Image Power: Nobody Escapes It
The image is the most powerful and emotionally charged communication process. Why? Because the image makes it possible to transmit - in the blink of an eye - a huge amount of information, most of which, without you being aware of it!
The image can be directly interpreted by everyone without distinction of language, social status or intellectual abilities. On the other hand, words and writings have to go through many filters before they can deliver their message.
Not convinced? Turn on your TV and watch the commercials, but without the sound! Then repeat the experiment with the sound, but close your eyes this time. So still not convinced?
Emotions are paramount
Positive Emotions Allow You To Think More Creatively
It is by putting people in a good mood that attractive things allow them to think more creatively and find alternative solutions to a problem. How? Generating positive emotions and stimulating curiosity. With a positive mindset, people have a more holistic view of a situation and pay less attention to detail. We can, therefore, conclude that the positive emotions generated by an attractive image give people the necessary openness to solve the minor problems of use of this image, especially if it is fun.
Emotions Are Essential To Making Decisions
All the information we receive has both an emotional charge and a rational charge. Indeed, during all perception (except factional), the sensory signals are sent to a part of the brain, the thalamus. From there, signals are sent in two directions:
The expressway towards the center of emotions! A great image allows the body to prepare for action by moving towards a stereotyped (innate or acquired) and rapid response. The administrative way, much slower, corresponds to the rational way and allows the thoughtful analysis of the situation.
The emotional response is, therefore, faster and conditions memorization and especially decision-making. It is therefore not surprising that marketing strategies have been enriched with emotional considerations, in order to communicate not directly with the intellect, but indirectly, emotionally, in order to guide the behavior of the consumer. Unknowingly of his own free will', in a sense which corresponds to that of the advertiser!
The image manipulation professions are aimed directly at the emotional brain by offering colors, shapes, touches. The emotional brain reacts to these stimuli and sees them as so many experiences, then remembered.
The close relationship between emotion and image makes visual communication unbeatable in the struggle for attention (Norbert Bolz, sociologist). For him, a good photo combines communication and fascination; the photo can hide his communication within the perception. This makes communication by the image less obvious and also less easily open to criticism than oral communication. Good images are not just about communicating, but because of their fascination they protect some kind of criticism
The Manipulation Of The Image
The simple choice of framing an image or a photo allows, for example, to hide a less attractive part. The focal length used can give a false sense of space that is not true in reality. In architecture, we often tend to use wide-angle lenses (less than 35mm) to show a larger portion of the subject on a single photo when there is too little recoil. In this case, the viewer's perception of the subject will be distorted.
The choice of the point of view in relation to the subject and its background can sometimes cause a striking optical illusion.
This includes changes made necessary by publishing constraints such as cropping to fit the image to paper size or text.
It is common to retouch an image to correct small defects and improve the aesthetic quality of the image:
Erase the dust, claws or stains of a photo;
- Reduce the grain of an image for example if it was taken at high sensitivity (ISO value)
- Refine a silhouette
- Correct red eyes
- Brighten or darken all or part of an image
- Correct a dominant color
- Increase the sharpness of the image
- Clipping or reworking enhancement
The goal is to highlight a subject (person, building, object, etc.) By removing disturbing details or an inappropriate background, in the case of a building, it could be the removal of signs, a vehicle, a passerby or the change of the sky.
It is not a question of retouching the secondary elements of an image but of the suppression of a main element of the photo. In architecture, this may be the removal of a nearby building in ruins or the replacement of the bottom to hide a polluting industrial site.
We speak of photo montage when using all the techniques of image manipulation as well as the combination of several photos or images. This is the method used to present an architectural project in its environment by embedding a computer image in a photographic background.