Paper: Analyzing Visual Media

    Choose an advertisement, a painting, or a professional photograph to analyze. Decide what the ad exec, artist, or photographer was trying to argue with the image.

    Paper should be 4-5 pages.  Please address all of the following in the essay. Do not answer the questions in question format, rather, write up your findings as a formal essay.

    Whats the idea being put forth?Whats the political agenda or argument being expressed by the image?
    Where did you find the ad? Who is the intended audience?How is the intended audience meant to feel? Newport cigarettes have 75% African-American female customers; therefore it makes sense that they advertise in Ebonyand feature African-American female models who are the center of male attention.
    What is the pictures context? History? The picture didnt just turn up in a vacuum. Ralph Lauren advertisements after 9/11 were literally draped in American flags. What kind of context or contemporary moment is your ad/picture a product of?
    What are the visual detailsof the picture? Emphasis on DETAIL. EVERY LITTLE THINGframing, color choice, background, mood, atmosphere, tone, shape, connotations, emphasis. This is your papers evidence. Be specific and thorough. This will take up a lot of your paper. Start with a brief orientation to the image as if your reader cant see it.
    TEXT, font, etc. Analyze any written words (if there are any) and the kind of font used. How do the written words reinforce the pictures argument?
    If you are writing about an ad, think about or research the companys demographic/ target consumers. If its a painting, research the artist or photographer. This could be a great excuse to spend a few hours at the Getty or LACMA.

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