This page refers to the positioning of people and things within an image.


Compare the visuals in the 2008 and 2010 VCAA English exams available at http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/vce/studies/english/englishexams.aspx

Effect on reader

Where things appear within an image can signify something about the creator’s feelings or ideas about them. For example, objects placed directly in front of the camera are at odds with the average advertisement or television program that aims to position most things slightly off-centre. For this reason, objects placed directly in the centre can be eye-catching, or can be used to convey dominance over the domain of the visual. This can also be used to signify the central focus of the visual.

Tips for analysis

The two visuals from the 2008 and 2010 VCAA exams demonstrate the contrast between placing things in the margins and the centre. In the 2010 example, the hands and world are directly in the centre of the image: demonstrating their significance to the issue at hand. In contrast, the action is taking place in the margins of the 2008 visual (the referee and the donkey) which draws the reader’s eye across the entire visual rather than focusing on one spot or thing.