Sunday, November 13, 2011

Visual Literacy

We hear a lot about media literacy, and as technology proliferates the images and information we see and experience, we hear more and more about "visual literacy." Visual literacy is the critical interpretation of visual media. Visual literacy is especially important during a time where photo doctoring is common practice (remember the photoshopped images of various celebrities from class). Even without photoshopping, photographers make strategic moves to manipulate the pictures they take whether it's through posing, cropping, and etc. Here is a link to get you thinking about visual literacy and I have borrowed my questions directly from these sources:
http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/753

Questions:
1. What does it mean to be critical of an image?
2. Does this knowledge (that the "Migrant Mother" picture was staged in various ways) change our experience of the photo? Its circulation in our culture? The responses we and others have to it and the cultural memory it shapes of Dust Bowl America? 


Another link on visual literacy and photo parody via photoshop: 
http://digitalis.nwp.org/resource/755

Questions:
1. What are some of the dangers and powers of photo parody in a "viral" world -- that is, in a world where an image can become popular, downloaded, and reproduced on thousands of web sites within minutes? 
2. What are some of the dangers and powers of photo parody in making political statements? 


These questions are something to keep in mind while you work on your rhetorical analyses.

16 comments:

  1. To be critical of an image is to take a further look beyond scanning it. To go into detail about what the image is telling, or trying to tell you. How we perceive the imperfections or perfections of the picture is how we criticize it. Knowing that the picture of the mother is not as it was originally posed creates differing criticism. It alters the idea of the image into something that is far more contrived and meant for publicity and not a true image of the hadrships of the Depression.

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  2. To view a photo critically means to look beyond the photo things to take in consideration is how does it make you feel ..how did the painter or photographer want his or her audience to feel when looking at the photo for the first time. What is the message? Once a little background information is revealed about the photo it could alter your perception of the image because it makes you more aware of whats going on and now you can relate to the message or fully understand it better

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  3. To be critical of an image means to look past the image, focusing on the aesthetic features. Lighting, placement, angle, color, and zoom are a few examples. The actual object/image itself is not just the main analysis. Adequately criticizing a photograph involves people observing and noting everything about it.

    In retrospect, it does not really change my personal experience of the photo. Most things are staged nowadays. If this particular woman did not ponder her situation, with sobbing children behind her, then there is always someone else in the world who actually was. The circulation in our culture is not really changed either, because the majority of people know that Photoshop exists. Although it did not back then, there were other ways to "doctor" or "fix" a photograph.

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  4. Some dangers that come up in the world of photo parody is the loss of importance, and people take what you're trying to show less seriously. In my rhetorical analysis paper, the artifacts i'm using have already been parodied a million times over and have taken a lot away from the campaign and what they're trying to accomplish.

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  5. I think that using a parody title containing the phrase, "unfortunately, this is what the country wants." can be portrayed as racist and sexist. It stresses the political feelings and beliefs of the designer. It is all about how the author or artist is trying to make the viewer feel, I like the expression but sometimes it is better to keep our thoughts to ourselves.

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  6. I think visual literacy very important, particularly in this day and age. Visual aspects of the media are all around us 24/7 and it is important to understand how they afffect us conciously and subconciously. One could argue that they way products are marketed today is genius. The people responsible for marketing consumer products have figured out how to attack their audience on both a physical and emotional level, depending on their target audience. For example Covergirl has been able to convince us that if our eyelashes (physical) aren't long enough then we aren't "envied" (emotion: jealousy = good you want to be envied) by others. As humans we are natrualy competitive in one way or another and mass media has been able to pin poin exactly what it is that will make us feel superior to others so we want to buy their product to be better than the rest.

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  7. Honestly I think that "parodies" like this one should be over-looked and discarded. Fortunately this was only the designers point of view and not the rest of our opinions. Clearly the maker of this photo wanted to get his message across in a way that would offend a lot of people but considering it went viral, the maker affected a lot of peoples political views. Stuff like this shouldn't be taken so seriously.

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  8. When you are being critical of an image, you are looking at the meaning the image is portraying. If the only way to get a message across is by altering it, sometimes it is necessary. Now, if it is about something important like a presidential election or something like that, then no, it is not appropriate to do it. Who is to determine the difference between when it is okay to do so and not is the true question that should be argued.

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  9. This post reminded me of this picture---> http://www.blameitonthevoices.com/2010/01/how-media-can-manipulate-our-viewpoint.html

    The media manipulates photos all the time, but as citizens we need to keep that in mind when we are getting news from certain sources. Yes, we tend to trust the media because they have proven they retain some sort of credibility, but we also need to realize that the way these media sources get viewers is by presenting drastic (mostly altered) photos.

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  10. I had always wondered about pictures like these, just how posed they were...but I am never really questioned it. I took this picture for its face value. This article makes me question other photos that I think are particularly touching or powerful. I don't think this is a bad thing to realize though. I think there are so many things that are manipulated in how they are presented to us that it is really wise to evaluate and analyze them instead of taking them at face value.

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  11. I think that when we look at a photo we are not looking at it in the same way the photographer intended us to grasp. That being said our perception will and often does change when we're given information that the photo was staged. Before reading this I never took the time to critique photos I've seen. They either were or weren't in my eyes. So should everyone critique every photo they see? Is there always a deeper meaning to uncover? Perhaps staging a photo is the only effective way to get a point across. If so are those points ones we should be agreeing with or give attention to?

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  12. I think that being critical of an imagine, means exactly what it sounds like to critically think about the image. I think that we as viewers of the photo rather than the photographer don't view images and pictures in the sense that photographers do. They examine them, and see different meanings in them than we do. Honestly I don't think the staging of the photographs changes the meaning of it, it has the same meaning to it before and after retouches in my opinion.

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  13. I've always heard "A picture is worth a thousand words," and in today's society I think this is true but it also creates conflict. Some people draw conclusions from pictures before knowing the facts. It's like choosing not to read a book because the cover doesn't look appealing. Once you know what it's about, it could be a good book. I think that's the same with pictures, once you know what is really going on in the photo you become less ignorant.

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  14. Being critical of an image, I think, means looking at the picture and than reading about it or studying it for a while before you make fast conclusions. This is sometimes hard to do.

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  15. I think that in society we let images in magazines and on ad campaigns slide without taking a really good glance at them. We tend collectively as a whole to take the ads on face value. There is not much thought. This is a bad thing because these ads still influence us in someway whether we realize it at the time or not. So next time you see an ad we need to think about what is really saying opposed to the words or images we just glance over.

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  16. In this age of mass communication, a photo can be taken as truth and it is hard to rebuild a reputation once things such as that happen. In the same sense, political parodies can invoke thought and force people to think about issues that are crucial.

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