"reading" and "writing" visual messages


November 19, 2008

Video Segments

1.How do we perceive images?
2.How can we "write" visual messages? (Click the icons below.)

3.How can we "read" visual messages? (Click the images below.)



Many commentators say that we are living in a visual world—a world where analyzing and creating images is as important as reading and writing text.    If that is the case, how do we prepare our students to think critically about visual communication?  How can we help them “read” visual messages and incorporate them effectively in assignments?  And how can we incorporate visuals effectively in our teaching?  In this video, Art Professor Alfred Smith attempts to answer these questions by, first, explaining the physiology of perceiving images and, then, illustrating how “picture-writers” use line, light, perspective, and space to communicate through images.  Then, he challenges the audience to use their understanding of these tools to “read” the positive and negative messages in a series of photos from the 2008 presidential campaign.  At the end of the video, he discusses with his audience how selecting appropriate images can enhance their teaching.