Background Information This picture was taken by Ricky Flores on September 11, 2001 as fire fighters were trying to find bodies within the rubble. Ricky Flores is a Hispanic photographer who has published many great pictures of the 9/11 attack. This picture has been in various newspapers and on many websites. It shows the pride that the fire fighters possess for their country. http://blog.enfoco.org/2009/10/01/photo-ethics-and-the-necessity-of-licking-the- queens-neck/
Purpose What is your first reaction/response to this picture? What is the primary purpose of publishing this picture to the public? Who do you think was the intended audience?
Purpose When I first saw this picture, I immediately felt a strong sense of pride. During all the commotion going on at this time, the fire fighters still chose to raise the flag as an act of nationalism. The purpose of publishing this picture to the public is to show the hope in disaster. The fire fighters continued to be loyal to their country and have hope through the entire situation. What strikes me as important in the picture is the angle at which the flag is leaning. It’s almost symbolic of the nation’s attitude. People all over the United States had to try to stand strong facing the many losses. The flag seems like it is slanting but won’t fall no matter what. I think the intended audience is everyone. Everyone can feel something from this picture and have their own opinion on it.
Focus What is the main focus? What makes it stand out or catch your eye? Obviously the main focus of the picture is the flag. The fire fighters go hand in hand with the flag but your eye is drawn to the flag first. It’s colors and size contrast it’s background, making it the focus.
Technique Notice the color, placement, and balance composition. The colors and size of the flag make it the focus of the picture as mentioned before. The bright flag colors and the fire fighters uniform juxtapose the gray ashes and debris in the air. The photographer took the picture considering the fact that the flag would be the main focus of the picture being in the foreground. The background consists of broken beams and fallen debris. The broken beams symbolize a shattering memory to the U.S. Our gaze is directed to the pain and loss in the beams, but also the hope represented by the flag. Would the picture have the same effect if it was taken farther away or if the flag was covered more by debris? No, the picture would not have the same effect if it were taken from farther away. The flag being relatively large in the picture is important. It wouldn’t be quite as detailed or noticeable if we saw more debris and dust. Also, if the flag was covered with more debris, it wouldn’t stand out as much in the picture and wouldn’t be as effective.
Technique (cont.) The usage of lines are also very important in the picture. (The lines in the fallen beams in the background, the lines in the flag, the lines of the flag pole, the lines in the fire fighters jacket, etc.) These make the picture more detailed. If the beams were not in the background, it would not have the same effect. If the taller beams were omitted from the picture, would the flag have a stronger or weaker emphasis?
Technique (cont.) I think the flag would be stronger if the beams were omitted. The flag would be the only taller object in the picture, and would seem to overpower everything below it.
Lighting The lighting in this picture is very important. Do you think it is natural or artificial? Do you think it is harsh or soft? The lighting is definitely natural. The picture was taken in action and no spotlights or other artificial forms of light were used. The lighting is more harsh in my opinion. The shadows of the men are very defined.
Pathos Does this photo appeal to your emotions?
Pathos (cont.) Yes, this photo appeals to everyone’s emotions in some way. It made me feel honor for our country. It makes me thankful for our freedoms. It also makes me sad for everyone impacted directly from this.
Ethos Is this photo/photographer credible? Yes, the photographer/photo is credible. This photo was printed and featured in many newscasts. It does not look like it was edited to me.
Logos Do you think the photo appeals to your logic? I don’t think it has a huge significant logical appeal. It doesn’t have a wide variety of ways to interpret the picture. It makes you think about the actual event and the people who were a part of it, however it is universally understood for the most part.
Sources Sturken, Marita. Rhetorical Visions. New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2007. Miriam Romais. “Photo Ethics and The Necessity of Licking the Queens Neck.” En Foco’s Blog 1 October 2009. 26 September 2010. http://blog.enfoco.org/2009/10/01/photo-ethics-and-the-necessity-of-licking- the-queens-neck/
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