Images or Illusions: chapter 5 response

We live in a visual world. Images are used on a regular basis to communicate, a language all in its own. Chapter 5 of Liz Wells Photography: A Critical Introduction clearly addresses photography as a language that communicates helpful and hurtful information. Today, more than ever, information by way of photography is commoditized for both capitalistic and social promotion.

Just as verbal or textual communication has rapidly increased due to digital media, so has visual communication. Guy Debord said that as people become passive the media absorbs us into the world of illusions. Are we being overwhelmed by the abundant onslaught of images? Does the advertising medium of social media give us a false-positive reality?

As I glance at the magazine stand in the grocery aisle, I am intrigued at the manipulated and glossy images that appear in certain publications. Yet, two inches either right or left stands a magazine portraying images of “disgust and imperfection” that are supposed to cause a gasp in horror! It might be said that the producer of the image has no moral conscience. What about the viewer who takes the image as face value? Where does responsibility lie?

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