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Visual Imagery Essay

598 words - 3 pages

Visual Image of the Man on the Moon
Paper # 2
A visual image is essentially visible wavelengths of light caught on camera through a lens during a specific moment in time, but the value of a visual image goes far beyond scientific explanation. These images are captured memories that allow us to recall, understand, and interpret that specific moment. These visuals may mean different things to different people, but the one thing most of these individuals have in common is that they are expecting truth from that image. Truth in this context can mean that the image embodies a certain quality or effect, represents evidence that an event took place, or that it sums up certain political and social values.
One picture in particular whose truth has been frequently questioned is the iconic image of the first man on the moon. Ever since ...view middle of the document...


Apollo 11 was the name of the spaceflight that would land Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong on the moon during the time of Richard Nixon’s Presidency and the decade consumed by the space race. Since 1961, when President John F Kennedy claimed we would succeed at this goal by the end of the sixties, many were filled with skepticism about NASA and the space program because these ideas seemed so far-fetched at the time. Conspiracies then arose over claims that the U.S. just wanted to win the space race, needed more funding for NASA, or that it was used as a distraction during the Vietnam War, but none of the allegations could ever be verified as accurate.
There are a multitude of reasons why this photo holds truth value and why it is important that it stands as evidence that something took place. For starters, it is proof that we did accomplish Kennedy’s previously mentioned goal for America. Secondly, it is confirmation that we beat the Soviets over all in the space race since very few witnesses could actually be there in person to attest the actual event. Lastly, it is important that we view this image as evidence because it was the first and will probably always be a rare occurrence to get a glimpse into human life beyond Earth.
As mentioned before the inherent truth of an image can be presented or interpreted in many ways. The first picture of the man on the moon did have an effect on future space programs. It also embodies the American spirit because the flag is present. Regardless of how you look at the image though, its first and most powerful truth is that it stands as evidence that something took place. It is true for the astronauts aboard the Apollo 11 shuttle who see it as an index to one of their greatest accomplishments. It is true for the young children who saw the image for the first time in 1969 and to the children now who see it in their history books, but mainly it is true for the skeptics that never imagined such a journey was possible and just needed evidence.

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