Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Why do you think they call it "Trope?"

CLAM students will be working with photos and offering critical analyses of the rhetorical choices that go into the "composition" of digital images. The choices of angle, inclusion, exclusion, etc. are paramount in "making meaning" with photographs! If you doubt that consider these photos taken at a recent speech by President Obama to a group of 6th graders. (These news photos were taken by Getty Images and are property of Getty Images. A small selection of their published images are included here for educational purposes under the Fair Use policy.)

Photo 1 - note the President's posture, inclusion of children, facial expressions, etc.

Photo 2 - note the podium with official seal, children's artwork in background, secret service agent, corner of flag...

Photo 3 - Note the two teleprompters, the three monitors, the classroom blackboard, charts, globe, etc...

Which of these photos is most effective? for what purposes? If you were photographing the President for this occasion, what decisions of Digital Tropos would come into play for you? Why?

These decisions are important considerations, not just for Presidents - but for each student composing multimodally!

Bonus: John Stewart comments on the impact of the visual rhetoric at play:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Obama Speaks to a Sixth-Grade Classroom
Daily Show
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