Semiotics: Final GIFs

Touching necklace and licking lips

Touching neck and looking up

Touching lips and biting lips

Licking lips and playing with hair

Touching face and winking

Above are my final set of five GIFs, to play on each GIF simply click on the image. I choose these five GIFs as there is variety within each GIF between the two combined gestures, there is also variety between each of the five GIFs. Despite being variety between both of the gestures in each GIF they still run smoothly due to the similar lighting and positioning within the photographs.

These GIFs combine two different flirtatious gestures together, both of which would be subconsciously understood by the viewer. However the way in which they are combined causes confusion and distorts the meaning of both gestures, despite them both trying to convey the same message. These GIFs can be seen as a play on the idea of someone receiving mixed signals. Mixed signals is when an individual believes that another person is sending signals that they are interested in the individual and at the same time also sending signals that they are not interested.

Semiotics: GIF Photography

    

During my crit it was suggested that I further develop my self portrait photography of me re enacting gestures related to flirtatious body language. It was suggested I make a series of GIFs of me acting out a gesture, however one frame in each GIF is replaced with an image from another gesture, therefore mixing the gestures and the meaning associated with them. To begin doing this I reshot the photoshoot, this was due to all images for one gesture needing to continuously shot and have the same lighting, which was not the case with the first photoshoot. Above are my contact sheets from the photoshoot, each gesture is represented by a row of 10 images, which will make a 10 frame GIF. In the contact sheet in each row I have replaced the keyframe for that gesture with a frame from another gesture.

The gestures featured in the above contact sheet include: winking, lip biting, licking lips, playing with earrings, playing with necklace, playing with hair, touching face, touching neck and touching lips.

Semiotics: Crit

During my crit I had a large body of work to present however I did not have a final outcome. In my work I had explored a range of areas relating to body language, for example proxemics, flirting and advertising analysis, however I was struggling to refine my work in a creative and effective outcome. Whilst discussing my work with the tutors and other students many possible ideas for how I could progress my work were highlights, such as:

  • Go back to proxemics or an area of body language I am interested in
  • Analyse a single particular gesture of interest
  • Look at combining body language with another theme
  • Look at a way of giving people dating advice based on body language
  • Cut gestures or body language out of magazines
  • Analyse eye shapes or something small where you have to look at details
  • Research gestures in jobs such as dancers
  • Look at the ways in which different jobs change the body
  • Investigate the speed of gestures
  • Create GIFs mixing frames from different gestures
  • Look at the books ‘Decoding Advertising’ and ‘Notes on Gesture’
  • Whitechapel gallery books on body language
  • Look at how artists show expressions in fine art
  • Censor body parts in body language
  • Analyse when gestures become meaningless
  • Distances between people and what they mean
  • Look at gestures in film and focus on how one gesture is portrayed, for example how people hold cigarettes

From the wide range of ideas given there are some that particularly interested me, these were looking at how the gestures in jobs change the body as well analysing a specific gesture in film, for example how people hold cigarettes. Both of these ideas however would require extensive research to produce a well researched outcome, therefore due to not having much time before assessments I decided to go with the idea of mixing gestures together through GIFs. This idea was inspired by my contact sheets where I used self portrait photography to capture myself reenacting flirtatious body language. It was suggested that I take a series of photographs for one gesture, and replace the key from from that series with a frame from another gesture. This idea I thought was quite amusing and it creates confusion and distorts the intentions of both gestures, even though they both aim to appear flirtatious.

Semiotics: Advertising Analysis

After researching flirtatious body language I realised that many of the gestures associated with flirtatious body language are included in advertising to help sell products. I found that this technique was particularly used in high fashion and perfume advertisements. To investigate this association between flirtatious body language and advertising I have analysed the two advertisements below. Not only have I noted the gestures displayed, but I have also looked at the context of the advert and the other semiotic devices used as these are also important in forming how the advert is interpreted as a whole.

‘Heat’ Women’s Fragrance by Beyonce

  • Beyonce is a well known American singer known for being strong, confident and seductive, these traits are imbued onto the perfume
  • Directly looking at the camera, is a strong sign that someone is interested when flirting
  • ‘Heat’ and ‘catch the fever’ are associated with heat, sizzling, steam, these words all have sexual connotations
  • Hand raised to her face drawing the viewer’s gaze to her face
  • She is wearing silk which is associated with luxury, wealth and is sexual
  • Connotations of red include heat, love, lust and sensuality
  • A low camera angle makes her appear powerful and confident
  • Her dress is short and ends at her upper thigh conveying seductiveness
  • ‘Catch the fever’ is written on top of her breasts, immediately drawing attention and making the perfume appear sensual
  • Her mouth is open which connotes sexual desire, temptation and playfulness

‘Miss Dior’ Women’s Fragrance Advert Featuring Natalie Portman, Photographed by Tim Walker, 2013

  • Dior are a French brand known for class and sophistication, ‘Miss’ suggests that this perfume is for younger women who aspire to the brands identity
  • Natalie Portman is smart, sexy, charismatic and sophisticated, these traits are applied to the character Miss Dior, as well as the perfume
  • The pink rose connotes romance, love and flirtation
  • Directly looking at the camera, eye contact is a strong sign that someone is interested when flirting
  • Biting a rose and holding her hand near her face is a way of drawing attention to her lips and face
  • Open mouth connotes sexual temptation, desire and seductive playfulness
  • Seemingly naked women leaning on a chair signifies confidence, sexual desire and playfulness
  • Her eyes draw the viewer down to the rose

Semiotics: Photography Cropping

As influenced by my research into books exploring the themes of love and flirting, I have closely cropped my a select few of my photographs from my previous photoshoot. The photoshoot featured a series of self portrait photography, documenting me reenacting flirtatious body language gestures. From the series of photographs I selected those which best illustrated some of the main flirtatious gestures to experiment with. Above I have experimented with the gestures winking, licking lips and lip biting. In photoshop I explored cropping each image in a variety of ways and found that the more closely the cropped the image the more successful it was. By closely cropping the image you feel closer to the subject and therefore it is more intimate, this idea of an intimate distance relates to my earlier research into proxemics. Furthermore I enjoy how the photographs are closely cropped as they remove the subject’s identity, which not only help the audience to focus on the body language and not on the model, but it also allows the audience to easily identify with the model or apply the actions being shown to someone else.

Semiotics: Photography

 

I started to exploring flirting through self portrait photography, above are contact sheets showing me reenacting flirtatious body language. To capture the entire of the gestures I set the camera to take 10 continuous shoots once the trigger was pressed, therefore capturing the action of the gesture in 10 photographs. The body language included are as follow:

  • Lip biting
  • Licking lips
  • Winking
  • Rapid blinking
  • Raised eyebrows
  • Looking up
  • Looking down
  • Looking away
  • Touching face
  • Touching lips
  • Touching neck
  • Touching jewellery
  • Leaning in close

Semiotics: Aesthetics

AB by Aleix Font – Book exploring the themes of flirting and love. The photography features close ups making the images appear more personal and intimate. The focus is also on the body language instead of the people within the images.

Secrets of Body Language by Elizabeth Bitman – Close intimate crops of body language. Images overlap the text in places which draws attention to the images but also makes part of the text illegible.

OF LOVE by Saxon Campbell – A book exploring the theme of love. This book continues the trend of using close ups and closely cropped images to suggest intimacy.

Above is a range of research I did into books exploring the themes of love and flirtation, this was to look at how the topic was aesthetically conveyed. From my research it was very apparent that close up photography and closely cropped images helped to clearly convey intimacy and make the images appear more personal. Earlier in my project I began exploring proxemics through photography, I will now revisit photography to explore flirtation, however instead of using street photography I will be doing close up portraits.

Semiotics: Tutorial

During a tutorial with the tutors many suggestions and ideas were brought up in relation to where I could take this project, as previously I was struggling to think of how to progress the idea of using the proxemics illusion. Below is a list of all of the ideas that were suggested:

Format

  • A set of three books ‘the gesture of… flirting/knowing the rules of positive non-verbal communication/contemporary gestures’
  • Foldable proximity illusion poster on contained within a book
  • Set of cards on flirting
  • Pub flirting game

Flirtation

  • Explore how in noisy environments such as bars and clubs we can still communicate
  • How flirting links to dress
  • How tattoos link to flirting
  • Analyse flirting in Hollywood e.g. how often does George Clooney smile
  • Explore the link between smiling and endorphins
  • Explore how laughing is contagious

Semiotics: Illusions

Think! Campaign by Jennifer Tulip 

Soulwax – Any Minute Now 

Continuing my investigation into proxemics I want to create work that would force the viewer to interact with the proximity of the work, therefore creating a piece that would communicate the study of proxemics through interaction. Above is my research into two different ways in which this can be done simply with black and white shapes. The top example has an image of a motorcycle set to a low opacity, this image has then had black bars overlaid on top. The bottom example says ‘Soulwax Any Minute Now” at a low opacity, but this time the image has had white circles overlaid on top. The illusion forces the viewer to move further away from the image for the image/type to be revealed, the lower the opacity of the image/type the further away the viewer has to stand.

Below I have chosen one of my previously edited photographs and begun to experiment with this technique. From my experimentations I found the lower opacity images t0 be the most successful, although this images work best printed at a large scale and sometimes are not effective viewed on screen. To further progress this would I would like to explore using the technique to make the viewer stand at specific distances from a series of images, each image representing a different significant distance in the study of proxemics, for example a personal distance and a social distance.

100% opacity image

90% opacity image

80% opacity image

70% opacity image

60% opacity image

 

Semiotics: Proxemics Photography

To explore proxemics I decided to explore street photography. I used photography to record crowds of people and the distances between members of the public. This was the first time I had every tried to do street photography and initially I found it to be very challenging. Often when taking photographs individuals would move out of the way or the camera and start acting unnatural, therefore making it difficult to record individuals natural behaviour.

 

 

From my selection of photographs I chose the ones that were most successful, showing how individuals naturally move around in a space with other individuals, and edited the images. I made all of the images black and white, this was because some photographs had certain individuals stand out as a focal point due to them wearing brightly coloured clothing or having brightly coloured hair, as the focus of my photography is to analyse how individuals stand in relation to one another I needed to ensure my photography was focusing on a group of individuals instead of drawing attention to one. Finally my images were also cropped to further focus on the spaces between individuals.