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Analysing Visual Images in Media Texts


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Analysing Visual Images in Media Texts

  1. 1. The Visual Image Image of a Retinal Cell Structure from Web Vision
  2. 2. Images – what to analyse Subject/Content? What is the Image of? Why was that image chosen? How does it relate to the text? Style/Type? Photograph? Illustration? Cartoon? Computer Manipulated? Art?
  3. 3. Photography Elements & Techniques • Shot Size • Angle • Mode of Address • Composition • Framing • Contrast • Lighting Close up, Mid Shots, Establishing or long shots etc. High angle – subjects look smaller, Low angle – subjects look bigger, more domineering, Tilted – can give subjects a sense of chaos and disarray Direct – engages with Audience Indirect – looks away from Audience Elements in images such as Patterns, Lines & Symmetry – eyes are naturally drawn to Lines Is the positioning of the subject in the image – what has been foregrounded and what has been placed in the background. Where is the focal point of the image? High contrast uses only a few tones to create a dramatic look. Low contrast uses man tones and shades to create a softer look Directional lighting – lighting a particular area can be used to look harsh . Natural lighting gives a soft look. Both can create atmosphere • Negative Space Advertisers often use Negative Space to focus the eye on the subject
  4. 4. • Rule of Thirds • Breaking the Rule of Thirds • Focus • Shutter Speed • Aperture & Depth of Field Positioning subjects on key third lines where eyes naturally focus Shots can be taken ignoring the rule of thirds but the eye ‘looks’ for a natural line anyway Sharp focus is very important for a good image. However, sometimes elements can be deliberately out of focus to add interest, layers of meaning and contrast When the Shutter is kept open for a long time, it captures movement in action. When it open and closes in a fraction of a second, it freezes the moment in time Aperture is the hole which lets in light to the camera. A small aperture means that everything stays in focus and gives a large Depth of Field. A large aperture means only the closest elements are in focus and gives a shallow or small Depth of Field
  5. 5. Photographs can show…. Gritty Realism Often emotive, dramatic, shocking, capturing the moment as it occurs Surrealism The blurring of lines between fantasy and fiction Spectacle Spectacle is used to define media construction of events which are ‘out of the ordinary’ from habitual routine – but could equally be used to describe images of celebrity that are out of the ordinary and demand our attention.
  6. 6. Illustrations can show…. Fantasy Reality The appeal of the ‘best’ reality possible – not tainted by imperfections Surrealism fantasy and The blurring of lines between fiction especially using Photography with Illustration – can create atmosphere of fantasy, gothic, horror etc. Humour/Lighten the Topic Serious or dull products often use illustration to lighten the subject matter. Products such as insurance or households goods are typical of this.
  7. 7. Illustrations can also show…. Intertextuality Referring to Artistic movements and periods to suggest Iconic or Cult status of the subject (see also Postmodernism next slide) Appeal to Childhood Nostalgia Appeal to Parents The London Metro ran a different illustrated cover for 17 days . The style of illustration was similar to Eastern European and Russian Propaganda posters of the 1920’s & 1930’s Using cartoon characters and images, or styles and patterns from previous decades to appeal to Audiences
  8. 8. Postmodernism in Visual Images Visual images often rely heavily on intertextuality, Parody, Pastiche & Bricolage – the audiences ability to make connections between older, well known cultural and media products and the new image. This adds depths of meaning to still images and communicates on multiple levels to Audiences . Charlie Brooker in an Alfred Hitchcock Vertigo style image . Groundbreaking ELLE cover with David Beckham on the front – the first time a male had been on the cover of the magazine. Audiences can make connections between the typical female model pose and the brand of ‘David Beckham’.
  9. 9. Remember... • Many examples here come from magazines and Advertising. However... • The principles of Visual Images mentioned here can be applied to visual images on any media product including Newspapers, Websites, Leaflets, Blogs etc. WHAT IF....?
  10. 10. Aaarrrggghhhh ...Help! There is no visual image..... • Look at how space and colour are used The image is made from text.... • Again, look at how space and colour are used. See if it is trying to relate back to another iconic image.