Intention | Week 4 : Into The Image World | Informing Contexts | Lesson/Research

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“Katherine Frith likens reading adverts to peeling an onion. She pinpoints three stages to reading adverts:

  1. The surface meaning
  2. The advertiser’s intended meaning and
  3. The cultural meaning.”

“Identify three adverts where you experience:

  1. a dominant reading
  2. an oppositional reading and
  3. a negotiated reading.”


  1. A dominant reading, the signs for me were first the writing put together and then dingy lighting which I think represents a point of view of the viewer walking at night with a flash light to uncover the reflection of someones lazy act of littering. The text also confirms what this advert is about, pointing directly to the viewer to encourage a trigger of guilt to anyone who themselves commits this act.


2. A oppositional reading, I understand that this image is related to the movie ‘The Hunger Games’ but I only knew that once read the description of the source informing me. The advertisement itself has no clear information on it that is it an advertisement for the movie. Only fans that are aware of the movies lore would understand the signs this advert gives. When I first glanced at it, even after reading the text the advert offers I did not know what it was for. As it is a young child in mining uniform I can see how this photo could mislead many viewers as to thinking it is based on around real life child labour crimes.


3. A negotiated reading, being that different countries have different views on cannabis I can see how this advert could be negotiable to many viewers. It even feels as if the ad itself is beating around the bush. It never clearly shows that the advert is about cannabis in large font like the route many other ad’s take and there is no image of physical leafs or the act of smoking, it is very discreet about the situation.

‘His’ and ‘Hers’ – The Gendered Ad

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Do I think the Two ads are gendered?

Yes, very clearly. As there are no images with a mix of the genders.


My semiotic analysis of this Muller Light Desserts Advert, the whole advertising campaign Muller went for is this goddess type persona and that the Yogurt is aimed for classy girls. Not sure where men stand in this product but through out they are displayed as continuously serving the goddess in each advert. This image in particular has symbols of a low key sexual representation, symbolising that this product brings pleasure to women.

Into The Image World

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This image above makes reminds me of a technique I wish to try out with my portraits, these physical changes cause and impact of emotion, in this case I would say increased sadness, this rain, quite literally downpours the images tone, and I wish to replicate a technique along these lines to a portrait to emphasise impact of a emotion that would display that the individual is feeling sad.

Can I think of any images that ‘exist only’ for me?

No, images are for everyone to share, the closest someone can get to owning an image is the photographer who took it, even then, he or she does not own the subject. However it is understood that each image we view can feel personal to you.

What do I think about the relationship between images and viewers?

Each perspective of an image is unique to the individual viewer. Although there may be a overall, average opinionated view towards the image, an internal negotiated reading if you like will scientifically always happen – each human will somewhat be triggered differently with in their own view of ‘reality’.

Do some images ‘exist for’ us?

There are images that heavily resonate with us, maybe atheistically, emotionally, something the viewer can relate to in there life or a subject that interests them.

Do we really live in ‘Plato’s Cave’?

I don’t know, and this is something I wish to explore in my photography, change. We as humans are quick to follow trends. We may become accustomed to new things outside the box but sometimes only when others agree with you. We are fed what we are fed, I think the way we intake images and life for that matter is based one who we are and a unique being and the life experiences we have had up to date. Adverts and the media will always try to trick or manipulate us, but it is up to the individual to choose to understand there is so much more outside the box we are fed in and to not let it alter your final judgement…

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I found this image to be an amazing idea, what a interesting concept. I must say one of the first things that come to mine is the question how did she do it?

Did Chino cut herself out of a another photo and place it in this one, OR did she go back to the original location in which the initial image was shot and then layered the images over each other, if it was the second method then this is something I can relate and aspire to as I recently experimented returning to the exact spots to to take a second image in my project and it requires patience and carefulness to try achieve the same composition twice. However given that the background objects would had moved over time, I’m guessing it was the first technique, good job on the shadow though. She calls it “memeriography”.


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How did I read these images?

Over the top, generic. I am generally not effected by advertisements as I see through there intentions which diminishes the actual arts strength at hand in my opinion.

What is the aim of the advertiser?

To push across visuals that convey a general message that hopes to grab the attention of the viewer by ether being flashy, desirable, or relatable.

What do they show and what do they mean?

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They show exaggerations of the intended message.

Did I understand their intended message?

Th text helps to understand.

To whom might they appeal?

People who can relate or are interested in the subject matter/project or those who are easily influenced.

Did they appeal to me?

The aesthetics yeah, it interests me to see how advertisers use the photos and manipulation techniques to exaggerate there messages and grab the viewers attention over a visual message or combined with written word to clarify the meaning of the image.

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How do I read this advert?

At first glance nothing was apparent to me, but after a close look at the ball and chain, the text and the beer, I understand the message. With out these elements, the bags he is carrying alone would be enough to pass the hint over what this image is about. Its very generalising as of course not every relationship would be like this, but I guess it appeals to the masses of the societies construct.

Is it a dominant, oppositional or negotiated reading?

I would say its pretty clear, dominant to most.

Why/Why not?

The bags are the biggest give away once you notice them and take everything else away form the image.

What is my understanding of what the advert is trying to do/say?

He doesn’t wear the trousers when he’s with her, and he can’t wait to get drinking that specific beer with his friends when he gets a minute to himself. That he shouldn’t let all the time he is spending on her kill his inner male spirit and ability to party, let go.


Did I feel stereotypically positioned as a consumer of these images?

I feel 99% of advertisers expect that of the consumer to be mindlessly brain washed by an image directed to their product. I get that vibe when looking at these advertisements, but i’m generally immune to it unless I have a genuine interest.

How natural/oblivious were they to me?

Advertisements images generally don’t feel as natural as apposed to a subjective or even objective artists photograph that holds passion and meaning.

Did I experience a dominant, oppositional or negotiated reading?

It depends on the image. Learning these terms have helped me go back a few steps after viewing a photograph and question how I initially read the image.

What is the relationship between text and image?

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Again this is an element I will be exploring with in my project, I wish to test the strength of impact text can bring to an image with and with out it being used. How people can be effected differently by just simply viewing an image with out text, then how their reading will change after being given text to go with the image. I believe it can cause a possible shift in the viewers initial reading or dominant, opposed or negotiable.

Can I think of any more contexts in which a shared understanding and a shared interpretation are important?

When abroad in Thailand, the community there take the royal family and their king very seriously. In many cases I would see the photo of their king displayed in many place large or small, they respected this king greatly. King Bhumibol Adulyadej recently passed and now their new king is his son. King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s photo is now placed everywhere instead, however I heard from the locals that their recent king was the best king who has reigned for many years, he did their country a great service and will be morned for a year at least, this bring the question, will the new photo of their new king (who I was told does not have a great reputation due to his actions) be looked at the same, the same way as the portrait that everyone respected and loved before was read by the masses before?



The overall intent of my work has been always to portray the way I see the world visually to the viewer in hope that they will simply find pleasure in viewing it. I find pleasure in the aesthetics of an image. Strategies include attempting to point the camera at certain moments in life that only I am looking out for, certain compositions that wouldn’t normally be a thought of everyday life. I also like to enhance my shots brightly and am always working on improving. When performing my portrait shots, I give the portrait guidance for poses and facial expressions but in the end it is that natural shot of the person I am looking for. When they are in their element, their prime. A real smile with real confidence. I have always wanted the view to be able see the beauty of the person I’m shooting, to appreciate their unique form.

I think my strategies have been constantly evolving, I know I need to improve and in my technical and lighting skills, but I have improved a lot from when I first started. Originally I would be scared to go into manual, as I genuinely thought it would take up too much time to set up the correct settings and there for I would miss the shot. I never was one to care about the technical side of things, “its not about what camera you have its the way you use it” type of photographer. How the image was composed, what was included in the shot and the reason/meaning behind was always more important to me than achieving the ‘correct’ lighting with an A class camera to show it. However its been a long time since this choice and I am now obsessed with shooting in manual in manual. It feels liberating to be in full control of my images.

For my project I do still want to really experiment with different pieces of equipment to see what different results I can bring forward and to overall improve my understanding of the technical side of things and how lighting ultimately works. As I have focused on editing through out my practice, I wish to try and use these editing techniques and learn more to portray different atmospheres, moods, feelings, meanings and individual roles with in my photographs. I wish to expand my creativity with an intent to show people the balance of different elements in a photograph that can effect the viewers perception – Which is all explained in my research project.

Critical feedback I strongly believe is down to the viewers individual perception, but one can always improve in technical and move towards successful methods in which the photographer wants to portray their message to the viewer. For me, as I said I construct my photos to look similar as possible to the way I perceive the world through my vision, so I like to hope that my photos give the viewer a sense of my personality through my imagery. A piece of criticism I have received in the past is that my work may be too processed for the likes of some and my water marking is too large. Whilst I respect the Feedback and I have I have taken it on board, it is my intent to process my photos quite a lot in order to make them stand out. My work will be successful for anyone who enjoys it, I cannot change someones opinion.


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A interesting use of negative imagery here, a technique I did not plan on using but I am inspired as to how this is been used blending the positive and negative together.source (Written before my negative work created for Surface and Strategies module)


Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything more on this. – source

Thank you.


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