The Power Of Images Essay

1284 words - 5 pages

Many people are familiar with the cliché “a picture is worth a thousand words.” In simpler terms, a picture can evoke memories and other sentiments that are much more complex than perceived at first glance. Photographs are especially unique because in some ways, they have the uncanny ability to transcend time and reality. Looking at a photo can take you back to a time where you were carefree and worriless, although your current situation may be the exact opposite. Looking at photos and reminiscing are particularly interesting when the viewer has some relation to the photo. Whether the viewer is the subject of the photo or was simply related to the circumstances portrayed in the photo, personal connections do seem to open the door to a whole other universe of interpretation. However, pictures also do have the ability to be deceptive and give off a feigned “reality.” People usually capture festive moments rather than despondent ones with the objective of making their family look cheerful and united in their family photo albums. Posing is a prime-contributing factor to inventing an inexistent reality within family photographs. In certain situations, photographs even have the ability to change our exact memories and adapt them to the elation and capriciousness portrayed in the picture. Only few people (i.e. the subjects of the photo) may be able to decipher the authentic sentiments behind the smokescreen that is posing for family photographs.
When I look at the photograph that I selected to bring to class I see pure innocence. Although I may not have known it then, those were the best years of my life. At that point in my life, all I wanted to do was grow up, go to college and have some responsibility so I felt relevant in society. Contrastingly [in my current state] I now desire the opposite, to be younger again and to not have the responsibility and expectations that have been bestowed upon me. Ironically enough, I have no recollection when or where this photograph was taken. However, contrary to popular belief, I feel my ignorance towards the details of the situation actually benefit me as an onlooker to the events portrayed in the photograph. In the photograph, my brother and I are sitting on a granite table, with our legs crossed smiling. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that this picture was taken while I was at work with my father. This supposition is important because it brings my father to my mental forefront even though he merely the man behind the camera and not even in the picture. Another thing that I see that many people may not see in the picture is the Meadow School insignia on my twin brother Jake’s shirt. That logo is a doorway to an entirely separate realm of memories. Meadow School was the elementary school I went to and is also the place where many of my earliest memories occurred. Although these white and blue letters on my brother’s shirt may seem insignificant to a random viewer, it means so much to me.
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