The Power of Images

987 Words4 Pages
Analytical Essay – The Power of Images I believe that pictures are able to capture a single moment, highlighting the important meaning behind every action presented. According to Mitchell Stephens’ “By Means of the Visible: A Picture’s Worth,” images possess “great power - religious, tribal, romantic, pedagogic” (479). Similarly, in Kenneth Brower’s “Photography in the Age of Falsification,” a picture of earthrise is described as having “poetic power, evoking sentiment” (564). When looking at pictures, whether in my photo album or a Life magazine, I discover that emotions are stirred by those pictures that hold the greatest number of feelings, from anguish to happiness, thus making them the most memorable. Through my analysis of my most compelling photographs and the essays of Stephens and Brower, I have concluded that each picture evokes a feeling inside of me, whether it is a photograph of a kiss, a family in the mist of the Depression, or my grandfather. As I look up at my wall, I see the poster of the infamous “War’s End Kiss;” a picture of a sailor and a nurse kissing in the middle of Times Square at the end of World War Two. The feelings of joy, passion, and relief are evident as they engage in the passionate kiss. Looking at the photograph and analyzing their actions, I am able to feel the celebration of love and life. Love is so strongly expressed as the sailor wraps his arm around her and dips her as they kiss. The celebration of life is the most poignant emotion of the picture. Because the picture is set directly in the middle of Times Square, it holds the definition of America in one of our most profound cities. As other men of honor and passers-by walk by, it is clear from the expressions of their f... ... middle of paper ... ...oment of life. When a moment is captured, it defines the meaning of the purpose of the events. Every picture, whether it is a passionate kiss, a poverty-stricken family during the Depression era, or the look of sorrow on my grandfather’s face, ignites its own sentiment. Although, according to Stephens, “These images, are intended to take the place of words” (476), I believe that the feelings that pictures evoke are, without a doubt, more intense than words. Works Cited Brower, Kenneth. “Photography in the Age of Falsification.” The Presence of Others. 3rd ed. Ed. Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. 554-573. Stephens, Mitchell. “By Means of the Visible: A Picture’s Worth.” The Presence of Others. 3rd ed. Ed. Andrea A. Lunsford and John J. Ruszkiewicz. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. 473-486.
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