“The Language of the Image”

October 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm (Assignments) (, , , , , , )

Photojournalist Dirk Halstead (left) and David Hume (right) in Vietnam

Photojournalist Dirck Halstead (left) and David Hume (right) in Vietnam

For class this week we have to blog about the “Language of the Image,” from NewsU.org I underestimated how long this course and the blogging would take (course is about two hours). So, I have decided to give myself a little pre-test to see what I know on the subject the “Language of the Image,” before I take the course and quiz this afternoon. Shall we begin?

  • Images are timeless
  • Odd objects in photos look more appealing than even. A vase of five flowers is more appealing than a vase with only four or six flowers.
Chelsea, Aunt Michelle, Mom

Chelsea, Aunt Michelle, Mom

  • Items in the picture should be balanced. If something is physically taking up one side of the picture the other side should be balanced by a similar object or smaller objects that balance out the picture.
polar bear in the city

polar bear in the city

  • Photographing with a light source behind the subjects will put the subjects in a shadow. Ever have everyone and your cousin in a photograph, have a perfect shot only to find out after it has been printed that you can barely see anyone’s faces? The culprit to this photo disappointment could have been the light.
GUS and I

GUS and I

Once I finish the course and the quiz I’ll let you know how I did and what I learned!


After The Quiz

After taking this only course I’ve learned quite a bit more about photojournalism than I did before. Before, all photos were seen through the perspective of what I liked not necessarily the composition of the image. There are three distinct types of photos, informational, passive, and active.

Informational photos don’t tell a story they provide visual record of a person, place, or event taking place. An example of this type of image would be a speaker at a conference.

 USC's coach Pete Carroll leading the "Trojan Walk"

USC's coach Pete Carroll leading the "Trojan Walk"

Passive photos are primarily publicity photos. They have staged by the photograph and are noticeably static. NewU states that passive photos should never be passed off as active photos. An example of this would be some of the billboards in Las Vegas advertising shows.

publicity photo for Bette Midler's show in Las Vegas

publicity photo for Bette Midler's show in Las Vegas

The last type of photograph is considered to be active because it shows situations that are occurring to real people in real time. Images rescue works going into the flood zones of Hurricane Katrina would be considered active photographs.

Some of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Some of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

The most interesting thing I learned from the course was the point of entry. This is the particular angle at which a photograph is taken. You may have the same subject but a different arrangement of the subjects changes the mood and emotion of the photograph. The example used in NewsU was that of a baby being born. One point of entry was the baby’s birth and the other was the emotion on the fathers face.


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