The Power of the image

Last month I shared my thoughts on the first episode of BBC documentary series the age of the image. The second episode talks about the power of the image.

Since the dawn of visual imagery, they have been used as a form of power, from politics to personal gain. The way images are portrayed can have a great influence on society.

Image editing is not the only way images can manipulate the viewer. This programmed discussed how images have been used and set up to tell a powerful story.

The power of the image – propaganda

In wartime, it is well known that propaganda is circulated. Famously Hitler commissioned a film of the Nuremberg rallies “Triumph of the will”. The programme discusses the film on its merits as a documentary versus propaganda. There are many images either stills of moving images that are now so familiar to us and they tell the story of the war.

The programme goes on to show how artists and documentaries portrayed life after the war. So many forms of images were put out to show the world that the country was strong and powerful.

Powerful images in your home

Later in the 20th century, television took over as the source of power for most people. As people watched TV in greater numbers, more information could be given out. A famous example of this is the moon landing. The impact of this event in 1969 cannot be denied.

Images have been created and used in magazines to tell important stories. Stories that are as important now as they were in our history. Whether it be politics, wars or racial inequalities. Images can still tell a powerful story without the need for words.

The escapism of the Image

The 3rd episode talks about the ability of images to take us back to a moment in time or give us a place to escape to.

I love this as a concept, as this is something I try to do within my photography.

digital art influenced by the concept of joining a support bubble on the easing of lockdown

It talks about how these fantasy worlds can be used to entice us to buy something. Advertising works because we are being sold and a lifestyle that we desire.

There is also discussion about the world of imagination, and how images can be formed from it. Images can create a completely different world, we can detach ourselves from reality.

It goes on to talk about the use of imagery in music videos, as a way of selling a lifestyle and getting people to buy into it.

Do images hold power

It is clear from these interesting series, that the images that we surround ourselves with on a daily basis really do influence our lives. Whether it is to convince us to spend our money, or to follow a group or person. The image really does hold the power.

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