A2 Best Blog Posts

Week 5 Task 4

Task: Situate an image of one of the visual texts, selected for Task 3 (MLA caption).
Draw on the skills, knowledge and writing from tasks 1-3 to write a blog post about the visual text.
The aim of this exercise is to provide the reader/audience with contextual knowledge and a depth of understanding about the visual text, and its significance.

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“Snob Appeal”. Propaganda and Persuasion. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.

Not matter how we perceive Justin Beiber or Pro-Active we still view this image to be real life. But in fact, it is merely a representation of objects and people. Like the role of language in this image, we could interpret a successful product like the producers want us to. However, this is just the relationship we are filtering to see or motived to believe “The relationship between the world and things” (Sturken Marita Cartwright 15) The advancement of technology and tsunami of imagery online and screen makes it difficult to differentiate between the real world and things. We start to look at the world as it is shown on Screen “for better or worse, we don’t just look at the world on screen, it’s how we look at life” ( Mizoeff 151) Does Justin Bieber even have bad skin? Does he use pro-active? Consider the labels out into this image before considering this image as real; as you cannot experience what is in this visual image in real life, “Consider how labels and images produce meaning yet cannot fully include the experience of the object” (Sturken Marita Cartwright 15) The significance of this image is the producers attempt to portray real life and success through a still image or still life.

Works Cited

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “World on screen”. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 1-27. Print.

Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”. Practices
Of Looking : An Introduction To Visual Culture.: New York : Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-48. Print.

Week 6 Reflection

This is not a pipe. An image is just an image. This thought is regularly overseen yet completely mind blowing when critically thinking about images. It interests me, how the digital age has blurred visual imagery to be seen as real life instead of  a representation. Putting Images into context seems to clear up this deception, without the knowledge surrounding an image you are likely to interpret something else. Take Robert Cornelius Self Portrait, for example, it may seem to be just a picture of Robert, but in context is actually an experimental photograph, in fact, the first of itís time in America. It shifts the focus from Robert Himself to the act of photography and the element used to this technology. Working with photographs worked well for me, it was easier to understand the processes that did paintings or other art forms. The idea of Image portrayal in todayís world has also been something I have enjoyed writing and researching about; because of how much knowledge is available, major corporations will do anything to break through to people. In particular Images, power and politics, Practices of looking: an Introduction to Visual Culture has been very influential on my critical thinking.

A more difficult endeavour was finding images and sources myself and relating these images to my ideas within question 3 (World on Screen.) It has been a long process in order to gather my idea and refine what will relate well to my essay and what will not. My way of seeing historical visual images has been challenged because of my pre-conceived assumptions that altered images and propaganda or bias ideologies are only present in today’s digital world. However, manipulations of visual images are present at the beginning of any visual art form.

The Process of logging information every week onto a blog has opened my creative and logical way of critical thinking and allowed me to draw from a wide range of content. I have never been prepared to write essayís so easily than through this method. It has made the process less daunting and enjoyable to write. When starting my processes of thinking in my Studio and Elective papers I will continue to collect a wide range of information to help me with what I produce. Continuing on over the year in Fashion, I will keep searching for the context and ideologies of collections and campaigns. Doing such research will allow me to become more thoughtful and considered designer because I will be more aware of the world around me and how my collection affects it.

Feature Image- Magritte, Rene. The Treachery Of images. Los Angeles: LACMA, 1928-29. Print

Week 7 Task 1

List 2-5 key ideas that resonate with you and write down what you found interesting about them.

Photographs as evidence-  What was commonly used as evidence in court cases and prove events in History are photographs. Although with the digital world of today challenging these ideas (subjective choice) photographs are widely considered “objective readings of the real world to provide unbiased truths”. (Sturken Cartwright 17) I would consider this something worth investing because of the large proportion of photographs that can be taken out of context, perhaps falsely pinning images to real life events “Photographs, unlike a drawing, offers an unprecedented conjunction between what is here now and what was there then.”

Subjective choice- Photographers create various depictions of life through their own personal style and selection of techniques, therefore creating subjective truth to every image created with a camera lens. Furthermore designers of cameras make decisions about the technology we use, therefore restricting the truth of the image before the photographer takes the photo. This resonated with me because of the tribulations it has with our world’s visual culture. Producers and designers of photography can manipulate their own truths into photography and influence those who see visual images as evidence or ideologies of the world we live in.

Connotative Messages and Ideologies- Amazingly, People base all their truths off their own ideologies of the world but fail to recognise they are doing so. Making me consider, that it doesn’t necessary mean photographs are not true, but that truth is continuously influenced by contextual factors. (Barthes34, Sturgeon Cartwright 18) So as I see it myself, what I take from an image is per-determined on images that have already shaped my ideologies of the world. This is a big concept to analyse and critically think about because I am never looking at something with entirely new, fresh eyes. Clearly, people have the shared belief that photographs are objective or truthful records of event “Our awareness of subjective nature of imaging is in constant tension with the objectivity that clings to the camera.” This subjective nature can be called connotative messages and is something that needs to talk about more in society to allow people to not be narrow-minded and influenced falsely with images, especially in a digital, cyber world filled with images.

“Visually manipulated images are part of a continuum that runs back to photographs earliest decades.” (“A Photographic Truth”, 2016) A photographic truth is different to the real truth of any place or object in our world. The evolution of photographs from Chromatype, Calotype to Daguerrotypes all hold truths but are altered by the conditions and the technology of the time. For example, negative photographs are changed to by process taken, and colours from chemicals may be added to keep photographs from fading. Whether these results are intentional or not, they raise the question of truth. Considering photographs were altered since their creation, it is important to clearly separate a photograph from real life. Exposing contemporary and modern photographs in their context is something I plan to write about in my essay in order to shed light on the falsities images have upon the real objects and places in photos.

Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics” Practices Of Looking : An Introduction To Visual Culture. :New York : Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-48. Print.

2.a.List some of the similarities and differences between the different imaging technologies?
Similarities

Taken from something of the real world, is influenced by the conditions eg. weather, can depict moments in time, the machine determines the outcome of the image, uses light to capture image

Difference

Differing exposure times, different colours produced some use lenses and some use silhouettes.

b.Camera technology are argued to depict or represent ‘reality’ and/or a view of the world,places, events, people, history, etc.- so why is it important to take account of them when thinking critically about a visual text, especially an image such as a photograph, film, digital image, or a video game

Photographs with minimal human influence can provide certain information which no other imagery can, for example, historical photographs of certain people in places at certain times can prove a person was alive.  However, almost all photographs are open to human influence and ideologies from the lens of the camera to the photographer’s viewpoint. Therefore, it is important to critically think how the context influences the image. One could learn immensely more when considering how the photograph is represented as reality (not to be confused with actual reality.) Films, digital images, video games are all representation/images of our world, to consider in what ways the images are presented, is to critically think about the visual text.

c. Digital technologies offer an image that means to construct alternate and virtual realities, explain how, and explain how are they different or similar to analogue technologies?

With the wide expansion of digital technologies, not only can photographs be altered with photoshop, but also entirely generated exclusively by computer graphics software. This in itself, is an entirely differing technology, images are no longer taken from actual humans or objects and doesn’t represent the real world. It is slightly frightening to think, considering there are no expectations, no basic shapes to follow. Entirely opening up a new world, perhaps most commonly seen in realistic video games or cartoons. You must sit and reflect on how people are now basing their expectations on physically impossible truths, not even existent in the real world. “image generated exclusively by computer graphs software can be made to appear to be a photograph of actual things, when in fact, it does not represent something in the real world” (Struken Cartwright 21) This is where analogue technologies differ, even when manipulated they still loosely represent the real world.

3. What do the authors/presenters propose is important about how technologies are put to use by the image  producer. Consider these ideas in relation to both historical and contemporary image making practices.

Struken and Cartwright propose that producers of images take advantage of people who consider photographs as representations of reality. With this knowledge, it is easy to manipulate a photograph without changing the idea of integrity in the image. “ Digital imaging thus partially eroded the public’s trust in the camera image as evidence”

In a Blog Post explain the notion of ‘The Myth of Photographic Truth’ and why it is important to an analysis of visual texts. Refer to your essay topic, a selected visual text and the technologies used to construct it/them, and refer to the terms denotation and connotation.

A photographic Truth tells of today’s visually manipulated images are part of a continuum that runs back to photographs earliest decades. (“A Photographic Truth”, 2016) A photographic truth is different to the real truth of any place or object in our world. The evolution of photographs from Chromatype, Calotype to Daguerrotypes all hold truths but are altered by the conditions and the technology of the time. For example, negative photographs are changed to by process taken, and colours from chemicals may be added to keep photographs from fading. Whether these results are intentional or not, they raise the question of truth. Considering photographs were altered since their creation, it is important to clearly separate a photograph from real life. Exposing historical and modern photographs in their context is often referred to as connotative meanings “Connotative meanings are informed by the cultural and historical contexts of the image and its viewers lived, felt knowledge of those circumstances.” (Struken Cartwright 20)  Contrasting, connotative thinking doesn’t always reveal the truth of visual images because of People’s ideologies of the world. Past experiences leave standards which can drastically manipulate ideas. So as I see it myself, what I take from an image is per-determined on images that have already shaped my ideologies of the world. Equally, denotative meanings shut off important information surrounding photographs. Now when you think about producers of images, for example, advertising, it is clear that photographs/visual image display certain photographic truths, connotative and/or denotative messages which shape our way of thinking. Take Brands of Italian sauce, “it is presenting a product but is also engaging in a myth about Italian culture.” (Struken Cartwright 20) Associating great pasta sauce with Italians plays on the connotative messages our world has with Italians and Pasta.

Week 7 Task 2

In a 100-250 word paragraph for a Blog Post discuss how a visual text can be constructed and read differently considering ‘world view’, ‘ideology’, and ‘the myth of photographic truth’. You might want to refer to the questions below as prompts for a draft of your paragraph, and you can refer to visual texts.

Some would say, world views are a collective viewpoint based on the ideologies surrounding each culture. For example, ideologies are what convinces the working class that capitalism works equally to everybody’s favour while it favours the wealthy. (Dick Whyte) The myth of photographic truth is effectively an ideology on a worldly scale. “the power of photography lies in the shared belief that photography are truthful records of events” (Struken Cartwright 18) . Therefore, the idea photography is an objective rendering of the real world is an ideology which shapes our worldview on Photography. When critically evaluating, one might consider separating photographic truth from the real world. Photographs are representation

Photographers create various depictions of life through their own personal style and selection of techniques, therefore creating subjective truth to every image created with a camera lens. Therefore restricting the truth of the image before the photographer takes the photo. This resonates because of the tribulations it has with our world’s visual culture. Producers and designers of photography can manipulate their own truths into photography and influence those who see visual images as evidence or ideologies of the world we live in.

We live in the digital world dominated by photography online everywhere we go, the constant interaction with photography on our portable devices not only normalise but promote certain ideologies by influential producers. “producing another world, portable screen culture ( Mizoeff 132 )” Whatever contextual circumstances these producers have, the myth of photographic truth allows them to manipulate photographs to seem like a truth on a worldly scale (online)

.Mirzoeff, Nicholas. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. Print.

.Sturken, Marita, and Lisa Cartwright. “Images, Power and Politics”.
Practices Of Looking : An Introduction To Visual Culture.: 
New York : Oxford University Press, 2009. 9-48. Print.

Week 8 Mind Map

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Week 8 Tool Kit

List at least 12-20 things in total (at least 3 under each heading)

 § Planning and Preparation 

  • It is important to re-read the given text. Once, to introduce yourself to the ideas, twice, to highlight and write down quotes or ideas and as much more times to remind you of the text or anything you have missed.
  • Consider and be aware what method of writing best suits you e.g. Architect writer
  • Identify and unpack the essay question. In order to write an analytical essay, it is important to consider what the question is and isn’t asking you. This can lead to deeper understanding  of what must be written to be comprehensive and insightful.
  • Mind maps help get all the ideas that you have down and paper and enable the writer to clear their head without forgetting any key ideas that may have otherwise been forgotten.
  • Word Clouds can also be useful to when trying to remember specific terms or links of thought.

§ Writing Skills

  • Write up first initial drafts of writing that have been gathered in blog tasks, then unpack these by continuously re-drafting and adding or taking away information.
  • Visiting Massey Universities reading and writing clinics with drafts of writing will make your essay more professional and concise.
  • Trimming main ideas down into key points and sentences ensure precise and clear opening sentences and paragraphs.
  • Download Grammarly online

§ Content and Visual Text Analysis Tools

  • Contextualising/sourcing the information surrounding a visual text is important in order to fully understand what the text is communicating.
  • Finding visual texts that contradicts each other leads to a more comprehensive understanding of ideas.
  • Finding multiple Visual texts, analysing them and selecting the most relevant texts.

§ Research and Information Gathering Tools and Protocols 

  • The Online Massey Library search is essential in finding relevant texts for your essay
  • Create a resources page for all visual texts or sources of information so that it all can be easily found when needed.
  • Watch videos and read articles on what makes a compressive and insight source.
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