Name: Ryan Thomas
Photojournalism and Documentary Photography
one (Ryan’s): 581
three (Timi’s): 546
Name: Ryan Thomas
of Study: Contextual Studies
One: Semiotic Analysis (Ryan’s task)
When it comes to advertising, there
can be more than one interpretation and meaning. The way of studying these
different meanings and point of views is defined as a semiotic analysis. A
semiotic analysis can also be defined as the study of signs and symbols as
elements of communicative behavior; the analysis of systems of communication,
as language and gestures. According to author, Martin W Bauer, “Semiology
provides the analyst with a conceptual toolkit for approaching sign systems
systematically in order to discover how they produce meaning” meaning that
semiology as a study is a tool to unfold the many meanings of any symbolic
image or advertisement. Advertisements can have very many different ways to see
them because of the use of semiology, and because of this, it can create a
different interpretation for each person who views it. Ways of interpreting
symbols differently due to semiology can be due to color of a symbol, its
historical value, the way it’s viewed by different social groups within society,
and its significance to current social issues.
By semiotically analyzing this example
of advertising, you can interpret many meanings from it. In this advertisement
for Heinz ketchup, there are many pieces of symbolism. These include an intense
red backdrop, a bottle of Heinz ketchup with horizontally sliced tomatoes,
and text, “No one grows ketchup like
Heinz.” Although the advert is quite basic, it is obvious who the targeted
consumer is. Although the bottle appears to have freshly sliced tomatoes stacked
and indicating that “No one GROWS Ketchup like Heinz”, ketchup is usually full
of sugar and artificial preservatives. Although ketchups made in a factory and
full of unhealthy ingredients, the marketers try to convince the consumers that
the ketchup is “grown” and is fresh due to the stacked tomatoes. Semiology in
this example helps us to examine the symbolism of the stacked tomatoes and
assume that the marketers are trying to indicate that the ketchup is made with
fresh tomatoes as opposed to factory made.
In this next example, you can see
children atop a beam overlooking new york on a parody of the famous image of
the builders of the Empire State Building having their lunch on the beam as
shown. Even without the Lego logo you might be able to depict what company is
advertising this. The children indicate the builders, but builders of young age
and can easily symbolize the usual builders of the brand, Lego.
this is an advertisement for Lego, you can tell that the children symbolize the
simplicity of building the legos just like the builders in the photo of the
Empire State Building can symbolize hard work at a great amount. As well as
simplicity, the children also symbolize innocence and slight cuteness. These
features can imply really how simplistic, building legos can be for literally
anyone. From another point of view however, this image maybe comical and
intriguing to an older audience due to its old, historical significance. As
well as this, it can identified that the text, “builders of tomorrow” can mean
that perhaps maybe one day the children will turn into the men on the Empire
State Building as the builders of tomorrow, but can have many interpretations
to other people.
analysis’ are such a useful tool to unwrap the multiple meanings of the symbols
in images and advertisements used today and in the past. With them, we can
analyse the many means and interpretations of every symbol in an advertisement.
Barthes, Roland (1977) Image, Music, Text. Fontana Press,
Berger, John (1972) Ways of Seeing. Penguin, London.
Charles Sanders (1931): Collected Writings (8 Vols.). (Ed.
Charles Hartshorne, Paul Weiss & Arthur W Burks). Cambridge, MA: Harvard
Task Two: Manifesto (Julia’s Task)
main purpose of photos is to display either a truth or false narrative.
My artwork, photography, is to visually
entertain people and to provide an insight to my view of the subject.
Photography can freeze the moment or
even be a long exposure to provide a different artistic or natural affect to
The purpose of photography is to
document history, whether that be for a positive or negative effect on people’s
perceptions of it, and as an expression of personal art.
Although many photos are a source of telling
the truth and documenting an event, many can be misleading and falsely led.
Although mediums of technology has developed
and changed, the quality of format has not necessarily changed or advanced. It is
the quality of the photographer not the camera.
Photography is expression of life and
Without photography or any other form
of art, expression of emotions would be minimal.
In photography, perspective is
everything. It can completely change the way the photo is seen and the emotion
and feeling it provides to the person who views it. With perspective, it can
create an artistic feature to the photo and can provide and an important and
necessary insight to the photographer’s point of view in the photo. When assessing
a photo, it is necessary to consider the photographer’s perspective and what it
may mean. Some photos use certain compositions of the cameras perspective
according to the layout of the subjects and background to create a different affect
on the photo. The image just below is a landscape photo that shows how a
particular perspective can change the artistic quality of the image. In this
example, the perspective of the photo is important because the arch creates a
nice composition with the open arch.
In this example, the photographer’s
perspective is key to knowing his political and emotional side. You can see in
this photo the importance of the perspective of the shot. The Vietnamese rebel
being shot by a member of the VC in this photo is told better just by where the
photographer took the shot. The photographer was in fact against the VC but the
fact this man being shot will be killed, the perspective of the photo was to
create awareness of what was happening in Vietnam at the time.
John D (2013). Truth; Philosophy in
Transit. Penguin, London.
Botton, Alain (2013). Art as Therapy.
Alfredo (2004). The
Eyes of Gutete Emerita. Foil. New York.
Three. (Timi’s Task)
??????, in English
meaning “Under a Wave Off
Kanagawa”, is a woodblock print by the Japanese artist Hokusai. Arguably
one of Japan’s most famous pieces of art, it’s also Hokusai’s most popular work of art. The Great
Wave was started by Hokusai in 1829 and was finished in around 1831 during the
Edo period. Hokusai’s art, portrays a tremendous wave causing havoc to the
boats off the coast of Kanagawa (now the present-day Kanagawa Prefecture of
Japan). This image was part of a large series of woodblock prints called
Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji made by Hokusai. In all of Hokusai’s prints from
the series, they depict Mount Fuji in the background and greatly illustrate the
artist’s fascination with the
half-imagined. Although all of the images in the series feature the mountain,
Mount Fuji is not always the main focal point of the image.
Despite it not always being the largest subject in the image, it’s
significance is not diminished. To the Japanese, Mount Fuji is a symbol of very
large importance; it is the tallest mountain in Japan and is a deal of great
spirituality to the people of Japan. When this artwork was finished, the people
of Japan must have greatly respected not just this image, but all Thirty-six
Views of Mount Fuji due to it’s importance to their ideology of spirituality at
the time. To the people of Japan today, it may mean something totally different
due to changing beliefs and significance in spiritually. Today however, most
Japanese still view it more than just a pretty painting of waves and water.
Even people from all over the globe today find this to be the most interesting
piece of art to come from Japan. As well as this, the image is one of the most
replicated and most instantly recognized artworks in the world. There are still
many versions of the woodblock work in Japan, but there are also many versions
all around the world in cities such as London, Los Angeles, and Chicago. With
it being viewed around the world still to this day, it proves how significant
it still is to the people around the world.
“A person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others,
especially considered as the object of self analysis.” That is the meaning of
self, and similarly, I myself, find this artwork to be significant. I believe
that from analysis, this image was important to the art culture of Japan and
how Mount Fuji was and still is viewed in such a spiritual and emotional way.
The connection between this painting and others’ perspective over time and my
personal perspective is that some may find it emotionally ambiguous because it
can have more than one meaning. It can have more than one meaning in the sense
that people from past day Japan may find it spiritual due to Mount Fuji being
importantly present within the image, whereas people of Japan may not
necessarily find it spiritual but may still be proud of it due to it’s
importance to Japanese culture. So where others may find it important and
spiritually meaningful, I find it to be an important way Japanese culture
spread to the west in the mid 1800’s.
Bibliothèque nationale de France
(2008). Estampes japonaises: images d’un monde éphémère. Bibliothèque nationale
de France, Fundação Caixa Catalunya. ISBN 978-84-89860-92-6.
Bayou, Hélène (2008). Hokusai,
1760–1849: l’affolé de son art: d’Edmond de Goncourt à Norbert Lagane.
Connaissance des Arts. ISBN 978-2-7118-5406-6.
Timothy, Clark (2001). 100 Views of
Mount Fuji. British Museum Press.