Alexis’ visual rhetoric

  1. I feel many emotions when looking at these pictures. I feel sad after looking at some, such as the one from September 11th and of the homeless man. There are a few that make me just want to shake my head, for example the one about the teenager and the one about the obesity epidemic. I feel disappointed while looking at the couple out to eat on their phones. Others make me proud of my country, like the statue of liberty, the Declaration of Independence, and Martin Luther King. I personally do not believe that you have to live through an event for it to be meaningful to you. I was not alive for the signing of the Declaration or to see Martin Luther King, but they have had such a huge impact on our country. These twelve images support the three principles of visual rhetoric discussed in the chapter. The first being that visual images are pervasive and threaten to eclipse the spoken word in the twenty first century. I added the Netflix logo as one of my pictures, and this goes along with the first principle. People watch television now more than ever, and would rather stay in being lazy than go socialize with others. Netflix makes this easy, as there are so many choices and one could remain entertained for hours upon hours. I also added a picture of soldiers, which could relate because many use the power of visual images to express their opinions of how we should not remain overseas. The second principle talks about how visual messages are explosive, and how they elicit positive and negative responses at the same time. These pictures provoke either positive or negative emotions, depending on ones feelings about the subject. When people see the photo of the twin towers, we are more than likely to react negatively, and feel mad or upset. Depending on one’s view of the presidential candidates, the photo of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could provoke many types of emotions. The third principle states that visual messages are efficient, emotional, and persuasive. These images quickly register in one’s brain and we react upon it very quickly. When many of us see the image of a NFL stadium, we might get a feeling of nostalgia or get pumped to watch the next game.
  2. Each picture creates a virtual experience and can alter perception. Each has a purpose of some sort, whether it be to remember or to persuade. Pictures of 9/11 are to keep the memory fresh in our minds in order to prevent it from occurring again. These pictures can force you to think a certain way, or to make you question your beliefs about a certain thing. Depending on how old you are and your role in these events can cause people to have differing thoughts. Some can measure up better than others because some are a bigger deal than others. Things like terrorist attacks and MLK Jr. have impacted our country way more than the NFL.
  3. The Twin Towers has a sad tone, as it was such a tragic event. The picture comparing teenagers to back then versus now is somewhat comical. However, it also shows that kids are growing up too fast nowadays. The Statue of Liberty gives off a happy tone, as it is one of America’s greatest landmarks. The Declaration of Independence also represents freedom and has a happy tone. The NFL stadium has a happy and cheerful tone, as our country’s favorite thing to do is watch football and drink beer. The fat Uncle Sam has a comical tone, as it is poking fun at our obesity epidemic. Many of those who are part of the problem are the ones who believe there is no problem. The photo of the couple on their phones has a disappointing tone. There is nothing I hate more than when people can not put their phones down to socialize, especially when going out to eat. The soldiers give off a grateful, yet sad tone. The Netflix logo does not really give off much of a tone, except for happy for me since I spend much of my time watching it. The photo of the candidates could give off different tones, depending on how you feel about each of them individually. Martin Luther King Jr. looks like a leader, and gives off a hopeful tone. Finally, the homeless man gives off a sad, depressing tone. Most of the images have a hard focus, which is more objective and distant. The Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers have shadowing, which heightens the intensity of the photograph. Most are symmetrical, which promotes formality. As you can see, the basic elements and features help set the tone.
  4. I think that these pictures do not have a set audience, but instead are meant for everyone to see. Many of the pictures I chose are historical events that everyone should be familiar with. Whether it be to teach children of the events or to reminisce upon them, I believe everyone should have access to see them. I believe that they are non discriminating but do not invite voyeur tendencies. I believe that someone’s interest is going to vary depending on who they are. I selected a variety of photos, some from a long time ago and some from today’s world. Younger kids are going to relate more with the problems of modern society, while elders are going to relate best with historical events.
  5. I believe most of my images are primary, as they all try to persuade the viewer through the composition of the image. However, many of them would be culture specific. People from overseas would not find the NFL as enjoyable as we do, or be as concerned with 9/11 as we are. As Americans, we take our history very seriously and have our own defined culture. When I chose my images, they were almost all from American history and someone from another nation would not have selected the same ones as I did. The images do not specifically tell you what they want you to think, but there is enough evidence to still get the message. We can infer the tone and what the person taking the picture intended for their audience.
  6. Composites can completely change the way people react to it. The focus, shot sequence, angle, figure and ground all have huge impacts on a photo. If the picture of the homeless man showed a lady giving him food and money, the photo would instead have a happy tone. Seeing the man being helped out would give it a lighter tone, than just seeing a poor hungry man on the side of the street. Instead, we would see the lady being kind, and we would feel better about humanity.
  7. I do not believe that the creator of my photos has much impact on the credibility of the images. The pictures themselves are sending the messages, regardless of who decided to capture the moment. Most of my photos are historical events and people are going to recognize and feel accordingly to the image, not who created it.
  8. These pictures show me how much America has changed over its life. We battled with civil rights for a long time, and now we do not think much about our diverse community. We have encountered many problems, but we always work them out. This provides some relief as the problems we are facing now will just be things in the past. I believe seeing the images together is much more powerful than just one by one. We are a very strong nation and live in a great place.

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