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Purposes and Uses of Photography

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Sophia Tang

on 13 April 2016

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Transcript of Purposes and Uses of Photography

Purposes and Uses of Photography
Food Advertising
The photographic applications I will be focusing on will be:
Food advertising
On the other hand, the contexts I will be focusing on will be:
Web Pages
The purpose of food advertising is to promote a specific product. By presenting the product of with a aesthetically pleasing image it allows the customer to receive a preview of the product. The aim is to persuade the customer to buy the product. Food advertising aims for the customer to "taste" the food by just looking at the image. Usually, colours, shapes and sizes are exaggerated, and made to seem unrealistically appealing although it is most likely to be unhealthy.
Over time, food advertisement has focused more on taste and quality. The biggest selling point for food is the quality. For example: Tesco's finest brand, is advertised to seem as though the quality is to a high standard when in reality, it is still cheap and low quality as it was before. Previously, it was highlighted that cartoons were used to appeal to children as well as colourings, which were popular but overused. However, after years of criticism of fast food diet's harmful effects it has led to campaigners to consider healthier options during modern campaigns. For some chains in the past, such as Carl's Jr and Burger King, they direct their advertising at a younger demographic, so imagery is usually sexualised. Food photography in food advertising tends to be a large focus to the public's observations.


McDonalds themselves, explained why their food looks different in comparison to how it is advertised, the explained that they used the same ingredients however added touchups through post-production applications e.g. photoshop. Also, they pulled the ingredients forward so that each could be seen and took more time to compose the presentation of the food for advertising purposes.
Typical visual rules which occur in fashion photography include quite a variety. Some examples are presented on the right, with the use of geometric shapes and the golden ratio. However, the use of high key lighting in photography is common amongst fashion photography, with images ranging from a closeup to a full body shot. Usually for magazine covers, the shots are a medium close up, with the main focus being the face. These usually follow the rule of thirds. Also with fashion advertising, the use of famous icons play a key part in advertising, with companies investing their money to hire models or celebrities to advertise their products or for the purpose of using them in their magazine.
Photographic Applications
and Contexts
Large advertising companies have presented an image to the public which has been twisted to create a false image in which promotes products which are "supposedly" healthy. Referring to visual rules, the photos focus on the rule of thirds where the main image is centred e.g. the top of the product being alined to the top third. Also, the focus on the geometric shapes e.g. triangles to make it visually appealing and gives it structure. For some images they may focus on diagonal lines as this will draw specific attention to the audience as they create points of interest due to the intersection of lines to give depth.
Fashion photography is commonly used for the purpose of advertising and fashion magazines. For example: A fashion magazine would usually include articles of clothing either through individual clothing pieces or represented on a model. Fashion photography gives viewers the opportunity to gain style advice, e.g. finding out the latest trends, but also persuades them to buy a certain product e.g. if their favourite celebrity is advertising a fashion product by wearing the clothing item. Many readers are entertained by reading fashion magazines containing celebrities, different outfits as well as information on where to purchase certain items. It is a considered a good way to pass time, whereas fashion advertising aim to advertise and promote their brand.
When it comes to changes over time, it is found that fashion images included pictures where women covered up more, as they were much more reserved whilst at this age, they have more freedom of choice when it comes to clothing. As for fashion photography itself, it was not until Condé Nast started shooting portraits of models, aristocrats, actresses etc. for Vogue in 1913, where photographs began being of us in fashion editorials. Due the to assistance of photography being introduced to fashion, there were many rising couriers in the 1920's and 1930's such as Chanel which became acknowledged for their distinctive styles. In the 1920's, fashion photography focused on the purpose of recording clothing worn by women to represent how women should dress and show society how women were to behave, however due to an advance in technology as well as society, the purpose of photography has changed.

Equipment normally used to produce fashion photography includes the use of DSLRs, lenses, as well as lighting equipment (floodlights, tungsten-halogen lamps and incandescent lighting). Photographs for fashion photography are usually produced in professional studios which are then edited using post production techniques such as photoshop which include colour correction, special effects as well as other creative manipulation techniques.
There are many ethical issues associated with fashion photography which range from working conditions to the environmental impact to a person's body image as well as particular uses of the fabric, fur. On the right, displays 3 pictures of a model who has suffered anorexia. One ethical issue, includes eating disorders as well as the idea of a warped body image. The super-thin body type is considered a preference when it comes to fashion models, which encourages the idea of eating disorders as well as warping the body image, with the worst consequence of this being death.
Meanwhile, other ethical issues include, the exposure of people through photography, such as nudity shoots - this can be considered as an ethical issue as certain religions such as Islam believe it is not right to expose too much skin, especially as it offends their beliefs. There are also images which refer to the sexualisation of young children, particularly girls such as Thylane Loubry Blondeau who is a prime example of exploitation. She was a model of Vogue at the age of 10, and was involved in shoots which may be considered as "sensationalistic" as she was featured in shoots which involved the exposure of her body, such as an implied nude shot. This can also be a issue considering child labour, as they are under the age of 18, so are of not of legal age to work. Especially if they are enduring long working hours as well as wage theft. They may also be receiving limited legal protection that other children in the workforce are granted.


Photojournalism is a specific form of journalism which focuses on presenting images to convey a news story. News photographers are professionals who accompany reports on assignments in order to capture images/videos for a report. The photographs are chosen according to the suitability to the story, as they aim of the image is the convey the story through the form of an image. This also avoids the risk, as well allowing the viewer to view the scene without physically being there. Usually images of a large event are presented in a landscape view whilst images of a certain person would be presented in a portrait view. Images tend to be candid shots. For some news websites such as the BBC, the layout of their photographs stays the same throughout so the images are usually in a landscape form, one after another.
Photojournalism overtime has changed, as originally images for the news were taken by just professionals who sought for relevant images for a story, however due to the advance in technology, anyone who happens to have a smartphone specifically the younger demographic, have the ability to take images. This means, that anyone who witnesses a certain event, can take the image whilst being their to assist the news with their story. This is otherwise known as citizen journalism.
The equipment usually used in photojournalism usually include DSLRs which provide HD quality images, but due to citizen journalism, phones and various other technology which include a camera can be used as well to take images.
There are various ethical issues which are associated with photojournalism. What we have to consider when being a news photographer is how we would react to different situations. For example: Should a war photographer put down their camera to help out an injured soldier? Or if someone asks for his/her photo not to be take, is it ethical to photograph the person anyways - this refers to the paparazzi.
One situation which is famously known is the image taken by the South African photojournalist who won the Pulitzer award for taking a disturbing image of a Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture. Due to his built up regrets of not helping the child, he ended up committing suicide 3 months later after he won the award.

However, a Professor named Paul Martin Lester, discussed 6 ethical philosophies which would help photographers and editors with answering the situations above (refer to the questions) - these philosophies were outlined by the California State University Fullerton.
The Categorical Imperative - An editor should consider whether to publish an image under the different circumstances e.g. if the subject is male, elderly or obese.
Utilitarianism - This philosophy attempts to weigh out the positives and negatives of a situation, and maximise the good for the greatest number of people.
Hedonism - This is all about the "do what feels good" where you rely on your own train of thought and how you feel about the situation.
The Golden Mean - This concerns the philosophy of compromise
The Veil of Ignorance - This is asking the photographer/editor about how they would feel if they were in the subject's position.
The Golden Rule - This rule focuses on the phrase "love thy neighbour as thyself" - this focuses on the philosophy of the photographer/editor to treat others to how they would wish to be treated.


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