Analysis of the Photography of The Fallen Man Essay

Analysis of the Photography of The Fallen Man Essay

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We’ve all heard the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s the mere fact that an idea can be conveyed with just one single image. We come across tons of unfiltered images everyday, whether we see them in newspapers or magazines. These images move us, they have an impact on some of us, deep to our core. When a photograph directly impacts an individual, one will recount an image long after they have seen it.
The photograph that is forever imprinted in my mind is the image “The Falling Man,” from The New York Times, a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It is a photo and article that was in the very first pages of The New York Times, days after the terrorist attacks. That was the first time I had seen the image. Then I saw it again when CNN conducted an interview with Richard Drew, almost a month after the photograph had been released. This photo is quite simple, but consists of so much meaning. It is a photograph of a man with black pants and a nude jacket, free falling head first 1300 feet, out of the North tower of the World Trade Center. This man had been trapped on the upper floors of the skyscraper when it was attacked. It is uncertain whether the man accidently fell out of a window, or willingly jumped out of the tower to avoid being burnt to death. The falling man had no identity, and twelve years later still has never officially been identified. This photograph of a man free-falling to his death was captured by a photojournalist, Richard Drew.
What is so chilling about this specific photo out of the other photographs Drew shot that day, is the way the man is falling. This photo is a quiet and simple image. There is not much else in the picture to be viewed, except for the man. What differs...


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...fghani refugees experienced -- an experience no amount of words could adequately describe. Fear is manifested in her eyes. Guila’s eyes were “destined to become the symbol of the Muslim world” (National Geographic). While fear lies in Guila’s expression, her expression is ambiguous. There is also strength and courage in her gaze. There is a great depth to this photograph. Sharbat Guila sends a symbolic message about refugees that cannot be ignored.
We live in a world filled with images, not words. Pictures are so unique because they leave a longer lasting impression, than words do. Sometimes, images convey an idea that affect viewers tremendously. When a photograph directly has an impact on a viewer, one will recount an image long after they have seen it. At least for me, images are vivid and more effective than words. Ultimately, pictures speak louder than words.

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