“A picture is worth more than 1000 words”. Does it?

By June 7, 2019Blog
Getty Images Archive Pictures

For hundreds of years, the only way to revisit an era, period, or even person imagery was through paintings, sculptures, or other similar artistic forms. It was only in the year 1826, when the French inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce took advantage of a tin plate covered with a derivative of a photosensitive oil, to make a portrait of his sight. The result of this, after eight hours of exposure to light to be ready, was considered the first photograph, being nicknamed, by its creator, “Heliography”.

Since then, innumerable other – and more technological – ways of portraying a person or situation have been created coming to the picture as we know it today. However, the question that remains in the air is why the images, more and more equal to reality, are so important for the human being?

A study by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America has pointed out that human memory is easier to remember from an image than from anything written. The article points out that people can remember more than 2,000 photos with at least 90% accuracy in recognition tests over a period of several days, even with brief presentation times throughout the learning process. That is, the images mark people’s memory much more than a text.

It is believed that such thinking dates back hundreds of years before the advent of photography. The great Roman orator, Cicero, believed in the importance of using images in his speeches. Two thousand years ago, he recommended using images as part of memory training. He also used visual aids, in the form of props, in his speeches.

This fact is known as the image superiority effect. When we read a text or hear an audio version of it, we are likely to remember only 10% of the information three days later. However, it is much more likely that we will remember information for a longer period if the text (or audio version) is presented with suitable images. In fact, if the information is presented to us as text combined with relevant images, we are likely to remember 65% of the information for up to 3 days later.

Hulton Archive and the use of the image in different areas

Hulton Archive

Located in the city of London, England, Getty Images’ Hulton Archive seeks to heal this need of people to have the most of history illustrated by images. With more than 80 million images dating from the beginning of the advent of photography in the first half of the nineteenth century, the image bank helps journalists, photographers and curious people to present image references of an important period or person.

In recent years, the advertising industry has been a major partner of Hulton Archive and other image files. This is because, more and more, the public has been interested in seeing a union between modern articles, be they clothes, drinks or even technological devices, with people or scenarios of other periods or times. The unusual of such situations has attracted and still attracts people’s interest in encountering them.

That is, at the end of this text, it is visible that, as the old saying says, a picture is worth – even – more than a thousand words – and texts.

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