Week Seven – Semiotic Analysis – Sarah Dawson

Student name: Sarah Dawson
Date of post: 14/9/2014
Topic and relevant lecture week: 7

Dolce-Gabbana-Holiday-2010-Ethereal-Beauty-Collection-Scarlett-Johansson-ad-campaign

Artist – Dolce & Gabbana
Title – The Eye Shadow
Collection/source – fashionadexplorer.com
Image URL / originhttp://www.fashionadexplorer.com/l-bqQHelTkQ3mifBfD.jpg

Content:
The advert features two people; one male, one female, in a close, sexual brace. The advert is for Dolce and Gabbana eye shadow.

Semiotics Analysis
To analysis what makes the interaction within the advert successful, we can look at its signs through a semiotics theory framework.

The most interesting aspect of this advert is the switch of gender stereotypes. Whilst they appearance conforms to the culturally excepted norm of beauty, they do not conform on a personality level. For instance, whilst females are typically represented in advertising as passive and intimate, in this case, the male has these attributes, whereas the female in this advert has attributes of being superior to the male. This has been represented in several ways.

Firstly, the female’s pose is slightly turned away from him, whilst her hand also pulls him in without using any eye contact. This is contrasted against him submitting to her with his whole body. Meanwhile, her hair and facial expression represents a haughty, narcissistic personality.

This all works together on a metonymic conative level to communicate the overall theme of sex; specifically that as a female wearing the eye shadow, you will be more attractive and have power over your sexual partner.

Analysing the advert further with a representational framework, the advert uses a transactive narrative style, which is bidirectional. Through her body movements and eye contact that demands the viewer’s attention whilst looking down at them, the female reinforces that she is superior not only to the male but also to the viewer.

The distance represented between the viewer and the female, is a social distance that suggests to the viewer that they too could share the experience.


Commission_The_family_of_Mulan_by_FreeWingsS

Artist – Disney
Title – Mulan and family
Collection/source – deviantart.com
Image URL / originhttp://www.deviantart.com/cartoons/?view_mode=2&order=9&q=mulan+ping

Content:
The image depicts a cartoon family of Asian decent, with father, mother and child.

Semiotics Analysis
The semiotics model can be employed to analysis the transactive narrative of the image.

We (as the viewer) know that the three pictured in the image are a family due to the culturally encoded and digressive knowledge that family includes a father, mother and children. This is supported by several other codes within the image.

First, the parents’ manner fit many stereotypes. The mother is looking at her child with love and tenderness; this tenderness is also represented with her semi-casual Asian hairstyle that softly frames her face. The father on the other hand stands over the mother and child with his arms embracing them with security. In this way, the father and mother conform to culturally perceived gender roles.

The_family_of_Mulan

The image can be analysed further than this through social semiotics interactive reading. Their eye contact is of particular interest; the father and mother are both looking at the child whilst the child looked out of frame to the viewer, demanding attention. This has a unique effect of inviting the viewer into the picture, to feel the love the family shares.

Week Six – Semiotic Analysis – Sarah Dawson

Student name: Sarah Dawson
Date of post: 14/9/2014
Topic and relevant lecture week: 6

fitbitflexwiresslwristband

Artist – Fitbit
Year of creation – 2013
Collection/source – loyolife.wordpress.com
Image URL / origin – http://loyolife.wordpress.com/

Content
The advert was produced by Fitbit to promote their (at the time) new Fitbit Flex. The Fitbit flex is pictured as a fitness band that is worn on the wrist. The advert also pictures a phone (which the user pairs with the band), a model wearing the band and sneakers, and text.

Semiotics Analysis
Through the semiotic framework, we can analysis the meaning of the advert and its signs.
Firstly the band gains meaning as a fitness tracker through the signs around it, making it a syntagmatic sign. The main sign working to give the band meaning is the images text. It is known as the anchor and “allows the viewer to choose between what could be a confusing number of possible denotive meanings” (Barthes 1977: 38-41) for the band. The photograph of the jogger reinforces this, however we gain meaning of the jogger in a very different way. In this case, we know what the person is doing by what it is not; for example, the model is not going out to a formal event because they are not wearing formal shoes. We also gain understanding of the sign through social and culturally encoded norms; that being that you wear supportive shoes when exercising.

The link between the phone and band is less obvious. Through compositional layout, it is clear that there is a link between the two but there is nothing visually to suggest what the link is. Instead, it relies on the viewer being pre-exposed to the way that advertising represents the invisible links between technologies.


ipod_advert

Artist – Apple
Title – iPod
Collection/source – themodern.us
Image URL / originhttp://www.themodern.us/ipod-still-alive-alive/

Content
The advert was produced as part of a series by apple in 2011 to advertise its iPod classic. The advert features a black silhouetted female figure on a bright pink background, holding and listening to a white iPod. This series of adverts were printing on many different types of media including billboards, bus stops and magazines.

Semiotics analysis
The representational and interactive meanings of this advert can be analysed using the semiotics framework.

The signs of the advert gain meanings from each other. Firstly, the silhouette of the woman can be read/understood as a dancing “diva” due to her pose. We also gain this meaning from the other signs in the advert such as the white line (head phones) connecting the diva to the white device. Signs that gain meaning from other devices like this are known as syntagmatic signs. In the same way, the white device gains its meaning (an iPod) from the headphones connected to it and from the iPod symbol in the top left hand corner (which is visually connected to the device through the use of colour).

Through the lack of eye contact, it can be assumed that the advert is offering something to the viewer. In this case, if we analyse the plain setting, the profile view of the silhouette and the distance; mid shot that represents social connection, we can assume that the advert is offering the opportunity to share the experience of “7500 songs in your pocket”. The black of the silhouette that allows the viewer to imagine him or herself in the advert reinforces this by allowing the viewer to imagine him or herself as the “diva”.

The setting is worth further analysis; its plainness suggests that with the device, the user can disappear into their own reality.

Week Three – Compositional interpretation – Sarah Dawson

Student name: Sarah Dawson
Date of post: 14/9/2014
Topic and relevant lecture week: 3
1

2

3

4

5
Title – Dexter Opening Titles
Year of creation –2007
Screen ratio – 16:9
Collection/source – Youtube.com
Image URL / originhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIqBQWB7IUM

Content
The frames are from a 6 second segment (starting at 1:25 minutes) from the opening titles of the TV show, Dexter. It pictures Dexter tying his shoelaces in extreme close-up.

Colour
The scene is de-saturated to represent the darkness of the main character. The skin tones have mid-level values that are contrasted against the much lower value brown and blues. This helps to make the actors actions stand out and to highlight the strength in his actions.

Lighting
The scene, whilst most likely shot in a studio is made to look as if it has been naturally lit from sunlight coming through the window. This is most clearly evident in the second frame where you can see the shadow from the blinds on the wall behind the actor.

The dull lighting from the diffused sunlight has caused the previously mentioned de-saturated hues.

Mise-en-scene and Montage
The scene is shot in a 16:9 screen ratio, which is the standard widescreen for television. The shots of the subject’s movements are extreme close-ups making it an open framed scene.

The whole scene is shot with a soft, shallow focus with all shots angles progressing slightly from high, through to low throughout the sequence.

The point of view also varies from frame to frame in a sporadic manner. The camera however, never pans, tracks or tilt. Instead, the frame cuts to different angles, distances and subject matter. These cuts between the frames are unmarked with very little continuity between the frames, apart for frame 4 and 5. The cuts between these last two frames somewhat (still has a different angle) follows the pulling motion of the shoelace. This lack of continuity and the cut technique contributes to the tension of the scene, which is also represented visually by the tension placed on the shoelace.

The sound track supports this sense of tension further. It features both environmental sounds; coming from the shoelace, and a music track which is an almost “showtime” tune who’s rhythm runs parallel with the action.


Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 10.20.41 am
Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 10.21.06 am
Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 10.21.13 am
Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 10.21.34 am
Screen Shot 2014-09-14 at 10.21.46 am

Content
The sequence (0:27- 0:45) starts with Jorah walking through a burnt field until he comes to a figure (Daenery) hunched over on the burnt out ground. She slowly lefts her head, revealing baby dragons sitting on her lap.

Colour
The scene is filled with natural colours that are all de-saturated and slightly contrasted against the dull neutral background.. The first two frames contains the lowest values, with the remaining three having higher values. This progression represents the mood of the scene that seems to get periodically lighter on finding Daenery alive.

Light
The light is heavily defused by both the smoke in the air and the suns position (it is assumed to be early morning). It is this heavily defused light that causes the scene to be highly de-saturated and the previously mentioned contrast between subject matter and background.

It is also important to note that Daenery is less harshly lit than the two males. This makes her facial expressions look more innocent compared to the expressions of shock on the males faces.

Spatial Organisation
The sequence starts from a low angle, following Jorah. This does not have the normal effect of putting the viewer in an inferior position to Jorah but instead entices and invites the viewer the see what Jorah is walking towards.
When Jorah reaches Daenery, the angle changes and the viewer is now looking down at Daenery from Jorah’s point of view. This at first makes Daenery look vulnerable.

Mise-en-muse and Montage
The scene is shot in a 16:9 screen ratio, which is the standard widescreen for television. The subject matter and subjects glaze is always off frame making it an open frame scene.

The scene is shot via a camera crane and starts with an extreme close-up of Jorah’s feet in a shallow, sharp focus. The camera tracks him moving forward and as he moves closer to Daeney, the camera rises to Jorah’s eye-level and rolls down to see Daenery from Jorah’s point-of-view. The camera however does not begin to focus on Daenery until it has reached Jorah’s eye level.

The scene then cuts to Jorah, to show his reaction to finding Daenery alive.

The sound that accompanies the scene has two sources; one natural and one musical. The natural sounds are created by the ashes on the ground being walked on, and adds to the anonymous anxiety in the beginning of the scene. The musical track is eerie and reinforces the feeling of anxiety.


Comparison
Both moving sequences communicate their expressive content differently.

The opening titles for Dexter uses extreme close-up and unmarked cuts to only give the viewer snap shots of information, while the Game of Thrones scene uses a long continuous shot to let the viewer know exactly what’s going on. It is important to point out that the Game of Thrones scene does not give away all of its secrets in one go but instead uses focus techniques and point-of-view to hide some visuals until the tension is built up.

In my own practice I have experimented with the cutting practices used in the Dexter sequence and the combination of sound tracks used in both sequences. It effectively created a disjointed, tension that made the viewer itch for the identity of the mean character.

Week Five – Compositional interpretation – Sarah Dawson

Student name: Sarah Dawson
Date of post: 14/9/2014
Topic and relevant lecture week: 5

640x640xbarbara-palvin-instagram.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.D81aBpItdn

Artist – Unknown
Title – Barbara Palvin
Year of creation – 2014
Collection/source – Twitter
Technique, material – Photograph
Genre – Self Portrait
Image URL / originhttps://twitter.com/barbararealplvn/status/459710052652552192/photo/1

Content
A tight framed close-up portrait of a woman. The woman is looking straight at the camera with a neutral expression.

Colour
The photograph is highly de-saturated, creating feminine browns, blues and pinks.
The majority of her face is over exposed, creating soft high valued browns that give her face an impression of perfection. These light tones are contrasted against the dark tones in her hair.
Her eyes and lips are the only hint of colour in the photograph. Whilst they too are de-saturated, they have a lower value creating contrast against the soft face.

Lighting
The shot is slightly overexposed, which is mostly caused from more than one light source. By the light tones on the left of face (viewer’s right), it is assumed that the main light source is coming from the right of the image. Secondary soft light sources fill the image to prevent harsh black tones.

Spatial Organisation
Due to the extreme close-up, there is no apparent horizon line or perspective lines. The woman’s facial features and clothing however guide the viewer around the image. As mentioned, the viewer’s eyes are slightly contrasted against the soft tones of the woman’s face; this makes them the focal point of the image.
From her eyes the viewer naturally follows the woman’s eyebrows down the check to her feather earing. The ‘v’ of her shirt directs the viewer to her hair and back up to her eyes

The full circle creates a rhythm highlighting her enticing, mysterious facial expression.


Dog%20beard[1]

Artist – Miralo Dos Veces
Title – Day 36: mutation continues its pace.
Year of creation – 2014
Collection/source – Twitter
Technique, material – Photograph
Genre – Self Portrait
Image URL / origin – https://twitter.com/MiraloDosVeces/status/502421437689643008

Context:
The image shows a woman with a dog. The dog is positioned in a way that gives the illusion that the woman has a beard.

Colour:
The image is slightly de-saturated creating a soft feminine feel. The values of the browns in the background vary, creating a halo around the woman. This also acts to create contrast between the woman’s hair and the background immediately behind her. This helps to highlight the main subject matter.

Spatial Organisation
The Dog, woman’s face and window seal are all off centre, leaving the entire right side of the image empty.

The lines of the Dog’s ears and mouth create an arrow that point upwards to the woman.

The viewer then follows the woman’s eyebrows up and back down to the bottom of the image, where the dog’s ears catch the viewer’s eye again. This creates a dynamic rhythm of two circles.

It is ambiguous where the horizon is but as it is obvious that the viewer is only slightly looking up at the woman, the horizon is most likely somewhere between the woman’s shoulders and cheekbones


Comparison

These two portraits are very different to each another. The first image (Barbara Palvin), whilst made to look like a selfie, most likely had a team of stylists and art directors working on it. The shot is well lit to avoid highlighting any imperfections and the composition is also highly considered to frame her facial expression.

On the other hand, the dog beard photo is quite obviously a selfie. The way it is lit highlights the lines above her eyebrow and the halo around her head is not quite complete, allowing the viewer to get lost in the top left-hand corner of the photograph.

Week One – Compositional interpretation – Sarah Dawson

Student name: Sarah Dawson
Date of post: 14/9/2014
Topic and relevant lecture week: 2

Untitled

Artist – Vincent van Gogh
Title – Starry Night
Year of creation –1889
Dimensions – 73.7 cm X 92.1cm
Collection/source – Wikipedia.org
Technique, material – Oil on canvas
Genre – Post-Impressionism
Image URL / originhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Starry_Night#mediaviewer/File:Van_Gogh_-_Starry_Night_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

Content

The painting features a starry night over a quiet, sleeping city that lays in the mid-ground of the painting. The City sits in front of mountains and the foreground features a Cypress tree which is associated with mourning (Artble.com).

Colour

The painting uses a complementary colour scheme of blue, yellow and browns. Blue, being the most prominent colour is highly saturated and is used in various shades and tints.
Higher values of blue are used as highlighting in the sky to create emphasis in the swirl whilst darker shades (lower values) are used in the hair to create depth in the night sky. This combination of high and low value blues are used throughout the painting for highlighting and depth. The mountains are painted in this manner, with the high values in the closest set of mountains and the further in the lower value. This assists the visual appearance of atmospheric perspective.
Yellow is the most vivid colour in the painting and is contrasted against the blues of the night sky. This contrast is created through the absence of low values in the yellows.
The browns used throughout the landscape for the bush in the foreground are all highly de-saturated with low values. This forms the darkest tones in the painting with a high level of contrast.

Spatial Organisation
The foremost object, the cypress tree is the focaliser of the image. From there, the viewer’s eye follows the exquisite swirl through the night sky to the large moon in the top right hand corner. The mountains then bring the viewers eyes back to the tree. This full circle creates a dynamic rhythm throughout the image and keeps the viewer exploring the top portion for the painting.

The steeple city’s church enforces this by forcing any wondering eyes back up to the sky.
Starry_Night-annotated-vision

The painting lacks a well-defined geometrical perspective. The rows of trees behind the city do however create faint, disjointed rays of vision which are somewhat supported by rows of buildings. Using these settle rays of vision, the vanishing point can be found in the centre for the image, inline with the horizon line. This places the bush and the night sky above the viewer’s line of vision, which creates a sense of importance and respect for the sky.
Starry_Night-annotated

Light
The main source of light comes from the stars that are pictured in the painting. These stars light the sky and the city below. The tree is lit from behind which makes it the darkest object in the painting.

Expressive Content
The composition, with the viewer looking up at the sky and always being redirected back to it by the vision lines creates an atmosphere of awe and a sense of hope. The theme of hope is further conveyed through the use of light colours in the night sky, which are bright and light over the dark city.


Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper

article-2283932-1841B41F000005DC-344_964x782

Artist – Getty Images
Title – Great chemistry
Year of creation –2013
Collection/source – http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Technique, material – Photograph
Style – Paparazzi shot
Image URL / originhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2283932/Oscars-2013-Jennifer-Lawrence-Anne-Hathaway-Jessica-Chastain-lead-glamour-light-gowns.html

Content
The photograph is a paparazzi photo of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper on the red carpet at the 2013 Oscars. It pictures Jennifer pointing at Bradley in a way that appears to be trying to bring attention to him.

Colour
The photograph contains a large portion of black and white, mainly from peoples clothing, with some smaller hints of washed out and de-saturated red, blue, yellow and brown in the background.

The skin colours are all de-saturated, with various values. Jennifer’s skin tone is the highest, which works to contrast her against everyone else. Without this difference in skin tone, she wouldn’t especially stand out in the sea of black and white.

Spatial Organisation
Jennifer is pictured in the centre foreground of the photograph; this combined with the previously mentioned contrast, she becomes the images focaliser. From there, the directional line created by her pointing hand directs the viewer’s eye to Bradley. Bradley’s arms in turn, point back towards Jennifer, creating a triangle and within the triangle their arms create is a secondary triangle. These triangles keep the viewer’s attention on the pair. A third triangle formed but the pairs eyes work to reinforce this further.

Oscars-annotated-triangle

A majority of the faces in the mid-ground are looking in the direction of the pair. This helps again to fix the viewer’s attention onto Jennifer and Bradley.

The settle rays of vision indicate that the horizon line is in line with Jennifer and Bradley’s faces. This brings the viewer at par with the actors, allowing the viewer to share the humour of the situation.

Oscars-annotated

Light
The photograph is lit with artificial and very light natural lighting. The artificial lighting is coming from strong camera flashes and stage lighting placed in various positions around the image. This results in the image being extremely over exposed. This is most evident in the mid and far grounds, creating the previously mentioned de-saturated, high values.

Expressive Content
The facial expression of Jennifer and Bradley, along with the overly lit image creates a sense of humour. The viewer is able to share/feel this atmosphere through the use of the camera angle.


Comparison

Whilst having similar layouts, with focalisers in the foreground, the way in which each image demands/ keeps attention is very different. For instance, Vincent moves the viewer’s attention away from the focal point through the use of directional lines, whilst the paparazzi image keeps the viewer’s attention moving between the focal point (Jennifer) and her companion, Bradley.

The two images also create contrast through two different techniques, The paparazzi photo uses focus techniques and skin tone to make Jennifer stand out whilst the painting utilises colouring techniques.

Week 7 – Semiotic Analysis – Nick Chandler

Nick Chandler – n8580138 

Image 1: Kanye West Graduation Album Cover 

Low Modality Image 

Artist: Takashi Murakam 

Creative Director: Kanye West 

Year of Creation: 2007 
Image Source: http://www.mtv.com/news/1584891/kanye-west-album-cover-artist-takashi-murakami-talks-about-working-with-ye-at-his-nyc-exhibit-opening/

graduation-album-cover

Content: 

This is a low modality image. The Bear appears to be being shot out a cannon like planet, with other animals scattered distantly in the background, with graduation caps in the air. High contrasting colours are used to illustrate the setting, with a purple camo like background.

Social Semiotic Analysis:

The image has an abstract compositional element to it. It’s highly saturated colour scheme and illustrated sketches give it a comic like appearance.

From the first glance this image appears to be compositional, however looking closer it appears there is a use of both narrative and compositional elements. As it is an album cover it draws from that ‘Z’ like framing structure, connecting the elements in the image for continuity. You’re first presented with the bear that then leads you to the text ‘Kanye West, Graduation’ which then leads you to the logo on the bottom left of the page.

This image also has a narrative element to it. It tells a story of a bear (whom we could assume is Kanye) graduating from school. His projection across the page draws reference to his success with the graduation caps flying around in the background. This leaves the viewer with the assumption he’s just graduated from college or whatever stage of life he’s in.

Framing plays a big part in the compositional interpretation of the image. The bear is positioned at the top left hand corner of the screen implying that he’s ‘going somwhere’. The other models on screen are rather small, giving them less of a focus, drawing back to the bear as the focal point of the image. The image is quite abstract, making the viewer read the other doings/happenings to gain a broader understanding of what is going on.

By creating this cartoon like adaptation of Kanye, the viewer after a while is able to tell the bear isn’t just a random character but a cartoon like representation of himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image 2

 High Modality Image 

‘Titanic Behind the scenes shoot’ on The movie ‘Titanic’

Source: http://news.distractify.com/people/celebrities/behind-the-scenes-of-old-movies/?v=1

Director: James Cameron

Year of creation: 1997

shootinmovies47-934x 

Content: 

This is a high modality image. Leonardo Di Caprio (pictured left) is propped up in a squat in the back of what appears to be a lift, whilst Kate Windslet (pictured right), is slumped up against the back of the lift, her head ajar looking straight at the camera.

Social Semiotic Analysis:

Although this image doesn’t appear to tell a story (narrative) by looking at the models framing and distance from one and other you can make the assumption that they know one and other. This is what’s called a non-transactive narrative.

There is no narrative within the image, however you can loosely base the assumption of a relationship displayed by their proximity to one and other, there facial expression and their eye focus. 

The image relays a sense of playfulness through the models facial expression and composition. Di Caprio (pictured left) is smirking, looking off the screen plane, creating whats called an offer. This leaves us detached from the person as if they’re in a display case. However it’s through the other model on screen (kate Windslet) who creates a demand, as she has a fixed gaze into the camera lens, creating that relationship with the viewer. This leaves the audience with a sense of engagement to the characters, whilst still being slightly removed.

The framing of the image is set at a medium distance. The models are both propped up next to one and other at the back of the lift. Their distance to the camera is slightly detached which is emphasised by the doors of the lift, slightly ajar, framing the front of the photo. This reminds the viewers of their social standing. However the use of the low camera angle, gives them that personable feel.

Despite the models 20th era drawn outfits, their casual body position leaves the audience with a candid like feel to the image. The limited lighting and lack of compositional elements make the image very relatable to the audience, something of which you might see anywhere, creating what’s called a high modality.

Ermond Machica – Week 7 – Semiotics 2

social relations

Contexual Information

Name: Battle of the sexes
Type: Conceptual Image
Image URL: http://lifestylescience.eu/reacting-to-hide-the-reaction/

Semiotics Analysis

Building Blocks
The main elements of the image is the adult male in the orange shirt, the adult female in the green shirt and together their arm wrestle demeanour.

Signs
There are multiple signs which can be interpreted with the image, one sign is the male, he represents an icon sign. The second sign is the female, who represents another icon sign. The last sign is the arm wrestle demeanour between the two which is an icon.

Sr = Signifier
Sd = Signified

The male person (Sr) represents the male sex (Sd), the female person (Sr) represents the female sex (Sd) and the arm wrestle demeanour (Sr) represents opposition or battle (Sd).

Interpretation through Dyer’s List

The image is interpreted through Dyer’s List (Rose 2001).

As previously stated the representation of bodies is a male and female, both are Caucasian, both are at similar body as size as in one is not significantly taller or obese than the other and also both are wearing apparel which can be consider to be of a similar social class. In terms of the representations of manner, both people have a very similar pose, facial expression and the same expression of eye contact. In terms of the representation of activity, both people have similar positional communication and are both touching by gripping each other’s hands. Although it could be seen as the female being more open and the male as closed off from the viewers perspective. It appears as though in terms of bodily and manner representation both sexes whilst different in various cultural ideologies are actually represented as equals and on par with each on every level, yet however in terms of activity, even though they are equal again they are ultimately battling each other.

Social Semiotics Analysis

Representational
Narrative

The image could be perceived as contemporary version of the battle of the sexes, both sexes are playing an equal active role and a bidirectional interaction. In the current western cultural perspective, men and women have equal power social structures within all aspects of life (or at least more closer to equal than ever before) whereas previously our society was completely orientated by dominating masculine paradigms. Yet in this image both sexes are still opposing each other. The deeper meaning of the image could then be perceived as the male trying to regain his old male driven society and simultaneously perhaps the female is riding the momentum of the feminist movement and looking to create an age of a female driven society. It could even be perceived as two sexes who have been battling each other for so long that even though they are now more equal they still battle each other because that’s what has been handed down through the generations.

social relations-vectors

 

 

 

 

 

In terms of vectors, the arms of both people create clear vectors lines which draw attention. A pattern that appears are multiple triangular dynamics mainly related to their eye gazes and arm positioning. An interesting find is that the formations seem to form the letter W, which could be a representation for Women, but it may just be coincidence due to the nature of their arm wrestling demeanor.

Interactive Meaning
In terms of interactivity, the viewer is in a position where they can be objective about the image, as there is a bit of a distance in terms of the relationship between the viewer and the two people. Also the distance from these two people is at a medium distance shot, it is just close enough to create the feeling that the viewer is watching a battle that is taking place and they can choose sides.

Compositional Meaning

Information value
The placements of each person within the image in context to their actions have an equal left to right, right to left relationship. However view from western culturally based perspective left to right is read, so it could be seen that the even though in many ways both sexes are equal, since the man is perceived first he could be seen as having the upper hand.


 

low-modality

 

Contexual Information

Art Name: Greed
Artist: mou-s
Type: Digital Painting
Image URL: http://www.deviantart.com/art/Greed-308476837

Semiotics Analysis

Building Blocks
The main elements of the image is the adult male, the adult female in and the teapot and cup.

Signs
There are multiple signs which can be interpreted with the image, one sign is the male, he represents an icon. The second sign is the female, she represents an icon. Lastly the teapot and cup are both icons.

Sr = Signifier
Sd = Signified

The male person (Sr) represents an authority figure (Sd), the female person (Sr) represents a servant (Sd) and the teapot and cup (Sr) represents a service (Sd).

Interpretation through Dyer’s List
In terms of the representation of both persons bodies, both are adults, opposite sexes and both appear to be of Asian ethnicity. In terms of the representation of their manner and activity, the guys expression is as if he is contemplating about something outside of his immediate environment, his body language is calm and collected, and he makes no eye contact with the lady. The lady’s manner and activity is of loyal service to the guy, her body language is in the calm act of pouring a drink however she also makes no eye contact. The lack of eye contact may be associated to cultural and/or hierarchical customs.
Social Semiotics Analysis

Representational
Narrative

The lady is serving the guy so she is playing an offering role, it is a transactive relationship to the guy, her goal is to pour his drink. In terms of power structure, even though the lady is depicted at a higher point, it is clear that the guy is the more dominant power/authority figure. Also he is receiving a service and so he is playing a passive role. The expression of the guy is as if he is disconnected from the service that the lady provides. This scene can be perceived as reinforcing the old stereotype of a female being obedient and a caretaker to men, or other stereotypes such as males being in the position of power.

low-modality-vector

 

 

 

 

 

In terms of vectors, there a something like a boundary like that begins from the guys gaze, it runs down his arm and continues with the smoke of the drink. Furthermore the vector line continuing with the smoke reinforces the idea of guy being elsewhere in his mind by the very imaginary quality of the smoke. This vector actually separates the guy from the lady and the only thing that connects the two is the liquid of the drink which passes over from the lady’s side onto the guys side, which puts into perspective that she is only there for the drink and nothing else.

Interactive Meaning
In terms of interactivity, the viewer is in a position where they can be objective about the image, as neither character has a direct relationship with the viewer. However the distance from the two is at a medium shot and still creates a sense of being a part of the scene. It creates the sense that the viewer is right in front of the guy and since the viewers eye height is close to the servants head height its as if the viewer is in his office serving the guy as well.

Compositional Meaning

Information value
The placements of each person within the image in context to their actions have an equal left to right, right to left relationship. However view from western culturally based perspective left to right is read, so it could be seen that the even though in many ways both sexes are equal, since the man is perceived first he could be seen as having the upper hand.

Image Differences
There is a clear difference between the two images, while both have male and female sexes, one establishes an equal power between the two and the other depicts a male being the dominant in power over the female. Interestingly enough, the male dominating female image actually depicts a more harmonious interaction between the two characters where as the image with the equal power between both genders has a disharmonious relationship between the two people.

Relation to Practice
Through analysing images with major themes of gender roles and the power relationships between the two sexes; I now have a deeper understanding of how I can identify similar cases in other images and also apply and depict such themes within future illustrations and film projects.

References
Rose, G. 2001, Visual methodologies: an introduction to the interpretation of visual materials, Sage, Thousand Oaks, Calif; London.

Ermond Machica – Week 6 – Semiotics – Ads

ad1 Denotive-Conotive-ad1 Florin para-syntag-ad1

Contexual Information

Type: Advertisement
Image URL: http://blog.talenthouse.com/2014/05/13/morgan-motor-company-advertisement-design-winners/

Semiotics Analysis

Building Blocks
The main components of the image are the car, the text and the sky.

Signs
There are multiple signs which can be interpreted within the image, one sign is the car, it represents an icon sign. The second sign is the text “Every journey should start with a Morgan”, which acts as a symbol sign and as an Anchorage. The third sign is the logo which is a symbol. The fourth sign is the sun, which is an icon sign and the last sign in the sky which is an icon.

Sr = Signifier
Sd = Signified

Car, Text, Logo
The car, text and logo, are very straight forward in their representation, further interpretation isn’t not required.

Sky
The sky (Sr) in general is positive (Sd) in its colours and feel. The three contrails (Sr) which spread across the sky represents direction and opportunities (Sd).

Sun
The sun (Sr) initially could be seen as either sunrise or sunset but in relation to other signs it is a sunrise, either way it can represent a new cycle and therefore new beginnings (Sd) .

Simplified
Denotive-Conotive-ad1
Denotive-Conotive-ad1

The relationship between each sign
para-syntag-ad1

The Car (1) creates new beginnings (2) with opportunities (3) which bring you on a journey (4)in the right direction (or, where you soar high) (5)

Social Semiotics Analysis

Representational
Symbolic Structures
Symbolic structures is a structure that defines the meaning or identity of a participant (Jewitt & Oyama 2001). For this image a symbolic structure is the sky, the colours are of a sunny day, there a some white clouds but not a lot and overall it has a positive, and peaceful atmosphere. It is symbolises freshness and peace. The sun is the primary use of lighting, as stated it represents a new beginning but also works hand in hand with the cloud and creates a heavenly effect.

ad1
Although, it is a part of a Narrative interpretation and not Representational, it is worth noting the vectors involved. The image has a few vectors that connect the main components of the image. One is the pedestrian type lines underneath the car and also behind the car. These all draw into a single vanishing point, which leads to the sun.

Interactive
In terms of point of view, the viewers eye line is horizontal at the sun. This means that the viewer looks down at the car and looks up the at sky and logo. The car is below so it is not overpowering but it interacts in a personal way because it is close up in terms of distance compared to the rest of the scene. It is set u as if the viewer was standing a couple meters away from the car and the viewer could simply begin a journey, all they need to do is walk towards it, bend down to sit within it and drive off. The only place shown to drive off is the in the distance which by the vectors and signs lead towards the logo which is above. It is above, but the ad frames it in a way that, if you had the car you have that power.

Compositional Meaning

Information value
The placement of the elements within the composition primarily have a bottom to top relationship.
As mentioned before the scene is set up as if the viewer is standing at the car, making as if that the real situation, and the choice is for the viewer to choose the car or not, where then the image draws an upward focus that insinuates choosing is the ideal choice.

Framing
The sky has a wide open space which connect the viewer to have a sense of freedom also come with the car.

Salience
The salient elements of the images appear to be the shinning sun with the white clouds and the text.
The text is clear to see and is one of the first recognisable forms within the image. Although the car is the main feature, its not a stereotypical shape of a car and blends with the road so it isn’t initially recognised. The bottom part of the image has a road which give it a rougher texture and from the sky onwards there is a fluffy soft texture given by the clouds and lighting.

Modality
The image has a natural modality but it is clearly edited as can seen by its high saturation and filters. The image has artificial flavour, in that it is a possible scenery but one that is too perfect for anyone to truly think it’s of high natural modality.

 


AD

Contexual Information

Producers: Government Campaign
Type: Advertisement/ Campaign
Image URL: http://webneel.com/30-brilliant-anti-smoking-advertisements-your-inspiration-best-print-ads-and-posters

Semiotics Analysis

Building Blocks
The main components of the image multiple cigarettes and the accompanying text .

Signs
There are multiple signs which can be interpreted within the image, one sign is the cigarette itself but it also an index sign for smoking. The second sign is the text “The more you smoke, the faster you disappear”.

Sr = Signifier
Sd = Signified

Cigarette
A cigarette (Sr) represents smoking (Sd). All the cigarettes together (Sr) in context to the ad as a whole represents death (Sd).

Text
The text (Sr) emphasises death (Sd).

denotative-conotative-ad2
The cigarette is associated to smoke and smoking many cigarettes over comes to be associated with death .

The relationship between each sign

AD

Smoking cigarettes (1) leads to (2) death (3)

Social Semiotics Analysis

Representational
The image uses a conceptual structure but more specifically a symbolic structure. The cigarettes are made salient by being in plain sight because of the plain white background and clean lighting. The image is targeted to people who smoke and the audience’s identity is defined by a cigarette. The image symbolically links smoking to death.

Although, it is a part of a Narrative interpretation and not Representational, it is worth noting the vector involved. A vector can be made out of the edges of the cigarettes, if they are all viewed as a whole. The top and bottom vectors lines draw into a vanishing point of nothingness which can be last referenced by the smallest cigarette.

Interactive
In terms of point of view, the viewers eye line is directly facing all cigarettes, except perhaps the one that diminish which are too far away. This suggests that the cigarettes are creating direct symbolic reflection of the viewer, this amplifies the message on a viewer making impact on a personal level.

The image also has a play on distance, a cigarette is duplicated many times from left to right; by western standards the left cigarettes is intended to be the first cigarette which is the closest, the further to the right the more the cigarette falls into the distance suggesting a disappearance of identity or death.

The text is relatively small in terms of the overall proportion of the image and is viewed from a high angle. Whilst the message is generally sadistic, the text can be interpreted as still having a sense of power now to make a change before it’s too late.

Compositional Meaning

Information value
The placement of the cigarettes within the composition primarily has a left to right relationship and therefore it additionally is culturally designed for a western target audience. The left is representing the current state of the viewer and the right progressively moves into the final result.

Framing
The framing of the image is very opened ended, there are no borders and there is a lot of white space. This minimalist approach actually cleanly connects all the elements of the image.
The sky has a wide open open space which connect the viewer to have a sense of freedom also come with the car.

Salience
The salience of the elements of the image is quite clearly distinguishable because the minimalist approach. The cigarettes are clearly the first element that is recognised and second to that is the text. More specifically it is the orange butt of the cigarette which first recognised more so than the rest of it because the rest of it is white blends into the background.

Modality
The cigarettes within the image are of a high natural modality but this lessens as each one progressively becomes smaller and less realistic. The image as a whole is clearly artificially constructed and edited.


Image Differences

A clear difference between the images is the how the direction of attention for is the viewer is drawn spatially across the image. The car advertisement uses a bottom to top relationship and the cigarette ad uses a left to right relationship. Another difference is the use of white, both images use white but with different intentions. The car advertisement uses white as a means to creates a positive, heavenly feel and the cigarette advertisement uses white as a means for a clean look and simplicity.

Relation to Practice
The differences recognised in the previous comparison and through the semiotic analysis, I had a deeper understanding of the concept of Information Values. I can easily see how this can be effectively applied in further graphic design by strategically placing elements of a message within an image to create a flow or to further illustrate a point. I’m currently working on graphic design project for a leaflet and there are couple pages where the bottom to top concept can be applied.

 

References
Jewitt, Carey and Oyama, R, (2001). Visual Meaning: A Social Semiotic Approch.

 

Ermond Machica – Week 5 – Compositional Interpretation – Selfie

How to take better selfies (3 of 62)

Contextual Information
Artist : Rachael Foster
Image URL: http://rachaelfosterphoto.com/blog/2014/1/26/how-to-take-better-selfies-posing

Compositional Interpretation

Description
A close up photo of a brunette Caucasian female within a room.

Colour:
The main colours of the image are a high value hue on back wall creating a soft blue, caucasian skin tones and a jade green hue for her shirt . The overall image is slightly desaturated.

Light
The image uses an artificial light, possibly a white fluorescent light. Overall the lady and the background are clearly visible. It appears to have a soft lighting effect and is well balanced.

How to take better selfies- edit
Spatial Organisation
The lady is captured with a close up head and shoulder shot making her appear to be very close to the viewer. The back wall close behind her as well which means there is not much depth in terms of space but all is clearly visible. The viewer is just slightly at a high angle from eye level. The style of her hair acts can focalisers and creates a oval around her face, further emphasising the selfie.

Expression
The feeling of the images delivers a sense of confidence from the lady. The complimentary colours of her shirt, hair and background creates a positive atmosphere. Although her head being tilted away while combined with eye gaze being just away from the viewer can make one wonder she isn’t directly gazing at the viewer.


TiffanyFeger
Contextual Information
Artist: Tiffany Fegger
Image URL: http://www.blog.fishyfacephotography.com/2013/12/have-yourselfie-merry-little-christmas.html

Composition Interpretation

Description
A close up photo of a blonde Caucasian woman outside in nature.

Colour
The main colours hues of the image are pink, yellow, green, brown and Caucasian skin tones. Overall the image has a general high saturation, in particular the green, brown and yellow are high in saturation. There is a little patch of low value in back brown, but the lady and scene is quite balanced in terms of value.

Light
The image appears to have good natural sunlight as she is outside. The light is balanced throughout her face, making it perfectly visible.

TiffanyFeger- edit

Spatial Organization
The lady is captured with at the close up head and shoulder shot making her appear to be intimately close to the viewer. The back wall close behind her as well which means there is not much depth in terms of space but all is clearly visible. The viewer is just slightly at a high angle from eye level. The style of her hair acts can focalisers and creates a oval around her face, further emphasising the selfie.

A shallow focus is used which focuses which allows more focus on herself while the background is blurred out.

Expression
The atmosphere of the image has a warm, spring ,playful feel. The smile invokes positive emotions. The lady’s direct gaze combined with the close up shot creates an intimate connection with the viewer.

Image Differences
There are a few key differences between both images. The lighting is different between the two, one has a natural light source and the other is artificial, but both techniques were successful in their delivery. Another difference is that in one the lady is facing straight on whereas in the other the lady head was tilted to the side. Also in one there is a plain background and in another there is a more natural but noisy background.

Relation to Practise
The key differences that were previously mentioned may come into play if I were to create an illustration piece that would involve a selfie or perhaps for whatever reason in my career if I needed to take a quality selfie I know what details I should be paying attention to.

Week 6 – Nick Chandler – Semiotics

Image 1: Tom ford Neroli Portofino Ad Campaign 

Year of Creation: 2011

Creative Director: Tom Ford 

Source: http://blog.myfdb.com/2011/04/naked-models-singing-pour-some-portofino-on-me/
ccd74ae6a6ac7e7a4a0ba82fc676c6d5

 

Content:

This is an ad campaign for a highly illustrious perfume brand ‘Tom Ford’. The two models appear to be naked, positioned in a provocative pose in the middle of the frame. They appear to be playing with a slightly larger than life ‘Tom ford’ perfume bottle, splashing the fragrance on one and other. This is one of 3 photos for the ad campaign, none of which are relative to one and other.

Semiotic Analysis:

This add sets its self away from you’re average add campaign through a use of cleverly hidden signs and symbols imbedded in the image. The models representing the perfume appear to be what’s called an ‘icon’. They’re a direct representation of whom we would associate would wear the exclusive perfume.

Perfume ads are usually comprised with either a man (to signify an aftershave) or a woman (to signify a fragrance). The man and the woman are used together in tis image as ‘signifiers’ for the ‘signified’ fragrance. The assumption that the audience makes when they’re used in direct relation to one and other is that the intended product is unisex. Which is what the art directors were trying to achieve in this photo.

The models are framed at eye level, creating that relationship between the ad and the viewer. They’re pouring the perfume onto one and other, relating the back to the product projecting the idea that you could be ‘that’ person. This is what’s called ‘conative’ semiotics. Using elements such as; a closed frame (the eye contact), the signifiers (the models) and the signified (the perfume) their creating the intention wearing this perfume will make you ‘sexy’.

This image is using advertisings bread and butter of the concept ‘sex sells’. It’s using a narrative representation as a means to create a storyline between the viewer and the image. The models are displayed in a provocative position with a close distance to the camera imitating a real world experience. There’s also a sense of playfulness giving that sense of interactivness between the perfume and the models.

The product is placed as the focal point of the photo, drawing the viewer back to that point to communicate the intention of the ad. The image has a high modality as it is appears to be a glorified depiction of ‘sex’.

 

 Image 2: Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Ad Campaign 

Year of creation: 2011

Creative Director: Fabien Baron 

Source: http://models.com/people/fabien-baron/11/client/advertising

pub_acqua_di_gio_essenza_armani

Content:

This ad campaign is for another renowned brand in the perfume market, Giorgio Armani. The add features a portrait shot of a man from his torso upwards. The top of the photo features a transparent logo ‘Giorgio Armani’ and as you follow the image to the bottom, the perfume name ‘Acqua di Gio’ is centred in the bottom middle, with the product sitting adjacent.

Semiotic Analysis: 

 

The man is pictured as the signifier, an icon for the perfume (the signified). This is a common theme in a lot of perfume ads. He is displayed to the audience as a man that represents everything the brand has to offer. This gives reason as to why the brand name ‘Giorgio Armani’ is placed on top of the mans head.

This image makes a point of difference from the last ad campaign in the sense that it’s a conceptual image; it doesn’t tell a story, making it a symbolic representation. The man is shot from a low angle, giving him power in relation to the viewer. This is imitated with the perfume bottle pictured on the bottom right. It indicates to the audience that it is something that you want, that you have to reach for. This is quite typical for a Mens perfume add. By creating a low camera angle you’re telling the viewer he has power over you. His eye direction also eludes to the fact that he’s ‘looking off into the distance’, creating that sense of detachment from him, making him something to idolise.

The frame has been created to be read in a ‘Z’ like format, following the cultural norm to read left to right. This is established (as mentioned above) by identifying the model with the brand name, then the fragrance which is pictured down the bottom right. This identification is established further by the high modality of the image, creating a idealisation of the Giorgio Armani man.

Comparison of Images:

These advertisements although similar in many ways, have executed their campaigns in different ways to portray distinct meaning to their products. Both images use an ‘Icon’ to represent their product through a ‘high modality image’ however its how they both portray these ‘Icons’ that is different. In the ‘Tom Ford’ Campaign you’re looking onto the models at eye level, creating a relationship between the viewer and the product. In the ‘Giorgio Armani’ campaign you’re looking up at the man, creating that detachment, limiting our real world experience. The way in which the two images are framed are slight in contrast. The ‘Giorgio Armani’ campaign follows a ‘Z’ like structure, where as the ‘Tom ford’ campaign incorporates it’s compositional elements like it’s ‘text’ and ‘product’ with in the image itself.