Visual Analysis of selected images


US Government. 1944. Italy. Taken from Nicholas Mirzoeff’s ‘How to see the World.’

The image is clear into what it depicts; it is a birds of view image which shows a common farmland and town province, and within there is smoke which show signs of chaos and dismay. Because this image was take in Italy in 1944, I can establish these smoke clouds have been caused by the warfare of World War II. Through the information I attained from Nicholas Mirzoeff’s book ‘How to see the World’ I established that this photo was taken by the US government, from air balloons to establish what was occurring in specific parts of the war, in this case Italy. This allowed the higher ranked members of war to understand what was going on in context to letters they were given. The interesting part of this image to me is that it transitioned in use; From originally being used as a war front, it turned into a visual text which establishes to a large audience, what war looks like, which is something that has been kept in the dark for a long time until recently. Through the sub header of ‘Examine and interpret in detail,’ I examined furthermore into visual text which turned an old photograph into a story depiction of war and the destruction that faced calm places like Italy and other countries much a like.

Ruskiewicz explains, that when looking at a image you should look at the not only what is in the image, but what isn’t. In this case the photograph has been untouched, as in edited to depict the message. This creates a lack in strength of the image as, without the context the visual text can become quite shallow into what you are actually looking at.

The ability to find the focal point is another sub header which I tried focus on when analysing this image pointed out by Ruskiewicz. In this image the focal point can be found in the smoke, due to the obstruction it creates in the image. The fact that the smoke clouds are so out of place in the farmland and town draws you attention to it.

The demographic for this visual text is dependent completely to what the user of the image wants of it. In this Mirzoeff’s case he was using it to show the use of maps, however someone could use to depict the destruction of war, or to create awareness for those people who have lost family and friends or even homes in which the demographic would be quite broad.


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