A: Experience through language
Raymond Briggs, When
the wind Blows
Students will study
- the nature of images
- the use of visual
in everyday life.
This will involve an understanding of
- the mode of communication
- the textual features of the chosen
- the relationships and attitudes
reflected in the communication of images
What is an image?
An image is defined in the
Collins Australian Pocket Dictionary as a representation of a person
or thing especially in sculpture; an optical reproduction of an object
such as produced by a camera or a mirror.
If you look in a literary dictionary, you
will find that an image is a picture created in words. The term imagery
comes from this sense.
This elective focuses on the visual image
however visual images can be accompanied by text and together create
meaning, for example, picture books, advertisement and comics.
Where do we find images?
Note:Images can be either
static or moving.
These are some examples that you can add
Within any of these examples you will
find there are categories, for example, magazines
Some general points to remember when
'reading' an image
- text vs visual material
- use of colour
How is visual representation used?
- to record eg photo albums
- to educate eg text books
- to persuade eg advertising
- to entice eg book covers
- to instruct eg PowerPoint
- to amuse eg comics
- to entertain eg sit coms
- to shock eg advertsing
- to inform eg brochures
- to galvanise, etc
Images and design: some pointers
Remember: Images can be either
The following example refer to static images and the
points can generally be applied to moving images as well. For more
detailed material specifically relating to moving images eg
film, follow the link.
Note: Images taken from
basic factors in making meaning in an image
or the combination and arrangement
Placement and divisions of space
gives the responder clues to their relevance and significance
within the layout
The books fill two thirds of the frame with dark space above them and,
to a lesser extent, to the sides with the dark wood of a table beneath
them. The darkness frames the creamy pages thus emphasizing them.
Although this is not a black and white photo it has been composed to
emphasise light and dark or the contrasts within the image.
helps the responder to make connections between the elements and
therefore helps to make meaning. This is often a matter of
bringing some elements closer together and placing a space
between them and other groups.
The shapes are placed in opposing corners, reaching towards each other
towards the centre of the frame. The colours are also opposing: warm and
is the agreement of visual
elements generating visual harmony. This can be achieved through
repetition of elements, for example.
The left half of the photo depicts tall trees from almost ground level
to beyond the top of the frame of the photo. The right half features a
park table with shrubs in the background, reaching from ground level to
half way up the frame. The photo is soft focus and emphasises light and
green and blue.
is the dominance of specific elements over others for the
purposes of making meaning.
The central word, dictionary, is in crisp focus. The remainder of the
page is blurred. The emphasis is clear because of the placement of the
word and the use of focus.
is the framework of the composition or concept.
The window is placed centrally in the right half of the photo. The left
half is the blank wall it is placed within. The window frame is
emphasized in it’s asymmetrical placement.
is the capacity of a composition to take the responder’s eye
through the image or layout.
The text is placed diagonally and the first and last letters are
incomplete although the word itself is obvious. The space beneath the
word is darker than the space above it. The word itself is a paler tone
of the two colours.
Components are the
visual elements such as:
Colour or colour sense
is a powerful way
of making meaning in visual media. There are three primary
colours – blue, red and yellow; three secondary colours –
orange green and violet, which are placed half way between
the primary colours; tertiary colours created when primary
colours are mixed with adjacent secondary colours; and
complementary colours which are opposites on the colour
wheel. Colours become infinite in their variety when the
variables of hue, saturation and value come into play.
The beach scene moves from sand to sea to sky. The colour tones of the
sand, the sea and the sky are harmonious. The sand and the clouds seem
to share similar tones. The emphasis on colour is muted with the effect
of light on the water fairly central.
The tree against the dark, stormy sky appears to be black and
white, having its colour scheme manipulated to heighten the stark
contrasts and thus emphasise the dramatic and moody nature of the the
with its contours, curves and characters – the
characteristics of fonts is equally powerful.
Comments: The yellow hand
written chalk on the bright blue board complement each other. The
handwriting gives the word a context.
The word is clear if cropped.
One letter is clearly enlarged as part of the background. The background
is muted and its lines move in opposing directions to the focus word.
The serif font, the
black text in Latin and the lithographic image suggest a text from an
What is the composer's subject
and purpose that is communicated through the image?
Do all the elements in the
composition need to support and reinforce the theme of the image
What is the theme behind the
Is it traditional? Modern?
Grunge? Simple? or Flamboyant? Does it mimic a style?
Evaluating the concept
Is the theme and the message clear?
Does the style support the theme and the message?
Who is the target audience? This
should be clear from the design concept, the components used and the
The design concept should make the
message clear to the viewer.
Some iconic images
From photo journalism