Exercise 3.4: A persuasive image

Brief: 1. Find three examples of landscape photographs that are being used to assert a particular ideological point of view. Describe how the image communicates its intended message.

The World Wildlife Fund have produced a number of persuasive images over the years. They are intended to connect with the viewer's compassion for saving animals and the wider environment. At first glance the photograph above is of a typical scene, showing a giraffe walking in the foreground across an African plain. However, it isn't until you look closer that it becomes obvious that the giraffe has been created by stacking coins. The image is supported by the text 'Save the world with a few coins' positioned in the bottom left hand corner. Donations are needed so that the WWF can protect the giraffes, otherwise no money would mean no giraffe in the landscape. 

The loneliness of the long distance runner. The Nike advert (above) shows a lone runner in the foreground of a road that leads to the very back of the image. The landscape appears to be indistinguishable and void of any distractions.This enables the viewer to arrive at the conclusion that the runner has travelled a long distance. This is provoked by the question: 'Who says you can't run away from your problems?' Running is portrayed as being a solution and Nike trainers will enable you to run as far away from your troubles as possible.   

This election poster (above) for the Conservative Party uses the road in an alternative way. The road, or route, is straight and clear. There are no obstacles or tight bends to negotiate. The clouds above are dispersing, leaving clear weather ahead. The bold text is central to the image stating: 'Let's stay on the road to a stronger economy.' There are no blots on the landscape, the message is clear and direct; if you vote for the Tories then the drive towards a strong economy will continue, with few mishaps along the way.

2. Consider an issue that you feel strongly about. Design an image that you think will have a persuasive effect upon the viewer. 

Recently there was a news report about a US dentist who had hunted and killed a lion in Zimbabwe. I thought about the photography safaris that people go on and how this could be considered a more humane and appropriate way of 'trophy hunting'.