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The Camera Never Lies

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Media Studies Essay: "The Camera Never Lies" It is usually thought that photographs are a little slice of the real world. Traditionally, they have played the rule of adding realism to written text. The text becomes a commentary of the frozen shot of real life encapsulated in the photograph. However it could be argued that this is not the case. There are several aspects of the photographic image, which make it less than real. These aspects all have different ways of showing that camera's aren't always correctly right. Even simple pictures can represent a number of qualities. It is possible to understand a number of different meanings from one picture, this is called decoding. For instance visual images can be false by editing and cropping detail out of the photographs/pictures. This process changes the frame and can sometimes exclude main or minor parts of the picture. These missing images occasionally can back up the authors article and help the audience understand the meaning. Cropping occurs in the media to suit the audience and to express the opinions of the writer. We can also argue photograph's can distort the truth by the selection of the picture. The illustration always is chosen for a particular event or story, but the final image is selected from a wide range of material. ...read more.


In the background faded faces can be seen, this can be interpreted in various ways. For example Shin Fane Supporters/Shin Fane Protestors or Paparzates. The connation is one of power and conflict; this particular picture of the leaders gives publicity for their cause. This image has a closer propaganda feeling, and the bars give a feeling of jail and prison, which makes the photo even more dramatic. It's easy to understand what the picture is displaying, even without a caption. The difference between Fig.1 and Fig.2 is that the leaders can be identified easily and not so much is occurring in the image, which makes it easily understandable. In photograph Fig.3 "The Mob's Brief Rule", the first impression is that it shows an argument between a protestor being held by police and a West End Shopper. The caption below this endorses this impression. The donation in this image is that there is a riot-taking place, with people being restrained by the Police and non-protestors being caught up in the chaos. In the background we can clearly see the West-End buildings and a telephone box. The connation in this photo is that the male protestor is being restrained presumably for wrongdoing and the by-passer has entered in conversation with him. Without the caption this photograph is simple to follow and gives you a slight understanding of the disorder. ...read more.


The next photograph (Fig.6) I'm going analyse appeared in the Mirror, alongside articles paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth - The Queen Mother's funeral. The denotation shows Lady Thatcher and her husband Dennis taking their seats in Westminster Abbey. This image is a good example of misrepresentation as with out the caption the read would have no idea what was happening. The connation in the left picture could imply just grief or Dennis having an accident. Their expressions do not indicate any physical injury. In contrast the photo on the right, gives more idea that Lady Thatcher is the one in pain. With the caption we can tell she is in agony due to Dennis treading on her toes. This article seemed rather out of place, alongside the funeral tributes. After analysing these five different images, I have learnt due to editing and selection photos can misrepresent the truth. The Media producers are constantly competiting with each other to make money. New and exciting ways of representing information/pictures can have impact and ensure success. A good photograph of something can help audiences make sense of a complicated issue. The media uses photographs that will hopefully not date and always support the author's text. Without cropping, selection and photographs being anchored, the images would put across a more truthful statement. As can be seen from my examples, the camera can distort the truth or even lie. ?? ?? ?? ?? Andrew Clymer 10N ...read more.

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