Landscape- Exercise 3:4- A persuasive image

This exercise was split into 2 parts. In the first part we had to find 3 examples of landscape photographs that are used to “assert a particular ideological point of view”. Once we had chosen them we had to make notes on how the photographer used the image and how it communicates its intended message.

The images I chose were

  • “Countryside” From the “North Korea, a Life between propaganda an reality” series by Alice Wielinga
  • “Highway #5- Los Angeles, California 2009” from “Oil” by Edward Burtynsky
  • “Stop the Catastrophe” advert by Greenpeace


In this series of images, Wielinga combined propaganda images with images she took while she was in North Korea. Her aim was to dissolve the mystery behind a country “nobody really seems to know”.

At first glance, you wouldn’t really notice anything strange. However the more you look, the more you see the stark contrasts between the reality and propaganda. The propaganda images are very bright; the people are happy and the scenery is beautiful. Sadly the reality images are more muted tones and show the people as quite oppressed. By creating this series of images, Wielinga is giving a voice to people who are oppressed and in fear of speaking out.

Highway #5- Los Angeles, California 2009

In his series “Oil”, Burtynsky wanted to show how oil is used to power our modern world but also how it is endangering our environment. The image I have chosen shows both what we have been able to achieve with oil however it also shows the price we have paid for these achievements and progress. The image is a mass of concrete, buildings and roads with no visible green spaces. It is very cold, sterile and regimented.

Stop the Catastrophe

This advert looks at deforestation and its effect on the environment. There are no other visible trees in the image, making this seem as though it is the last tree. By making the comparison to the mushroom clouds created by atomic bombs, they are showing how huge an impact deforestation would have on the environment.

Part 2

In the second part of the exercise, we had to think about an issue that is important to us and design an image that would have a persuasive effect on a viewer. The exercise is more about generating ideas so we didn’t have to actually create a final image.

I decided to focus on air pollution. When I first started to think about it, i immediately thought of power stations. As this is quite a common theme, I started to think about how I could make it different. It was at this point my attention was turned to the masks that you occasionally see people wearing in countries such as China where air pollution is quite an extensive problem. I then tought about using people within my image, however this is also a common theme and sadly doesn’t have as much of an impact as it use to have. When thinking of power stations I wanted to use Rugeley power station, so I looked at what was around the power station and noticed there were a lot of fields. This was when I decided to put it a field of cows with face masks on and the text “Is this a future worth looking forward to?”. I felt that this would give a bigger impact to the viewer as it would make them think about the impact, not just to us, but animals as well. Do we really want to live in a world where everyone has to wear masks just to go outside?


About kunsworthphotography

I am currently studying towards a BA (Hons) in Photography with OCA and I have 2 children, Evie(4 years old) and Connor(3 years old)
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