Kimberley Maunder – Visual Social Semiotics

 

Photographer: Brandon Stantion – Humans of New York

Year: 2015

Title: I wish I’d partied a little less

Image size: 996 × 664

Source

Context: This image was taken by the photographer for popular blog, Humans of New York. This image features a quote from the woman in the image which reads “I wish I’d partied a little less. People always say ‘be true to yourself.’ But that’s misleading, because there are two selves. There’s your short term self, and there’s your long term self. And if you’re only true to your short term self, your long term self slowly decay.”

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Representational

The narrative of this image details a young woman sitting on a suitcase with her body to the side. Her head faces the camera creating a visual emphasis that draws the attention of the viewer. Eyes are also directed towards her head as her beanie presents a pop of colour in comparison to the rest of her black and white clothes.

Interactive meaning

Contact between the woman and viewer is demanding as her eye contact demands the attention of the viewer. This draws attention to the point of view as the woman is looking slightly downwards towards the camera.

Compositional

Contrast between the black and white clothing draws the attention of the viewer as well as the different textures featured in her beanie and scarf compared to the leather on her bag and suitcase.

The modality of this image is very realistic as it is in a realistic human setting within an airport.

 

 

Photographer: Unknown

Year: 2015

Title: Kim and Kanye at Met Gala

Source

Context: This image was taken at the 2015 Met Gala, it features famous reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West and famous musician  Kanye West.

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Representational

The narrative of this image shows Kim and Kanye West at the 2015 Met Gala, they are standing in the middle of a red carpet side by side as Kim’s body is completely turned away from the camera and towards Kanye. Their eyes are also directed towards a photographer in the distance who is out of shot.

Interactive meaning

The body language of both subjects demands attention from the viewer.

Compositional

The texture of Kim’s dress contrasts completely both in colour and texture from its surroundings. The white dress stands out against the black suit and stands alone from the red carpet. Unnatural setting as this photograph was taken on a highly staged red carpet.

 

Comparison

Through the similar interaction between the subjects and the viewer, these images both demand attention as the subjects look towards, or just off from the camera. Both images demand attention, one in relation to the story being told within the photograph while the other is a demand of focus for their stature. Both of these images are powerful in their own way as both images contain low angle shots looking up at the subjects.

 

References

Jamie. (2015). I wish I’d partied a little less [Image]. Retrieved August 26, 2016, from http://mzjaamie.tumblr.com/

Pickett, R. (2015). Kim and Kanye West at the Met Gala 2015 [Image]. Retrieved August 26, 2016, from http://www.thefashionsection.com/all-the-met-gala-2015-red-carpet-looks/

 

 

 

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