Archive for the ‘Visual Journal’ Category

Week 12: Photojournalism

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Visual Journal

Photojournalism can be thought as a hybrid of photography and journalism. It is a form of journalism in the way that how the picture is collected, edited and presented to tell a news story. A good photojournalist can create photos that shake people out of indifference by portraying the window of reality.

Photography’s specific attributes – its materiality, ease of access, frozen capture of time, an affective and often gestalt-driven view of the world that is thought to bypass the intellect and communicate directly with the emotions – help shape its power (Zelizer, 2005)

In the digital age, to take sharp and quality photographs is not a problem. Moreover,  the photos can now be edited digitally in the ‘electronic dark room’ to alter its colors and contrast to make the subject clearer. However, due to this fact itself makes it an issue. The ethics of a photo in photojournalism is questionable because according to Warburton (1998) ” with the new technology, so the argument goes, a new relationship between object, image and viewer is set up, and so the conventions surrounding photographic image production and reception must be transformed accordingly”. Thus, as real as the photo gets, we should not take things for granted because we may have forgotten the practice of how photographs are used  to accompany a story especially in the news. The media does not always produce truths. Most of them are distorted in such a way to influence how the audience interprets it.

For example below, we can see the digital retouching of the photo where the woman was cropped out of the picture. Visually, both pictures create different impacts. In the original photo what can be seen is Obama having a conversation with a woman and whereas the edited picture depicted a different reality. It looks as if Obama was distressed because of the oil spill but in actuality, the photojournalist edited the photo digitally to illustrate that message. It is considered as unethical photojournalism because what the photojournalist did was inventing a reality to fit in the picture with the story.

There was also an issue of changing the colors in the photograph to influence its meaning. For example, on July 27 1994 a photograph of the mug-shot of OJ Simpson appeared on the cover of both Newsweek and Time Magazine. The Time cover was darkened which gave the accused a more menacing look. OJ Simpson was still on trial but not convicted yet for murdering his ex-wife and her lover at the time of the printing of the two covers. But Time magazine’s picture seemed to assume that he was guilty and influence the readers to that idea.

According to Warburton (1998), photojournalist’s images must have meaning in virtue of 3 aspects:
1) what they are of, in the sense of what caused them;
2) what they look to be of;
3) how they are used in a particular context.

Ethics of photography do not just apply to the news, for example the ad by Ralph Lauren last year sparked an outrage to many societies especially from a female’s standpoint. In the photo of the ad, the photo of the model, Filippa Hamilton was heavily retouched to the extent that it looked less humane. The discourse of fashion introduced by Ralph Lauren was slammed by their unrealistic idea of what is beautiful. Do they really have to be abnormally thin to look beauty? Take a look at the picture below, the one on top is  the photo of the ad and below it is the picture of the model in her real figure. There’s just no way that her pelvis is smaller than her head.

The critique here is that women must be armed with a tool to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image because evidently that is what is conveyed through this “photo illustration” by Ralph Lauren.

In conclusion, there are limits to how far the photos can be edited in photojournalism. Minor adjustments to colors and contrasts, cropping, captioning and burning in important details may still be acceptable as long as the message does not change. On the contrary, editing and distorting the main subject (doctoring an image) to deceive the public’s perception of reality is considered unethical. There are many people involved in the newsroom and the editors must trust their subordinates to act in faith and to make sure that the photograph on the page is not fabricated.


Zelizer, B. (2005). Journalism through the camera’s eyes. In Allan, S. (ed.), Journalism: Critical issues (pp. 167-176). Berkshire: Open University Press.

Warburton, N. (1998). Electrical photojournalism in the age of the electronic darkroom. In Kieran, M. (ed.), Media ethics (pp.123-134). London: Routledge.


Week 11: Information Graphics

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Visual Journal

Information graphics are simply visual representations of information, data or knowledge. Most people find raw data such as numbers boring and meaningless, this is where information graphics play they role in getting these people’s attention. To make the information as interesting as possible, visual elements are usually included. The key ingredient of an information graphic is its simplicity and the use of graphics help people to understand what is being represented quickly without prior background knowledge of it. Summed up by Pettersson, “Information graphics provide the reader with a rapid and easily grasped overall view of a message and are therefore highly suitable as an introduction to and summary of a subject.” (Pettersson, 1993, p. 173). With the use of computer technology, enormous numbers can of information graphics can be produced at ease by the graphic designers.

Let’s take a look at some interesting and creative infographs;

and now one of the worst infographics (click to view larger);

But surprisingly, this graph actually won the Malofiej-award as the best graphic produced in the year 2008. It may be a matter of opinion and to me, it is one of the worst infographics because if the reader has to spend ages trying to work out what the graphic is telling them then the graphic has failed. Information can be beautiful and creative but it has to be accessible too.

Lester mentioned Tufte in his book titled “Visual Communication: Images with messages” and it says that a high quality infographic should;
1. have an important message to commmunicate,
2. convey information in a clear, precise, and efficient manner,
3. never insult the intelligence of readers or viewers, and
4. always tell the truth.
(Lester, 1995)

When looking at the long graph by the new york times, i feel the sense of immediacy is lost and it looks like something i have to analyze for hours before getting the idea. Further, this graph is not really accurate. When you look even closer to the graph, and compare it with a traditional barchart you’ll notice that the areas for each week simply aren’t correct.

And, When you choose to show something symmetrically you give your readers a hard time deciphering the actual happenings. And lastly I do not get the message of this infograph, if I want to see the total box office earnings from this graph I am left in the dark. Thus, this infograph is a perfect example of an infograph that doesn’t follow the ‘ethics’ of a good infograph. I don’t know about you, but I lost interest in about 5 seconds when trying to read the graph the first time.

In conclusion, it is clear that because of advances in technology, animated graphics will increasingly replace static depictions for providing information about dynamic information. However, this does not necessarily mean that these more direct representations of dynamics (like the steam graph) will be more effective for users. In order to present dynamic information effectively, animations must be well designed and properly supported.


Lester, P.M. (1995). Information Graphics. Visual communication: Images with messages (pp. 187-211). California: Wadsworth Publishing.

Pettersson, R. (2002). Information Design. An Introduction. United States of America: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Week 10: Games & Avatars

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Visual Journal

We are now living in the Electronic age where technology is more than a commodity but it is a necessity to our ways of life. For example I need shoes to walk long distances without getting my feet infected with bacteria, my mobile phone so that I can talk to someone far, glasses to correct my vision, clothes to keep me warm, photographs to prothesticise our memory and the mass media to tell me what’s going on around the world. Technology’s improvements aids us to get a better life and we are becoming more and more dependent to it.

Humans now are called cyborgs. We’ve had cyborgs for a long time – the term was originally coined in 1960 to describe people whose bodily functions were aided or controlled by technology, so for example anyone with a pacemaker or hearing aid is a cyborg. In recent years, however, we’ve gone beyond using tech to fix bits of us when they break. Increasingly, we’re using technology to expand the possibilities of the human body and to blur the lines between man and machine.

Jesse Sullivan, 61, from Dayton, TN, demonstrates advanced, multi-degree control of the DEKA Research arm at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Sullivan, who lost his arms in an electrical accident in 2001, was the first person to receive the targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) procedure in 2001.

At the present time, billions of people roaming the Internet everyday and some even considered the Internet as part of their life and hence, the creation of ‘second life’ in the cyberspace.

Cyberspace, or as William Gibson calls it ‘consensual hallucination’ (Robins, 2000) provides a virtual reality to cater to your imagination of the alternative views of the world. And this virtual reality is truly the technology of miracles and dreams because it allows us to play God. Ever feel like you are not who you are? Virtual reality allows you to create a new identity that is more ‘you’. This concept of virtual life is adapted by Maxis into their video game ‘The Sims’ which was released in the year 2000. It is a strategic-life-simulation game that allows you to control one or more virtual persons in their daily lives. You can create your own avatar, a representation of yourself in the game and be whoever you want to be.

As technology progresses, this concept of virtual reality becomes improved and people can even interact online among their ‘virtual community’. For example in the game World of Warcraft, which is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment. Hardcore gamers are obsessed with this game and some even sacrificed meals and played the game for days till his death. Some even say the warcraft world is better than the real physical world. But what is real? Rene Descarte’s famous quote; “I think, therefore Iam” suggests that we are a thinking thing, we are something that doubts everything. The physical body is not real, it is the mind that is doing the job to believe it is real. According to him, the mind and the body is separated and that’s what makes us cyborgs.

“What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.” (Morpheus, The Matrix 1999)

In the future, there could be a possibility for us to live without a physical body. Like what Morpheus said, “The body cannot live without the mind”. So by right, the mind can live without the body. The body is just merely a medium. It is the mind that is doing the living.

The head in a jar idea in Futurama could be our future.. who knows right?


Robins, K. (2000). Cyberspace and the world we live in. In Bell, D. and Kennedy, B.M. (eds.), The cybercultures reader (pp.77095). London: Routledge.

Fung, A. (2006). Bridging cyberlife and real life: A study of online communities in Hong Kong. In Silver, D.M. and Adrienne Steve, J. (eds.), Critical cyberculture studies (pp. 129-139). New York: New York University Press.

Week 9: Cinema & Television

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Visual Journal

Cinema and television is among the most common media nowadays. It doesn’t matter whether we watch them for leisure, study or being forced to (for example twilight because your girlfriend loves it). Whatever we watched on both mediums must have had promoted learning of new things for example the gay vampire culture in twilight. These things that we learn on television or cinema is what Hartley called a ‘socio-culturally meaningful phenomenon’ (1999). According to him, and i quote “It’s a history of the discourses and practices which surrounded, shaped, permeated, disciplined, enabled and frustated it’s development” (1999, pp.56). So by right, he said it’s important to take note of the implementation, institutionalization and impact of television on us. Stadler (1990), sees film (cinema) can be read as a succession of metaphors. Further, he added that films grant us access to reality by defining , in the first place, the horizon of that which may appear to us as real (Stadler,1990, pp.39). But how real it gets, depends on our cultural literacy of that particular text. Literacy is defined as the condition or quality of being knowledgeable in a particular subject or field in the dictionary. Therefore cultural literacy means our understanding of the discourse of a particular culture.

Below is the movie trailer of my favourite movie called “Grind”. This movie was really famous way back in 2003 especially among teenagers in Brunei. During that time skateboarding was a fad in Brunei. Here is the plot of the story taken from imdb.

“While the rest of his high school graduating class is heading to the same old grind of college, skateboarder Eric Rivers and his best friends, Dustin, a goal-oriented workaholic, and misfit slacker Matt have one last summer roadtrip together to follow their dream of getting noticed by the professional skateboarding world–and getting paid to skate. When skating legend Jimmy Wilson’s skate demo tour hits town, the boys figure that as soon as he sees their fierce tricks, he’ll sign them up for his renowned skate team immediately, right? Unfortunately, the guys are intercepted by Jimmy’s road manager and they can’t get their foot in the door, much less their boards. But they do get some free advice: keep skating, stay true to yourself, and stay in the game–if you’re good, you’ll get noticed. Following their dream– and Jimmy’s national tour–Eric, Dustin and Matt start their own skate team…”

It was a story about four best friends who wanted to make it big in the skateboarding world. It may not be a big deal to those who doesn’t really follow the skateboarding world but it is to these four guys. I am sure that most of you guys know the famous skateboarder Tony Hawk right? But what about the other skateboard professionals like Rob Dyrdek, Ryan Sheckler, Omar Haslam or the young Nyjah Hutson and Chaz Ortiz. These guys are like celebrities in the skateboarding world, pretty much like the normal celebrities in the pop culture. Eric Rivers (the main character in the movie) was actually a good skateboarder but to make it big is not as easy as you think. It’s about putting yourself on the map, creating your own trademarks in the way you skate, winning medals in big skateboarding events and of course getting sponsored from head to toe for your skateboarding attire and skateboard. Further, you also have to understand the skateboard ‘lexis’ that were used in the entire movie.

For example, here is this scene in the movie where Eric almost flunked in the competition he’s participating in because his trucks was damaged. This ‘trucks’ do not refer to the vehicle but it refers to the metal object that is attached to the board and that holds the four wheels together. Skateboarders in America are despised by the society, they are labelled as misled youths who are vandalizing the public properties (by grinding the hand rails on the stairs, grinding is a trick used with a skateboard to slide on these handrails) but they could never understand why these skateboarders do it. The essence of skateboarding lies in the feeling when you landed each tricks. The more challenging it is, the better the feeling so they don’t really mean to “vandalize” there aren’t just enough skate parks built for them. Skateboarding shouldn’t be viewed as negative because like Tony Hawk, he made it big time and owned his own skateboarding company and of course the franchise of his video games. This is an example of the skateboarding cultural literacy that must be understood to get the point of the story.

In conclusion, cinema and television are powerful tools to teach philosophy. According to Fildes (2008), they are the constructed worlds that can fascinate us with alternatives to our own society (pp.1). Some people watch television or films because it relates to them but if it doesn’t we can learn from just by watching them. However, I still don’t get why girls are so into vampires.


Fildes, A. (2008). I WATCH, Therefore I THINK: Teaching Philosophy Through Cinema and Television. Screen Education, (49), 88-93. Retrieved from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

Hartley, John. Uses of Television. Florence, KY, USA: Routledge, 1999. Retrieved from

Stadler, H. (1990). Film as Experience: Phenomenological Concepts in Cinema and Television Studies. Quarterly Review of Film & Video, 12(3), 37-50. Retrieved from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

Week 8:Photography

Posted: October 3, 2010 in Visual Journal

Photography embodies the way of seeing according to a photographer’s perception and thus, his vision. It’s always been about seeing something, knowing how you want it to look, and making it so. Professional photographers has the power of observation, taking photographs in the right moment, capturing the whole experience in just one picture. They know seeing, visualization, composition and lighting, and immediately apply basic adjustments to change brightness and to optimize colors even with just a cheap camera. Photography has always been made from a plethora of kinds of work and types of image, which often served different material and social uses (Wells, 1997).

The year 1827 marked the birth of photography when Nicephore Niepce captured the first ever successful photograph of his courtyard using an asphalt that hardens when in contact with sunlight and sealed onto a glass plate (Leggat, 1999). Back then the process of taking a picture takes 8 hours long and but as the photography technology progresses, it takes shorter time and people become obsessed with “prosthetically” carving their memory into pictures. According to Wells (1997), “photography validated our experience of ‘being there’, which is not merely one of visiting an unfamiliar place, but of capturing the authentic experience of a strange place. Photographs are records and documents which pin down the changing world of appearance”. Thus, photography as modernity means capturing nostalgic moments and printing them forever in pictures.

The postmodernist philosophers “define postmodernism as marking the collapse of overarching narratives and witnessing the end of history (Wells,1997). Furthermore, he said that photography is no longer seen as having a referent in the world and the internal aesthetic organization is studied to gain further understanding and thus, to be critiqued. Photography as postmodernism means a new way of looking at the world and documenting it. In Wright’s book called Photography handbook, it says that postmodernism approach relies on the photographer’s ability to use the medium to show people what they would not normally be able to see-bringing issues to their attention through challenging their conventional perspectives of life (1999).

Below are some pictures that I’ve taken as an attempt to postmodernism’s approach to photography as a cultural critique.

This picture is taken at Tamu Kianggeh’s bridge in Bandar Seri Begawan. Often in tourist information brochure about Brunei boasts about how Brunei is the kingdom of unexpected treasures and the pride it takes in preserving nature and rain forests. Brunei is also known for its traditional “Kampong Ayer” in which the houses are built on stilts and “float” on the water and this uniqueness is what makes Brunei different. However, the tourist information may only show one side of Kampong Ayer, they will not document the culture of the water-village residents. Because their houses float on water, they tend to throw their rubbish on the water, among other “litter”. This is seen as unsanitary and can cause water pollution. When I was taking this picture, I witnessed someone pouring some kind of waste material into the water but my digital pocket camera’s performance makes it hard to take the picture and cannot zoom that far. In this picture, we can see a plastic rubbish which is non-biodegradable, meaning that it will not decompose and will retain its shape over time. If the water-village residents continue to throw away rubbish into the water, it will pile up and cause water-pollution and thus, defeating the purpose of preserving nature.


This is another picture I’ve taken near Jing Chew when I was getting my breakfast there. Clearly from the sign on the gate it says not to throw rubbish around that area but evidently people choose to neglect message as we can see piles of rubbish on the ground. Why are the people living in that area do not bother to clean it up? And why do people still throw the rubbish knowing there’s a warning sign? Is it because of the social status of the people living in there? People may see this and blame the people living in that are and see them as being uncivilized but how far is the truth? For all we know, this pollution may be caused by the people who came over there to eat breakfast.


This is a picture taken last year behind ITB building when mother nature acted out against us because of the accidental burning of the forests. The fire was spreading really fast and I believe it was caused by the scorching hot weather. This is a ‘subtle’ way of mother nature telling us to stop messing with the ozone layer and causing global-warming.



Leggat, R. NIEPCE, Joseph Nicephore: A history of photography. Retrieved October 6th, 2010, from

Wells, L. (1997). Thinking about photography. Photography: a critical introduction (pp.24-54) London: Routledge.

Narrative in its most general term simply means story-telling. The dualistic nature of narrative involves the story and the discourse. The story refers to what is being told and it typically exists in abstraction and requires discourse, which is referring to the arrangement of how the content of the story is structured. To tell a story means recalling past experiences and it involves trying to relive the moment, therefore it has “an essential temporal dimension”(Lamarque, 1994). To relive the moment there must be a series of events that are described “in chronological sequence in order to theorise the category of ‘story’” (Huisman, 2005). Then, the story must have been told by someone, a narrator, and therefore the story is based on his/her perspectives thus, focalizations. Consequently from all these, Lamarque (1994) developed the four basic dimensions of all narrative: time, structure, voice and point of view.

The study of narrative goes back as far as Aristotle’s Poetics. According to Aristotle, in his work which is focused on literary theory of “poetry”, he says “a tragedy has the following parts: Prologue, Episode, Exode, and a choral portion, distinguished into Parode and Stasimon (Howell, 1968). Howell further explained that the tragic action is made up of preliminary episode, a choral passage, another episode, a regular choral ode, yet another episode, still another choral ode, and so on, with a final episode or exode following the last song of the chorus. Basically, Aristotle asserted that a narrative has a beginning, middle and it is structured according to its intertextuality with the help of the Parode (character) and Stasimon (narrator). For Aristotle, the narrator tells the story as well as the speech of the characters and the characters are just doing the physical actions. Conversely, Plato has developed an overlapping concept of character and narrator, for him “mimesis and diegesis are two ways of representing a story (that is, both are within narration) and that with diegesis, ‘the poet himself is the speaker and does not even attempt to suggest to us that anyone is speaking’. With mimesis, the poet tries to give the illusion that another – whom we might call a character – speaks.” (Huisman, 2005). Hereon we derived mimesis as the characters in a story and diegesis as the narrators of the story.

According to Mieke Bal in her book “Narratology: Introduction to the theory of narrative”, narrative is comprised of three structures; fabula, plot and text. The fabula tells what happens in a story and why, plot is developed based on selection of fabula to form a consistent and coherent whole and text is merely a representation of information produced by an agent. Narrative in media is divided into two types of theory; structuralist and post-structuralist. The structuralist theory adapts the concept of Aristotle’s narrative, in which the flow of the narrative is seen to be fluid; from the beginning, to the middle, and the end of the story. The narrative style is structured according to the conventions of the chronological sequence of the events. It includes the subject (mimesis or diegesis), the genre (framework and discourse), temporality and focalization. On the contrary, the post-structuralist theory defies the conventions of the structuralist theory. Plots can be reversed and the focalization can be seen from multiple characters, the characters may speak as if speaking to the audience itself instead of just “mirroring” the actions.

To demonstrate the structuralist theory of narrative,I will use the music video clip from a Korean girl-band called Kiss. In this video clip, we can see the predominant use of flashbacks (portrayed with the discolored segments to suggest time from the past). The story tells how the photographer fell in love with this barber when she accidently interfered with his photo shoot. The plot line goes about how the photographer was trying to woo the girl by getting a haircut at her salon and eventually they dated. Whilst they were dating, we can also see the photographer’s assistant has also developed feelings for the barber when he accidently walked in on them having a ‘moment’ and immediately ran away. The photographer also shared his passion of riding motorbikes with the barber and one day an accident happened where the girl accidently spilled chemicals that caused her blindness. The photographer was so devastated, but went to ride in his motorbike for the last time and selflessly sacrificed himself and did a surgical transplant for the girl to get her visions again without her acknowledgment. The photographer left the girl to be with his assistant but they eventually met again but the photographer did not know her presence.

From the video we can see the beginning-how they fall in love with each other, middle-the side-story of the assistant and the accident, and the end-photographer sacrificing his eyes for the girl because of love.

To demonstrate the post-structuralist theory, I will use the video clip from the British band, Coldplay. The song is called “The scientist” and it was about a guy’s frustration about being left by his lover. The song goes on about how the guy wants to get back to the start. In the video however, the plot of the story is reversed and it started off with Chris Martin (the vocalist) lying down and then he gets up and started walking in reverse while singing. For the most part of the video, we only see his journey in backwards motion before he was lying on the mattress on the streets but eventually we can see his girlfriend who apparently died in a car accident and he was actually walking away from it.

We can only understand why the girl ‘left’ him until the last part of the video and thus, we can see the convention of narrative is being broken here. The plot line is reversed from end-middle-beginning.

A post-structuralist theory also doesn’t mean that the narrative must always have a story. As exemplified by Andy Warhol in his film called “Kiss”. It basically just showed two people kissing in the entire video.

Nowadays the media tend to merge the structuralist and post-structuralist theories in making films. The narrative style may be still flowy but they can use the characters to speak directly to the aurdience in interview-format, telling what are their feelings about a particular topic in the story itself. Very much like a “Soliloquy” in Shakespeare’s plays but the difference is that in Shakespeare’s plays, the character are just showing their thoughts and emotions but not directly saying it to the audience. This narrative style can be seen in the tv shows “The Office” and “Modern Family”. At certain times, we can also see the characters looking directly at the camera during the actions, which in fact is unconventional.


Bal, Mieke. (1997). Narratology: Introduction to the theory of narrative. University of Toronto Press.

Huismain, R. (2005). Narrative concepts. In Fulton, H., Huisman, R., Murphet, J. and Dunn, A. (eds.), Narrative and Media (pp11-27). Cambridge University Press.

Lamarque,P. (1994). Narrative and invention The limits of fictionality. In Nash. C. (ed.), Narrative in culture (pp. 131-132). New York and London: Routledge.

Howell, W. (1968). ARISTOTLE AND HORACE ON RHETORIC AND POETICS. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 54(4), 325. Retrieved from Communication & Mass Media Complete database.

Lemon, Narelle. 2006. Using Visual Narrative for Reflection. AARE Conference, Adelaide. Retrieved October 3rd, 2010, from

Week 6: Rhetoric and Persuasion

Posted: September 8, 2010 in Visual Journal

Rhetoric, the discipline of argumentation, is concerned not only with the message but the determination of the most effective persuasive methods of presentation and frequently incorporates the use of rhetorical figures/devices(Tom, Eves, 1999). According to Foss(n.d., p,1, p.3), visual rhetoric is conceptualized as a communicative artifact, visual rhetoric is the actual image rhetors generate when they use visual symbols for the purpose of communicating. In advertising, its primary goal is always to cause a specified consumer response and therefore ‘visual’ rhetoric is utilized as a form of communication in order to draw their attentions. But how do they do this? Often in a visual rhetoric, propositions or arguments are subtly laid out in the visual text but the conclusion has to be made by the audience. In a way, “the audience participated in its own persuasion by filling in that unexpressed premise” (Blair, 2004, p.41) This unexpressed premise is called an enthymeme and it is defined as an incomplete form of syllogism, leaving the audience have to fill in the blanks.

To grasp the basic understanding of visual rhetoric, have a look at the ad by the World Wildlife Fund organization below, the picture shows a picture of two leopards(possibly a female and its cub) with clothes tag sizes ‘s’ and ‘xl’ on their bodies and a sentence that says ‘Fashion claims more victims than you think’ anchored on the top corner of the picture. From here we can see that the argument is that wearing clothes made from animal’s skin is wrong. The reasoning to that lies in the anchorage of the advertisement- we are victimizing a family of leopards. Although the advertisement does not directly say that but we are able to come up with that conclusion with the use of enthymeme. It is clear that the size tag suggests clothing, and is associated with fashion and therefore, the anchorage of the picture helps us to come to conclusion that we are talking about clothing lines that make use of materials made of animal skin because of the size tags attached to the leopards’ bodies.

Below is an advertisment from Blackberry. The proposition and the argument here is clear- Blackberry is the Apple killer. Both fruits obviously represents the brand of  Apple phones and Blackberry phones. They are both big competitors in the mobile phones industry in the United States. People always get hyped with the latest Apple products but since Blackberry has incorporated the technology of touch screen to its latest lines of mobile phones model, it claimed that it is an iPhone ‘killer’. Again there is no direct notation to suggest the conclusion but then, the use of rhetorical persuasion and enthymeme as its tool suggests that ‘nothing can touch’ Blackberry phones now, not even iPhones.

In conclusion, visual rhetoric plays a vital role in advertising. Visual rhetoric, as employed in the discipline of  rhetoric, has two meanings. One being the reference to the visual image themselves and the other references a perspective approach. Combined, they form an understanding to how the visual operates rhetorically in contemporary culture (Foss,n.d.). That is why whenever we see an ad, whether in video or image form, we always feel like there’s a sales person talking its way through our decision making.


Foss, Sonja K. n.d. Theory of Visual Rhetoric. Retrieved at September 9th, 2010 at*JFloqo/TheoryofVisualRhetoric.pdf

Blair, J.A. (2004). The rhetoric of visual arguments. In hill, C.A., and Helmers, M.H. (eds.). Defining visual rhetorics (pp 41-61). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Tom, Gail & Eves, Animerie (1999). Journal of Advertising Research. Retrieved September, 9th 2010 at p.39