Semiotics

For this task we have been asked to look at four photographs of are choice and describe what we think the photographer was trying portray and what the photographs mean to us. Using Semiotics to analyse the photographs looking at the signifiers and the signified i.e. Either an object or a subject in an image and the meaning or concept behind it. As well as denotations and connotations, meaning the common sense meaning of a sign or subject  and then additional concepts we may add to what we see.

War3_ShapedByWar_1964_DonMcCullin

This image is a piece of war time photography taken by Don McCullin 1964

http://filmcamera999.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/don-mccullin-who-in-the-name-is-that/

I think the photographer was trying to portray Fear and mourning in this image. As you can see the main focus of this image is the woman crying whilst staring of into the distance, whilst the people around her seem to be trying to support her. The image seems to suggest the woman is looking at something that is deeply upsetting her, maybe the death of a loved one. Or maybe someone close leaving for war, or possibly being taken away.

In the back ground you can also see another woman with the same frightened, saddening look on her face.

To me this images portrays not only what I think was intended by the photographer but also the true consequences of war, not only to the people fighting them but also to the people that get left behind.

journal-20090820-eugene-richards-north-philadelphia-pennsylvania-1990-copyright-eugene-richards

Photograph taken by Eugene Richards 1994

http://diehardskater15.hubpages.com/hub/America-Suffers-One-Mans-Patriotism

As you can see in this image the photographer is trying to represent addiction capturing the woman on the right hand side of the image, smoking what I’m assuming is crack cocaine, Although the main focus of the image seems to be the baby crying in the foreground. I think the photographer took the image from this angle purposefully as if he was trying to represent the knock on effects this drug addiction is likely to have on persons child.

I think the most interesting thing about this image is that the baby is crying. Probably not because its mother is smoking crack as the child to young to understand what’s going on. Although the baby is crying with its hand over its face as if it knows exactly what is happening.

For me this photograph portrays both addiction and the aftermath that can follow it.

17withers_600_1

Photograph taken by Ernest Withers of a solidarity march in 1968

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/17/arts/design/17withers.html

The image shows a group of black men lined up holding signs that read “I am a man”. This suggests both racism, discrimination and a stand against unjust and unequal treatment. I Think it is the men standing up against discrimination as apposed to the discrimination its self that this photograph is trying to portray. With the men lined up across the frame like soldiers on a battle field fighting for their rights.

For me this image represents a fight for equality.

gary-winogrand-american-legion-875x589

Photograph taken by Garry Winogrand American Legion convention 1964

http://www.masters-of-photography.com/W/winogrand/winogrand_american_legion.html

Again, in this image I think the photographer was trying to portray the consequences of war and the unfortunate casualties it brings. As you can see the image captures people standing around and a legless man sat in the middle. It is this man that I think the photographer was capturing in order to portray this connotation.

To me this Image represents patriotism and what an individual can be willing to give for their country.

Reflection

This task has helped me analyse images in depth, and get a deeper understanding of the images I have looked at. As well as this it caused me to stumble across photographers that I was not yet familiar with, and get a greater understanding of their work.

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