What do you really see?

Hi everyone, this week in BCM110 we discussed media texts and how we as the viewer change the way we interpret their messages. Texts are something that can be interpreted and are often “woven” out of words or images. Images are the representation of a text that can develop messages and meanings about what is being displayed. The power of an image can change the way we look at its meanings but this depends on its use. An image can provide a whole range of ideas and messages behind it and it’s up to the viewer and their way of interpreting it based on their own opinions.

Behind the interpretation of texts & images lies the study of semiotics – the science of signs and the study of meaning (Ferdinand de Saussure & Charles Peirce). Their study was texts and they formed the idea of each text or image having a Signifier and the Signified. From here the two scientists believed that any image shows both a signifier (the text or main observation) and a signified (the image itself).

An image can tell a thousand stories and portray a thousand messages. They are used basically every day to convey a different message from different individuals. Advertising, charity, awareness and art; are some of the ways in which individuals like us use images to convey our own messages. Images are not created just for the way they look, it’s up to us as the viewer to take notice to what is being said in all aspects of the image.

Smoking is like deforestation. Trees are one of the main sources humans need to survive and vice versa for lungs. Removing a forest is like smoking, it eats away at our chances of survival. We need the trees to survive yet we’re cutting them down. We inhale the toxins of smoke, yet we still do it. Therefore in a way, we’re practically killing ourselves (in my opinion). The image is irony, the sign of the dying lungs acts on behalf of the dying forest. The more the damage it, the higher the risk of death.

The image is hard to read and interpret yet I still find it interesting. The significance of the lungs and its comparison to humans and the environment demonstrates how we as the human race are basically damaging our chances of survival.

Let me know what you think, this was hard on to comprehend but I tried. That’s all from me.


4 thoughts on “What do you really see?

Add yours

  1. Hey Lachy, I really liked the way you explained what texts are, how they create meaning among the public and the potential for them to be quite powerful in their message. I really liked your simple explanation with the image of the tree and helped me further my understanding signifiers and signifieds, you’ve done a really great job with this post, keep going

    T x 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a good blog! I agree with you on your views of smoking and it is such a clever link that you have made between deforestation and human society. I’ve never seen this ad before but the WFF have been so creative in their presentation of an important issue, now the question is- would your blog make people reconsider their habits and try and restore the environment to the way it’s meant to be? Sadly, I think not. And would this ad help with deforestation, again I think not but fingers crossed. Let’s hope our environment can survive human ignorance


  3. Hi Lachy! The way you have explained semiotics has made the concept extremely clear to me. Your sentences are concise and information filled and have provided me clarity in starting my own semiotics blog. Your image representing deforestation was a drawing factor to your blog as it separated me from the many sexualised images I was procrastinating to choose and it offered me a different example of semiotics being used to convey a powerful message. On many occasions I have seen this advert image and have made similar meaning to yours. I agree, it is a difficult image to interpret, great blog!

    – Alannah 🙂


  4. Hey Lachy! I love the way you’ve approached this topic as I had difficulty trying to understand it myself yet somehow you’ve managed through this post to explain it to me. I love the way you used smoking and deforestation as an example. Not only is smoking a very relatable issue in todays society but I completely agree with your opinion and views on the topic and the way you’ve explained it to us was extremely informative. Your writing is very knowledgeable and engaging and I enjoyed reading all your posts. Keep writing engaging posts like this and I’ll enjoy them all.


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