My momma always told me, “Show me. Don’t just tell me.” I did not completely understand what this meant until my early teenage years when someone would tell me they were my friend but then would turn around and talk about me. Likewise, actions in images can portray many different meanings without saying a single word. The question is do images have more to say than written words on a page?
Although people are accustomed to communicating through words, recently images have become a powerful means of conveying ideas and concepts. I like what Kress said when he stated, “The world told is a different world to the world shown.” Perception of what is around you is based on personal experiences. If I were to walk into Walt Disney World next to someone who had never been there before the images that would stand out and our reactions to those images would be very different based on the fact I have been to Walt Disney World numerous times. Furthermore, each of us would have the same perspective of Disney if we read the same brochures about the various parks .The same could be said could be said for a book that has been made into a movie. Two people can read the same book and will understand the story plot equally the same. On the other hand, the same two people could attend a movie together that is based on a book and leave the theater with different perceptions of the characters and plot.
Advertisers use this type of perception to their advantage. A picture of a warm brownie sundae with a scoop of ice cream is harder to resist then hearing the waitress describe it to you. Just as Kress said, “The world narrated is a different would to the world depicted and displayed.” In the same way, politicians use images to represent their ideals to convince the public that they are best for the job.
I find it interesting that images have such a powerful hold on our society. Images are used everywhere and influence our daily decisions.