How does photography affect us?
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Frankie Earnshaw How does photography affect us? Photography can be used for many different purposes, it can change our opinion on how we think and feel. Newspapers, magazines, home photography, leaflets and posters all use photos in different ways. Newspapers use it to inform us and make us feel like we are there when looking at them. Magazines use photography to entice us to buy products and to show us images about famous people and their lives. Home photography is used to capture a happy moment so you can remember it and show others. Leaflets and posters are used to advertise and inform us about what they are trying to sell. All pictures are encoded with messages. When we look at pictures we de-code them without realising. Ever since you were young you have been taught to de-code messages. For example when you look at a picture of someone thin from Africa you associate it with being poor.
He is central in the picture with nothing to see in the background and this makes you focus on him. Apart from the fact that the subject is wearing a helmet, the picture has also been shot in just black and white making you automatically think it was an old wartime picture because it is dull with no bright colours. Also only black and white film was used during this time. The mans face is very muddy with an unhappy expression, he looks scared and worried. The camera is looking up at him, which makes him look like he is hiding from someone or something. Photography can affect the way we make sense of photographs. Newspapers can determine the side of a conflict we see. They can show us the things only they want us to see. For example if there is a war going on, our newspapers could, if they wanted to, only show all the terrible things the opposition are doing, so everyone who reads it will start to hate that side and feel we are right by going to war.
It will make them feel selfish and spoilt. Captions anchor a photo to give it a meaning because from one photo you can receive several different meanings. When we look at photos we think we are seeing the truth as it is taken at that specific time. This isn't always true as all photos can be cropped. James Nachtwei felt he wasn't showing the whole truth as the newspapers only wanted him to show one side of a conflict. We trust photos to deliver the truth because we feel it is a form of proof. If someone tells us something we may not believe they are telling the truth. However, if we are shown a photo we believe it straight away even though it could have been cropped to get a message across which is untrue. Photography is a very good source of media to get a message across. However, it might not be a truthful message you are getting.
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