Essay about Static image analysis

Submitted By rajruparelia
Words: 1330
Pages: 6

Representation, according to Oxford Dictionary, can be defined as the description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way. All forms of visual media use certain conventions to represent characters in certain ways. These two images, sourced from The Daily Telegraph, and Women’s Daily, both feature the Australian Cricket Team’s captain, Michael Clarke, however they both portray him in two completely different manners. Through costume, body language and facial expressions, Australian male sportsmen can be represented as soft and inviting figures of desire, but on the other hand, they may also be constructed to be viewed as the archetypal powerful masculine, competitor.
The primary text depicts an international, professional, sportsman, who is well known by most of the public, in a gentle and inviting manner. This is done through a number of methods, such as clothing. The baby blue shirt worn in the image is gentle and sombre and the partially unbuttoned shirt revealing some skin is inviting and draws the viewer’s gaze. His rolled up sleeves cause him to be represented as casual and laid back and his gaze and gentle smile, off shot, is alluring, and the viewer immediately is drawn to this. His posture and body position is relaxed, and contributes to the representation of a gentle and captivating figure of desire, while his hand position draws attention to the thigh area of his body. The medium shot focuses the viewer’s full attention on him, and the not the background, however we are able to see almost a full shot of him. The background, being out of focus, draws our attention to him, and the background is barely noticed. Also his positioning, in the frame, causes him to be the sole focus of the viewer’s attention. The caption is also important, as it provides information to the viewer. His nickname, Pup, is used to add to the causal and relaxed theme, and his mother is mentioned which is important as it shows he is a family man which is desirable to the adult female age group the image is targeted at. His well-trimmed, and cared for hairstyle, also shows his care for his looks, as does the clean shaven face and is another method that sportsmen can represented to seem enticing, and objects of desire. Hence, we are able to see how society often values looks greatly, and certain representations, are able to bring about certain feelings of desire in the viewer.
The primary image appeared in a Women’s Daily magazine a few years ago. The context, purpose and target audience of this image is important, when understanding the representations. As it is published in a women magazine, the target audience is quite clearly, women, especially women over the age of 30. The photo, having been published in a female orientated magazine, uses costume, gaze and other visual codes and conventions to represent male sportsman in an alluring, and eye catching manner to women. The photo also plays with the emotions of the conservative side of women over the age of thirty, with it not being completely revealing, however it is slightly exposes parts of skin, and uses soft gentle facial expressions, to draw the attention of women. If the image was targeted at a younger male audience, for example, more flesh would be exposed, and the objectification of the opposite gender would be much clearer. Even if the image was aimed at a younger female audience, the objectification would be a lot more apparent and clear to the viewer; however this slight objectification is created for middle age women to yearn. Therefore we are able to recognise how men in society may also be objectified, however subtle it is, even though through society, it is believed women are always objectified, and used to persuade men. Thus the alluring and mellow representation, of male sportsmen, is constructed through the posture, facial expressions, and even costume, and is done while considering the context, purpose and target audience of the image. When comparing the…