Media Representation

 

Representation is one of the main concepts in media. All media practitioners work to portray or ‘re-present’ a particular version of a reality. For example, filmmakers begin by thinking about the ways they can represent events, characters and ideas on film.

 

 Similarly, photographers deliberately decide what to represent in their images and the techniques they will use to convey a representation.

Even media texts that claim to show reality, such as documentaries and the news, are characterised by a process of selection, omission and construction.

 

 This section of the course discusses the ways in which media products and messages are created through a process of selection, omission, construction and representation. It also explores how messages and media products are received and understood by audience though processes of selection, interpretation and interaction.

 

 

A representation is a constructed media text. Representations can take many forms, including: radio segments, newspaper articles, photographs, films, and television programs, television news segments. While some media texts – like television news and documentary films – may seem realistic, we have to remember that this is not the same as experiencing it ourselves. At best, the media can only represent reality. What we see on our television screens and on the front page of our daily newspapers is someone else’s interpretation of events, ideas and people. Someone has constructed these texts.

 

WHAT IS A CODE?

 

In Media Studies, the word ‘code’ refers to any system of signs that are used to communicate meaning. When you think about the real world, signs surround us: traffic lights, written language, mathematics, clothing, and body language.

 

In 2011, Hungry Jacks released a series of commercials for their Premium Chicken and Premium Beef burgers. What makes these commercials interesting is that the voice over articulates the visual codes being used in the commercial to make the food seem appetising. In visual media, codes—in this case lighting and slow motion—carry particular meanings for audiences.

 

Ref https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5gSV61iCAE

 

 

WHAT IS A CONVENTION?

 

Conventions are well-established ways of constructing texts

 

Consider the front page of a newspaper. The name of the newspaper will feature prominently at the top of the page. Beneath this, we have a number of articles. It is a convention of newspapers that the most important news is placed on the front page. Indeed, the most important articles appear closer to the top of the page than the less important stories. Headlines are another convention of newspapers, which tell readers what the article is about. Hard news articles, which appear on the cover of newspapers, are usually written in in a particular style, often known as an inverted pyramid, which features all of the important information first. The important aspects of a story – who, what, when, where, why – are usually included in the lead or introductory paragraph. Photographs will usually be accompanied by a caption to explain their significance.

 

Here is a good definition to help solidify your understanding of the concept: “As a type of film or television develops, filmmakers and directors find certain techniques that become useful or effective in creating texts. These techniques get used again and again, and eventually they are associated with and are used to define certain types of texts. The techniques then become known as conventions.”

 

In this segment, Charlie Brooker points out the conventions of television news. Conventions often lend themselves to parody because, although we have a deep understanding of how media texts are organised, we often don’t think consciously about the conventions of media texts.

 

Ref 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHun58mz3vI#t=22

 

 

 

CONSTRUCTION OF MEDIA TEXTS

 

All media texts are constructed. As they’re being constructed, important decisions are made about how the subject will be represented. Consider a photograph. When you take a photograph, you make a number of important decisions about how the subject will be represented, including: lighting, camera angle, shot size, visual composition, colour, posture and facial expression of the subject.

 

All of these decisions influence the way people will read to the photograph.

 

Although this is a simple example, all media texts go through this process of construction. As a result, media texts often reflect the views and values of those who create them and the society in which they were created

 

The construction of photos not only occur during the shoot but are now most commonly refined during post production - A classic example of the manner in which photographs are enhanced can be found in the dove commercial and the many parodies that followed

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhCn0jf46U

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17j5QzF3kqE

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AA_dXDRkP9s

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lV8JardV74w

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVY6VqfASOM

 

 

Conventions are well-established ways of constructing texts. Consider the front page of a newspaper. The name of the newspaper will feature prominently at the top of the page. Beneath this, we have a number of articles. It is a convention of newspapers that the most important news is placed on the front page. Indeed, the most important articles appear closer to the top of the page than the less important stories. Headlines are another convention of newspapers, which tell readers what the article is about. Hard news articles, which appear on the cover of newspapers, are usually written in in a particular style, often known as an inverted pyramid, which features all of the important information first. The important aspects of a story – who, what, when, where, why – are usually included in the lead or introductory paragraph. Photographs will usually be accompanied by a caption to explain their significance.

 

Here is a good definition to help solidify your understanding of the concept: “As a type of film or television develops, filmmakers and directors find certain techniques that become useful or effective in creating texts. These techniques get used again and again, and eventually they are associated with and are used to define certain types of texts. The techniques become known as conventions.”

Codes and Conventions of the Magazine Cover

Magazine covers are a good example of the use of codes and conventions in Media representations

 

 

 

 

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Masthead (logo)     the name of the magazine displayed in a specific typeface. This is the visual branding of the title and is often done in a specially designed typeface to be very recognisable and unique. The masthead is usually used on the contents page inside as well as the front cover, and as a logo for advertising and branding purposes

 

Dateline      Month and year of publication, often with the price. Note that a monthly magazine usually hits the newsstands the month before the cover date

 

Main image In the case of this front cover there is a single image of the model Shania. The image is used in a classic way; the face is big enough to stand out on the newsstand, with the model making full eye contact

 

Model credit this says: 'Shania: So hot.' It is unusual for such a credit to appear on a magazine front cover, but is done on fashion magazines. The photographer and model credit is usually on the contents page

 

Cover lines Cosmopolitan magazine uses a lot of cover lines, which are distributed around the main image without detracting from it too much. A mistake often made with cover lines is that they run over an image that has a lot of colour changes, rendering the words invisible. This is a problem here with the red text on the hair on the left and the smaller yellow text against Shania's skin

 

Main cover line This is very large - taking up almost a quarter of the magazine cover - and comes in three layers, each with a different colour. It promotes the use of naked male centerfolds, a feature of Cosmopolitan in the UK since its first issue. Note the main cover line is positioned against the model's shoulder so it shows up clearly

 

Left third The left third of the magazine cover is vital for sales in shops where the magazine is not shown full-frontage. The title must be easily recognisable in a display of dozens of competitors. The start of the masthead is important here, as are short cover lines that are easy to read.

The top fifth of the cover - usually dominated by the masthead - may be the vital part in supermarkets, where magazines are displayed differently

 

Bar code Standard bar code used by retailers

 

Selling line  Short, sharp description of the title's main marketing point (for Cosmopolitan: 'The world's No 1 magazine for young women') or perhaps setting out its editorial philosophy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Visual Design Task

 

For this Outcome students will need

 

To take a Good quality photograph of them in portrait shot (head shot) please do not select photographs with other people in the shot. You face needs to be clearly shown in the photograph

 

Using a camera  find a good location within the school  or use the photo studio ( Green Screen )  and have another student take a number of portrait photographs of you. You should also pose to evoke various styles and genres

 

You will the select one   photograph for the front cover of a magazine that you will construct

 

You will create your own magazine Title reflecting a particular genre and include cover lines – dateline- and bar codes to complete their magazine cover

 

You will then print your magazine cover on the ink jet printer

Some useful links if you  used the green screen -  

remove the green screen 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BKnOCcEmwA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmy99WqyYX4&t=4s

retouching in photoshop 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dM68DoX8LY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FP9fyxhGjM

Free template designs or builders

https://spark.adobe.com/make/magazine-cover-maker/

https://www.canva.com/create/magazine-covers/

Task Two 

For this task students will design an advertisement using Photoshop for one of the  products below

 

The challenge of this  Task  is to use one of the following brand names

 


Zebra
Tanesh
Markesh

Ant 

Zed

 

as the  name  brand for either 

 

Sports wear –

Perfume or cologne

Fashion label-

Music Festival/Label 

Medicine​

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The student must use a current photograph of themselves – or have a photo  taken suitable for one of the products  above -  before this assignment commences 

 

-If you are taking a photo-  give consideration to composition- either a full body shot – waist to head – or shoulders to head

-costuming,  setting or location – consider the background

 

 

You must include the logo and name of your chosen product

You must include a slogan in your advertisement

 

You must consider carefully – the style of your advertisement should meet the image of typically  elite companies.

 

Sports wear  brands - 

Consider the sport you will represent- e.g Basketball- Boxing- Athletics- Triathlon

                                                                - Martial Arts – Football – Baseball- or your   own nominated sport

 Perfume or Cologne

 

 Fashion Label  -   

 

 Assessment:  Criteria : Adherence to the design brief-  include  logo - slogan

                                       Photographic  composition

                                       Adherence to style and image of product

                                       Design

                                       Time management- ability to work in class to deadline

 

Students have  some class time   to complete this task 

 

Student submission should include your name on the back – and work printed on A3 glossy paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONSTRUCTION OF MEDIA TEXTS

 

All media texts are constructed. As they’re being constructed, important decisions are made about how the subject will be represented. Consider a photograph. When you take a photograph, you make a number of important decisions about how the subject will be represented, including: • lighting• camera angle• shot size• visual composition• color• posture and facial expression of the subject.

 

All of these decisions influence the way people will respond to the photograph. Although this is a simple example, all media texts go through this process of construction. As a result, media texts often reflect the views and values of those who create them and the society in which they were created.

 

Task :  Select  a subject matter that is usely associated as  dirty – unattractive – or disease ridden – such as rubbish : Take 2  alternate photographs – where one depicts the topic how it is commonly viewed . The other  which attempts to represent the topic as  beautiful – useful or valuable-  You should consider what conventions you could use to assist constructing your representation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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