Image analysis

Visual communication contains image aspects. The interpretation of images is subjective and to understand the depth of meaning, or multiple meanings, communicated in an image requires analysis. Images can be analysed though many perspectives, for example these six major perspectives presented by Paul Martin Lester.

Personal perspective

When a viewer has an opinion about an image based on their personal thoughts. Personal response depends on the viewer’s thoughts and values individually. This might be sometimes in conflict with cultural values. Also when a viewer has viewed an image with a personal perspective, it is hard to change the view of the image on the viewer, and the image can even be seen in other ways.

Historical perspective

An image’s view can be arising from the history of the use media. Through times sort images have been changed, because the use of different (new) media. For example: The result of using the computer to edit images (e.g. Photoshop) is quite different when comparing images that are made and edited by craft.

Technical perspective

When the view of an image is influenced by the use of lights, position and the presentation of the image. The right use of light, position and presentation of the image can improve the view of the image. It makes the image looks better than the reality.

Ethical perspective

From this perspective, the maker of the image, the viewer and the image itself must be responsible morally and ethically to the image. This perspective is also categorized in six categories: categorical imperative, utilitarianism, hedonism, golden mean, golden rule and veil of ignorance.

Cultural perspective

Symbolization is an important definition for this perspective. Cultural perspective involves identity of symbols. The uses of words that are related with the image, the use of heroes in the image, etc. are the symbolization of the image. The cultural perspective can also be seen as the semiotic perspective.

Critical perspective

The view of images in the critical perspective is when the viewers criticise the images, but the critics have been made in interests of the society, although an individual makes the critics. This way this perspective differs from the personal perspective.