Denotation, Connotation & Myth

Lecture: 19th October 2010

I have found this method of de-constructing an image rather useful. It enables you to look at the image in more depth and possibly read into the image a lot more successfully. By learning how to de-construct another artists image, I believe that this will enable you to be able to look to your own work and help you to create a more informed piece of work.

Migrant Mother, 1936


Content signs – Mother & 2 Children.

Position Signs – Close up, clear focus on face.

Treatment Signs – Black & White Image, Mother looking into foreground, Children with their heads turned away. Main focus on subjects, little or no background.


The mother in the picture does not look happy. She has a look of despair & desperation. The children have their heads turned, suggesting that they do not want to look at the camera. They appear to be upset and seeking comfort and reassurance from their mother. For me, this picture creates an air of empathy for the subjects within the image.

1 thought on “Semiotics

  1. Pingback: What is your Methodology? | Brochu-Williams Photography

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