The relationship between words and images

While every aspect of art is unique and strong in equal measure, imagery portrays a strong way of communicating messages. Perhaps the strength of photography is due to the fact that there are no words and the interpretation is left to the observer. Nevertheless, the relationship between words and images is wide and diverse. In simple terms, images are used to communicate words and words are used to interpret images. One cannot be said to be more important than the other because they are all dependent on each other. Berger (pp. 7) asserts that there is a sense in which words are preceded by seeing.

Despite there being a continuous relationship between words and images, there is a gap between what is read and what is seen. Indeed, this gap is occasioned by the fact the mind possesses a preconceived thinking about what the person sees. This is to say that the mind already knows something about the image that it sees and this tends to reflect in the things that the mind chooses to either see or even read.

It is not surprising that people may cast their eyes only on one object within an image and even go at depths to try and put what they see in words. This even as the image may be containing a diverse collection of individuals. The identified object in the image could be a queen or someone of striking beauty such that people may not look away. The concentration of the observer on such an object could be driven by the fact that they have a prior definition of beauty.

The manner in which things are portrayed in the eyes is dependent on prior beliefs and knowledge about such occurrences. The preconceived beliefs and information forms some kind of bias within the minds forcing the same to be identified in the images before the eyes. In this respect, the eyes are always on the lookout to identify that which has already been registered in the minds. It is because of these happenings that people tend to identify certain features within images portraying a specific occurrence. For instance, an image showing the flow of river is analyzed for water dwelling animals such as fishes. It may then occur that no other feature is identifiable in the observer’s eyes in the immediate short term other than the fishes in the river. Even when other features become identifiable in the observer’s eyes, they can only be after the fishes have been identified.

All that is seen in the eyes of people is expressed not only in terms of imagery but also in words. There is a strong relationship between what is seen and what one records in their minds to describe the image. In essence, details are better of explored in terms of words thereby giving them a larger insight as opposed to images. For what are images other than “summaries of the words that explain specific situations and occurrences” (Varnum & Christina, pp. 57)? What one sees in an image is involuntarily and unconsciously recorded in words within the minds of the observers. It is for this reason that people tend to detail what they have seen in terms of words and narratives. In ad

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