Megan’s Visual Rhetoric

  1. All of these pictures have a meaning behind them and are meaningful to me. All of these pictures describe American history and culture in some way. They also make individuals feel a very different type of way. When I look at pictures from the war in Afghanistan it gives me a feeling of sadness. This was the only war that I have experienced throughout my life and it started when I was in kindergarten. Pictures of the war give me a feeling of sadness because the United States have been across seas fighting for over 10 years, and the amount of lives lost is tremendous. The other pictures like, George Washington, the Statue of Liberty, the Civil War, Iwo Jima and the Declaration of Independence give me a feeling of pride. These pictures describe America’s freedom and we as a country have a lot to be proud of. The other pictures I decided to add, were of politicians. I had a picture of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Politics in general give me a tense feeling. With all of the debates on the news today there is a very tense feeling in our society. With the upcoming election in November, depending on who gets elected as President our country could change in numerous amount of ways which can be scary. Some of the other pictures I decided to add into my collage were some of the recent tragedies that the United States experienced. I used a picture from the mass school shooting of Virginia Tech to represent all of the recent school shootings that have happened throughout my life. These pictures give me a feeling of great tragedy. Our country today had more mass shootings than ever before. I also decided to add a picture of September 11. Every time I look at pictures of September 11, 2001 it makes me feel angry. Angry, that thousands of individuals lost their lives, and thousands of people lost loved ones. I do not think that in order for these events to be meaningful to an individual they have to have lived through the events. All of the pictures that I chose support the three principles of visual rhetoric. They are all pervasive and relevant which supports the first principles. All of the images chosen elicit a positive or negative response right after looking at them which supports the second principle. Finally, they all have an emotional context behind them which supports the third principle of visual rhetoric.
  2. Each of the pictures that I decided to add into my collage create a visual experience. Some of the images more than others, each image also creates a different visual experience for each individual that looks at the images. I may get a completely different visual experience while looking at the image of Hillary Clinton than my classmate. Each pictures serves an instrumental or a consummatory purpose. Some of the pictures show the whole picture of what is going on and what happened. Whereas other photos like the shot of Hillary Clinton doesn’t really tell the viewer much information.
  3. The general tone of a lot of them are negative, for example the Virginia Tech school shooting image gives a very negative and sad tone. Obviously, the September 11th image, the image of the Aurora Theatre shooting has a negative tone. All of these images have negative tones because it was a major tragedy in United States history. The images of all of the politicians give off a general neutral tone. Depending on the individual, and if you are republican or democrat, the images will give off different tones to every individual. The older images of Iwo Jima, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War and the Statue of Liberty have more of a positive tone. Some of the images, are of war but they are still positive because the United States is coming out on top. The basic elements, figure and ground, shape and space, balance and direction, color and lighting all contribute to the tone of the photo. Different shapes distinct different emotions, the use of space gives off a different tone of the image, the color and lighting also can determine the tone of the image. The technical features of visual rhetoric also contributes to tone. Focus, angle, shot sequencing and movement, editing and sound all contribute to tone as well. For example, low angle shots represent power and high angle shots represent that someone is small or weak.
  4. The only audience that I can discern for each picture is Americans. These photos target Americans because it represents events that happened throughout American history. I think each of this images are nondiscriminating. There is a consumer interest in what the consumer what to retrieve from the image. These pictures do not invite voyeur tendencies because there is no sexual gratification from these images.
  5. I believe all of these images are primary. Some of the images are more primary than others. For example, the World Trade Center Remembrance image is more symbolic than the images of the politicians. They are use symbols or details that represent their message. The photos that I have chosen are culture specific because they have to do with all American history and American events.
  6. I think that the focus on all of these images can create a different reaction with each individual that looks at the image. Some images could possibly portray the wrong image of the event according to one individual. Another individual may view the image differently.
  7. I think every image that I chose to put into this collage speaks for itself. The credibility of the author doesn’t necessarily matter in this instant because the images are all real life images, and not created images.
  8. The images that I have chosen influence my reaction to the other images subtly. I think it influences my reaction in that a lot of the images that I choose were tragedies in the United States, which made me realize when looking at the United States history we are more apt to remember the devastations and tragedies versus the positive times.

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