comm3210rdg#2-8 - THE PHOTOGRAPHIC MESSAGE The press...

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THE PHOTOGRAPHIC MESSAGE The press photograph as a message - Message formed by: o A source of emission The staff of the newspaper The group of technicians certain of whom take the photo o A channel of transmission The newspaper itself A complex of concurrent messages with the photograph as the center o A point of reception The public who reads the paper - Emission and reception of a message lie in the field of sociology: o Matter of: Studying human groups Defining motives and attitudes Trying to link the behavior of these groups to the social totality of which they are a part - The message’s method: o Whatever the origin and the destination of the message, the photograph is not simply a product or a channel o An object endowed with a structural autonomy - Structure of a photograph o Not an isolated structure o In communication with at least one other structure – the title, caption or article – that accompanies every press photograph - Totality of the information is carried by two different structures: o In the text Substance made up of words o In the photograph Lines, surfaces, shades - Once both structures are studied, it is possible to understand the manner in which they complement one another The photographic paradox - Special status of the photographic image: message without a code - Photographic message is a continuous message - Style of the reproduction: the analogical content itself (scene, object, landscape_ - Signifier: a certain treatment of the image; result of the action of the creator - Signified: refers to a certain culture of the society receiving the message - These imitative arts comprise two messages: - Denoted message o The analogon itself - Connoted message o The manner in which the society to a certain extent communicate what it
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thinks of it - Photograph professes to be a mechanical analogue of reality: o First order message Completely fills its substance and leaves no place for the development of a second order message - Of all the structures of information, the photograph appears as: o The only one that is exclusively constituted and occupied by a denoted message: A message which totally exhausts its mode of existence - Denotative status of the photograph o Perfection and plenitude of its analogy o Objectivity o Can be mythical - Photographic message can also be connoted – at least in the press o Not necessarily immediately graspable at the level of the message itself o But can already be inferred from certain phenomena which occur at the levels of the production and reception of the message o Since every sign supposes a code, it is this code of connotation that one should try to establish - Photographic paradox o Can be seen as the co existence of two messages The one without a code The photographic analogue The one with a code The art, treatment, writing, or rhetoric of the photographic o Paradox is not the involvement of the denoted and connoted message
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