LBST 330 – Response Paper #1
It is undeniable that photography based media changes the way we perceive, know and act in the world. Through an image only a portion of the world is shown. When a topic is being discussed and an image is given to give the audience to gain a deeper understanding only one viewpoint is shown through the image and the audience is often ignorant to other perspectives. An example of this in action can be shown through analyzing a movie versus play adaption of the same piece of literature. In the movie version the audience is shown one perspective as the director of the movie chooses what angle and area the camera is focusing on; each scene is deliberately set up to focus on what the director wants the audience attention towards. With the play adaption, and entire scene is shown on stage. Each audience member has freedom to focus on what they personally believe is important to concentrate on within a scene as their viewpoint is not constricted to one image that has been chosen for them to look at. Through the play adaption of the literary piece, each audience member can leave with a different understanding of certain things in the play, and many viewpoints can be discussed, whereas in the movie adaption each audience member has viewed the exact same deliberately chosen images which leaves less room for personal interpretation.
At the same time photography based media can maintain only certain perspectives, it can also have too many. There is a well-known phrase ‘a picture can say one thousand words’. This idea can be positive when using media to illustrate a creative concept, but if an image is being used to illustrate a specific point it may unintentionally cause confusion as the one picture can mean multiple things to different people.
Powerful emotion inducing pictures can also bring awareness to certain issues and alter behavior. An example of this can be drawn from the image of a deceased Syrian child that washed up on the shores of Turkey. This image was mass distributed by news broadcasters around the globe. After seeing this powerful image the awareness on the Syrian refugee crisis increased immensely. Syrian refugees had been struggling for years, but only after this powerful image was distributed had the issue been globally addressed.
Through various television programs different political and personal viewpoints are shared. Through this the audience’s perception of things may be subconsciously influenced. An example of this can be drawn from the Television show Family Guy. Throughout the various episodes of Family Guy, politicians and public figures are critiqued in a humorous way. Although the audience may not take the political viewpoints embedded within Family Guy and adopt them as their own, they have been exposed to a new perspective through the show and consequently their personal opinions may transform.
A major problem I foresee by using photographs in my future tutorials and grad project is that concepts may be misinterpreted. I will have to be diligent in describing exactly what interpretation I want my audience members to maintain when viewing the image. An upside to utilizing media is that it allows me to convey much meaning in a simple and quick way. It additionally gives me an opportunity to induce emotion from my audience. My perspective project will be quantitative and fact driven, and on its own would not necessarily induce an emotional reaction. Moreover, the addition of media will allow the project to reach a wider audience as many individuals are not compelled to read a research paper, but would enjoy learning about a new topic through digital media.