Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Know your enemy

datePosted on 19:46, December 4th, 2011 by Lew

The image above is “scientifically formulated to enhance [women's] perception of men who drink Molson [...] a perfectly tuned combination of words and images designed by trained professionals. Women who are exposed to it experience a very positive feeling. A feeling which they will later project directly onto [men who drink Molson].”

That’s not my analysis; it’s what the creatives who developed the ad said about it, in another ad. The first ad, the one you see above, ran in Cosmopolitan and was pitched at women. The ad from which the explanatory text was drawn ran in Playboy under the heading “Hundreds of thousands of women. Pre-programmed for your convenience.” The full analysis is here, on the Sociological Images blog.

The lesson is essentially that propaganda relies on market segmentation; messages crafted and pitched with accuracy and intent. If you read what you’re told to read, you’ll think what you’re told to think. Avoiding such a fate means embracing diversity of input, understanding your opponents’ arguments and their reasoning even if you disagree with it. To a large extent that means consuming their media. For a rounded perspective you’ll need, at least occasionally, to read sites like DailyKos and Free Republic, infuriating and interminable comment threads on The Standard and Kiwiblog, and SOLOpassion and Gates of Vienna and WSWS and the Wall Street Journal; listen to talkback, watch Fox News and pick up both Cosmo and Playboy from time to time, for the articles or whatever. This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but the point is: read, listen, watch and discuss promiscuously. Argue with those folks you disagree with; drink beer with them from time to time. Take them seriously. Insist that they take you seriously, and give them reasons to do so.

It might hurt; in fact, it often will. But it beats being a dittohead.

L

Edit to add: Anita points out that the Sociological Images post created a bit of a stir. They write:

Apparently the company has been getting calls from consumers and reporters regarding the Molson Cosmo/Playboy ads we posted about yesterday. It turns out the ad campaign is quite old (2002/2003) and they would like to distance themselves from it now.

As you would. Not clear whether they now regret the decision to run such ads, or whether it’s a pro-forma blowback response.

Medium matters

datePosted on 12:48, November 30th, 2011 by Lew

This is a powerful, classic, somewhat disturbing image of Norway gunman Anders Behring Breivik:

Marred by very badly chosen mouseover text.

L

Shame on the Herald

datePosted on 08:36, March 17th, 2011 by Lew

… for trying to run game on New Zealand, scaremongering the Foreshore and Seabed hīkoi:

That was on page four of the dead tree edition, and online here, under the headline “Opponents put up roadblocks to bill”. Use of this outrageously unrepresentative photo makes a number of unjustified implications which aren’t present in Claire Trevett’s generally factual and balanced article. These include:

  • Most obviously, the suggestion that the marchers are gang members, with the implication of violence and public menace that creates, despite the fact that the march was peaceful having been mentioned in the opening sentence of Trevett’s article;
  • Creation of a general equivalence between Māori protesters and gang members, with all the racism that implies;
  • The suggestion that opponents of the foreshore and seabed legislation are acting on a separatist “black power” imperative, when the article makes clear that the opponents mentioned in the headline are an ideological grab-bag consisting of the ACT and Green parties, and Hone Harawira;
  • The suggestion that the marchers are literally blocking roads, when the article makes clear that the roadblocks referred to in the headline are metaphorical, and little more than the usual sort of procedural delaying tactics employed in Parliament to drag out the progress of a bill — in this case until next week, when the hīkoi reaches Wellington.

The core message of this choice of photo to accompany what is mostly a story about the trivial frustrations of a government trying to pass an unpopular law is this: Māori radicals and gangs are forcibly blocking this law, and they will block you from the beach as well.

It would be absurd if it wasn’t so offensively misleading.

(via Pascal’s bookie)

L

Visual perks of office

datePosted on 10:02, June 21st, 2010 by Lew

(NZ Herald.)

I don’t have much time today, but wanted to note the above image of John Key in an All White strip after this morning’s 1-1 victory over Italy. The significance of the event notwithstanding, the slightest chance of a result such as this, and its reflected glory, was surely a significant reason for Key to attend the All Whites-Italy match. Fair enough, too.

It also reminded me of when then-PM Helen Clark donned a Kiwis Warriors jersey after a momentous rugby league victory (2005 Tri-Nations?). But for the life of me, I can’t find a photo of that event. I know it was pretty well-seen at the time — footage of the team celebrations with Clark was part of the post-match TV broadcast and made the news, but it’s like the stills have just vanished down the memory hole.

Ironically, while googling, I did find a photo of John Key as a Warrior, though this one is apparently advertising bumpf:

(H/T NZ Conservative, who asked “I wonder if Helen would have done it?” Well, wonder no more.)

Those look suspiciously like Steve Price’s forearms.

Edit: Pat, in the comments, points out that I’m probably remembering the Warriors, not the Kiwis. Probably right. There are certainly a bunch of PR shots of Clark with the team after their 19 September 2009 playoff win over the Roosters — conveniently just a couple of weeks before the general election.

(Stuff gallery.)

Thanks Pat.

L

UK election in a single frame

datePosted on 08:48, May 7th, 2010 by Lew

debate

From BagNews Notes.

It’s going to be a fascinating day.

Update: Ok, I couldn’t resist: two frames. Second over the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Headline/pic of the day

datePosted on 10:43, May 6th, 2010 by Lew

Acropolis Now!, at Not PC.

But it looks like The Economist got there a week ago.

And they did a photoshop hack to go with it.

L

Posted without comment

datePosted on 07:39, April 12th, 2010 by Lew

… as none is necessary.

mrkey

Attached to this article in Stuff’s splash spot.

L

Crass news image o’ the day

datePosted on 13:59, January 5th, 2010 by Lew

water

Yes, Stuff editors, we know it’s a slow news week, but … honestly?

L

Traction

datePosted on 16:12, October 21st, 2009 by Lew

hide-rort

The story of Rodney Hide’s ministerial fundraiser is making headway — at present, it’s the splash spot on stuff.co.nz and is pretty prominent on the Herald site as well.

This image is strong. Close-ups are rarely flattering, and this one has an unctuous, indignant defensiveness which evokes, well, just about every crooked politico in history. The text, leading with the universal refrain of officials on the take and following up hard with that beloved word ‘rort’, gives the audience all the necessary context. This is a position Hide has spent his political career avoiding, and one which he was once merciless in prosecuting. It’s a long way to fall.

It seems that the credit for this should go to Eddie, who drew together its various strands into the narrative we now have. It’s been picked up by a few blogs, including Red Alert, where Phil Twyford published his own clearly-derivative-but-not-attributed riff on the topic earlier today, complete with Goff’s press release which forms the basis for the NZPA story. And it looks like Eddie even chose the photo which Stuff ran with — only one is flipped on the vertical. Well done.

Update: Lyndon in the comments points out that the threads were in fact drawn together by North Shore mayor Andrew Williams in the first instance, and published on Scoop.co.nz – so Frist P0st credits there, although the Labour response seems more derivative of Eddie’s work than that, so my point largely remains.

L

Putin the scribbler

datePosted on 10:26, August 12th, 2009 by Lew

In contrast to last week’s vanity shots of Vladimir Putin, an illustration that you don’t get anywhere in the Russian political-security complex by writing down your thoughts on bits of paper.

putin-scrib

Or by looking idle.

(Thanks to AG for the pic.)

L

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