Research- Semiotics

New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam

In this image, the photographer’s intentions were to document the 11 ironworkers working on constructing the Rockefeller building as they ate their lunch atop the steel beam 850 feet in the air. To me, this image primarily makes me nervous to see the way construction workers got the job done back in 1932 with no safety precautions. It makes me think about how different time were back then, and something like this would never be allowed in the present day. That however does not make me think any less of the image, I personally think this is an amazing photograph that has been fantastically composed considering the situation. Each character emits a different story, making the viewer think deeper into the image. I think this photograph will mean something different to everyone. Some may even think it is fake, however I do think many will share the shocking nature of the situation.

the falling soldier

This photograph, ‘The Falling Soldier’ by Robert Capa was intended to capture the moment a Republican soldier was shot and killed during the Spanish Civil War to be published in magazines and newspapers across the world to document the war. Again, I find this to be another startling photograph that captures a harsh but true reality. However, there has been a lot of controversy among others regarding the authenticity of this photograph and recent research suggests that it was staged and doubt shadowed on the identity of the subject, that it may not have been Federico Borrell García as originally thought.

Screen shot 2013-03-04 at 10.41.06 PM

This is the first of two photographs I researched that are included in Mario Tama’s set of Superstorm Sandy images. In this photograph Tama intends to capture the sheer devastation caused by Sandy. By taking a helicopter ride above affected areas, Mario Tama captured a number of incredible images reflecting the aftermath of the storm. I personally think these images are exceptionally successful in fulfilling their intentions. The fact that the images are taken from a birds eye point of view make them all the more hard-hitting and realistic, almost putting the viewer in the situation. I think most people will agree that photographs such as these from Mario Tama’s Sandy set are incredibly strong and realistically reflect the damage and devastation Mother Nature can cause.

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This is the second of Mario Tama’s Superstorm Sandy photographs I researched. The intentions of this image are clear, to capture the devastation caused by the storm and that these were actually people’s homes that were being destroyed. I think this photograph is incredibly effective and successful in it’s intentions, as it makes me think about the story behind this home and the family it belonged to, what would they do now? Often in the media, devastation caused by storms such as Sandy is only shown on a huge scale, from a birdseye view taken from a helicopter. However I feel close up and single subject images like this really make known the effects on real people. I think there will be a balanced opinion of this photograph among most people as it has basic intentions and a basic composition, leaving the viewer to think deeper into the image and draw their own conclusions.


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