Visual Rhetoric – “Picturing People”

My initial reaction to this picture was one of pleasure, as it contains a beautiful array of colors and many adorable children. My next reaction is perhaps one of confusion, as I’m not sure why there is an older guy standing in the foreground, what they’re all reaching for, and why one child is touching him. I’m also puzzled by his expression, which seems one of worry.

The colors are rich, and it’s obvious this picture has been run through a filter. All of the children seem to be looking away, which leads me to think that they are not entirely engaged in whatever is happening in this photo. The photo has also obviously also been taken from a high place due to the angle, and it gives the sense of an almost reverent feeling to the scene. As if the children are praising something we cannot see. The words that come to mind in this shot are purity, praise, childlike innocence, expectation and faith.

This photo might make someone feel unsure, as why there is an adult standing among all of these kids, but some might react to this well, as it looks like he is playing with them. I’m curious to see the reaction on this photo, as I have a particular bias towards it, knowing where, why and of whom it was taken.

The background on this picture is as follows. This photo was taken at the YMCA Camp Erdman in Hawaii. The guy in the center of the picture is one of the counselors I know very well, and like very well (I know, bias). I have worked with him in fairly close confidence, so I know that he is a normally pensive person, and so the almost nervous expression on his face isn’t out of place. Also, the children are playing a game called “Ships and Sailors” that involves different commands. They are performing the “Titanic” command, which involves one person standing behind the other, with their hands on their partner’s waist, with the person in front reaching into the sky. Usually other counselors would be playing with the kids, and I am not sure why he is the only one involved in this photo. I am unsure of the author of this photograph, and it has no title, but I know it must have been one of the other staff members. This was taken from a private Facebook page (not from Camp Erdman’s literature), so it was taken I’m sure for mere sentimental and aesthetic value.

What do you think?

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