The Falling Man
The image of the falling man is one of the most powerful images in the 21st century. The image is of a young man, dressed in a waiters outfit falling, silently to his demise. This very concept of death frozen in time is extremely disturbing and powerful.
The picture invokes feelings of horror, shock, sadness, anger and even nausea. The thought that someone could take a picture of someone’s last, precious moments is sickening and unethical. These feelings are all caused by this one picture which makes it so powerful. The reason this picture is so effective in invoking these feelings is because of the visual techniques. Although Richard Drew didn’t mean for these, they still added a lot the overall effect. The vector lines of the trade towers all point one way: down. Almost like guiding arrows for the man. The sadness of inevitability is conveyed here as you know what is going to happen and there is no way to stop it. The other lines are angular across the buildings which illustrate the idea of 3-Dness among the buildings where as the man is by himself with no shadow. This segregation implies seclusion between the world and this man falling. This seclusion adds the feeling of silence as it is just this man, falling by himself. This effect also leaves the viewer speechless. Silence is again implied by the man’s position. Legs relatively straight, no flailing arms, closed mouth, just a straight body. The man was not screaming. He was silent. Was he praying? Perhaps thinking about his loved ones? All these factors add to the drama and power of the image
The law of conservation states that energy can not be created or destroyed. This concept is the same with power. The power that is radiated from this picture starts at the 9/11 attacks. These powerful attacks destroyed both towers and killed nearly 3,000 people. That is power. This power was then translated into hundreds of people stuck in burning buildings struggling for air. The image gives...