
moment as it occurs
The blurring of lines
between fantasy and
Spectacle is used to define media
construction of events which are ‘out of
the ordinary’ from habitual routine – but
could equally be used to describe images
of celebrity that are out of the ordinary
and demand our attention.
Illustrations can show….
The appeal of the ‘best’
reality possible – not
tainted by imperfections
Surrealism fantasy and
The blurring of lines between
fiction especially using Photography with
Illustration – can create atmosphere of fantasy,
gothic, horror etc.
Humour/Lighten the Topic
Serious or dull products often use
illustration to lighten the subject matter.
Products such as insurance or households
goods are typical of this.
Illustrations can also show….
Referring to Artistic
movements and periods to
suggest Iconic or Cult status
of the subject
(see also Postmodernism
Appeal to Childhood Nostalgia
Appeal to Parents
The London Metro ran a
different illustrated cover for
17 days . The style of
illustration was similar to
Eastern European and Russian
Propaganda posters of the
1920’s & 1930’s
Using cartoon characters and images, or styles and
patterns from previous decades to appeal to
Postmodernism in Visual Images
Visual images often rely heavily on
intertextuality, Parody, Pastiche & Bricolage – the
audiences ability to make connections between
older, well known cultural and media products
and the new image. This adds depths of meaning
to still images and communicates on multiple
levels to Audiences .
Charlie Brooker in an Alfred Hitchcock
Vertigo style image .
cover with David
Beckham on the front –
the first time a male
had been on the cover
of the magazine.
Audiences can make
the typical female
model pose and the
brand of ‘David
• Many examples here come from magazines and
• The principles of Visual Images mentioned here
can be applied to visual images on any media
product including Newspapers, Websites,
Leaflets, Blogs etc.
There is no visual image.....
• Look at how space and colour are used
The image is made from text....
• Again, look at how space and colour are used.
See if it is trying to relate back to another iconic