So… How can an image communicate meaning?

When I had a lesson to experiment with different shot types, angles, distances and lighting, I discovered how an image can create meaning. For example, there is a picture of me with a high angle shot. This will connote that I am superior and dominant compared to the point of view of the camera. This example can be associated with many different types of angles.

  • High angle: shows weakness or vulnerability.
  • Low angle: shows importance or dominance
  • Canted angle: shows edginess and weirdness.
  • Long shot: gives the entire story.
  • Mid shot: to concentrate on the main character.
  • Close up: to show a characters reaction.

When practicing mise-en-scene, we found out that lighting was really important. It really enhanced the different connotations of a picture. For example, high key lighting gives the impression that a character is innocent, youthful, precious, kind and attractive. On the other had, low key lighting gives quite an opposite effect. It shows that a character is depressed, unimportant, evil and suspicious.

Setting plays a huge part in mise-en-scene. For example, when taking a shot of a scene in the 1900’s, you couldn’t have the characters on mobile phones or have modern technological props in the background, as it does not fit in with the time period, therefore will be giving the wrong idea of the scene.

Costume also has a huge responsibility when trying to achieve the intended audience response. For example, if a character was wearing a white dress, you would automatically think she/he is sweet and innocent. On the other hand, if you saw a character wearing black boots, with a long black jacket, you would automatically think she/he is rebellious or mischievous.

This will help me in the future because I have understood the importance of using mise-en-scene to create meaning. Things like costume, hair, makeup, lighting and camera angle can have a huge impact on the entire image. I will use these new skills to challenge the audience when viewing my magazine

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