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/
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.
High Modality Image
‘Titanic Behind the scenes shoot’ on The movie ‘Titanic’
Director: James Cameron
Year of creation: 1997
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.