Sunday, September 29, 2013

Power of Pictures

A few years ago, I took an Introduction to Broadcasting class at my high school. One of the main focuses of this class was the way that media, specifically photos and videos, affect our culture. Fifteen-year-old me was fascinated; it seemed that photos themselves had the power to manipulate emotions, to spread current events in the world, and even to characterize entire events in history. Photos can spark both love and hatred. Photos can be used to preserve memories of friends and family, or they can be used to solve a terrible crime. I find it absolutely incredible that the simple click of a camera can create such a long list of lasting effects. And this, I believe, is because of the power of the stories that may lie beneath a photograph. 

Take this photo, for example. A photo of a man standing in front of a row of tanks in Tiananmen Square, possibly one of the most famous photos ever taken. The name of the man in this picture was never confirmed, and yet the anonymous tank man has come to symbolize the Tiananmen Square protests themselves. The photo has become an inseparable component of history, creating widespread awareness of the events that occurred there. It seems that at times, it is more simple to spread the human aspect and the emotions of breaking news through photographs, rather than through spoken word.

There is a proverb that says "The eyes are the window to the soul." I believe that photos, much like eyes, are the window to the soul of our culture and of our society. I have made it my priority to strive to find the most impactful photos that portray what is occurring in different parts of the world, and to analyze the effects that these photographs have.  Through this blog, I hope to share my findings.

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