For my photo-journal I plan on taking a series of pictures from both Sydney and Hong Kong to compare the two separate landscapes of them. Whilst doing this I am going to be exploring the concept of minimalism both photographically and conceptually in which by doing so, I will convey that the meanings of the photographs lies much deeper and more subjective than a simple comparison of two cultures.
At times we wonder to ourselves whether we’re seeing the full picture to things. Whether we’re missing out on a certain something. Something that we’re missing. Through my collection of photographs I aim to explore this idea through the photographic technique of minimalism. Minimalism is a concept used throughout all types of media that refers to the extreme simplification of form in order to depict a specific meaning. It is a concept that has intrigued me by its ability to create meaning far more subjective than media that evidently shows its purpose through its form. The photographs I have taken are a mixture of pictures taken both in Sydney and Hong Kong. This is used to demonstrate how despite there being vast cultural differences of these two places, the use of minimalism blurs this viewpoint and makes the viewer question whether the photographs are actually contrasted for this purpose.
The first photograph I have taken is of Petersham railway station just before I was heading home after a day at college. The use of a black and white filter creates a gloomy aesthetic to the photograph yet by using the image of the train I aimed to raise the idea of the train travelling. Maybe the train is travelling off to a better place though at the same time it could be going somewhere worse. The fact that the train appears as if it’s about to leave the foreground of the photograph further emphasizes this as it ventures further towards it location of uncertainty.
This picture taken on a foggy day on a walkway in Hong Kong further reinforces the same concept behind the photograph of the train. A murky looking scene, a road to somewhere, but where? Even despite this photograph being taken on an opposite side of the world, through the use of minimalism, the ambiguity of the picture remains regardless of the different places and cultures that both photographs were taken in.
I took this photograph in a high school nearby my house on the way to a bus stop. I was intrigued by how the night time background was contrasted by a bright light above the door. The blue colour of the door as well brings another sense of brightness to the picture unlike the previous two. Even though the concept of this picture stays the same at the fact that what is behind the door is unknown, at least the brightness of the door in comparison to the background brings with it a new found tone of optimism.
This photograph is one that I took in a stairwell in Hong Kong that depicts an exit sign. I particularly admired the striking font that that the sign was presented in as well as the sign progressively darkening further away from the top light. The sign is used to contradict the metaphor of the door shown in the last picture through the idea of it being an “exit”. That what was once entered with the door has now been “exited” with the sign. Yet once again what lies between the entrance of the door and the exit sign still is a mystery. Once again despite the two landscapes of Sydney and Hong initially being juxtaposed in a cultural aspect, the actual message of the photographs lies much deeper than this comparison.
Here is a photograph of the landscape outside of the train window of me just about to arrive at Central station in Sydney. This holds particular significance as it is the train station from where I depart from catching the train from Petersham station as shown in the first photograph. The fact that I have reached my own destination resonates in the picture as the image of the city landscape is much more distinctive than the purpose of the other pictures. To a viewer that has seen Sydney’s landscape before, the picture would be instantly recognisable which now finally allows for a differentiation between the environments of Sydney and Hong Kong.
This photograph also presents a similar image of a city background and is one that I took on a walkway around Hong Kong Island. It intends to be a familiar background to those who would have seen Hong Kong similar to the previous photo in Sydney however I have once again resorted back to using a black and white filter. This is used to contrast the brighter colours of the Sydney picture before and is symbolic for the differences in cultures. Yet even with this difference finally being made in the last two photographs the journey to how this was established as represented by the other photos is still surrounded in mysticism. A mysticism that is forever constant in our lives as similar to the photographs, the true meaning of things is never a certainty.
In order for media companies to become successful and reputable, it is essential for them to target a specific audience and to orientate their material to appeal to these people. Here are a range of recognizable Australian media outlets as well as some hypothetical examples of the type of stories they use and why these stories are used to target their audiences.
The Guardian Australia
This is the online Australian version of the English newspaper “The Guardian” and predominantly discusses current affairs occurring around the world. Since this is the Australian version, there is a greater emphasis towards Australian current affairs. Because of this, its target audience would mainly consist of Australians particularly those of a middle age demographic due to current affairs being of a greater concern to this age group compared to a younger audience.
“Aftermath of political debate between Rudd and Abbott contributes towards coalition comeback in the polls “
The story mainly discusses the aftermath of the political debate and how this has influenced the latest polls. This would be considered newsworthy due to its timeliness by referring to the most recent poll. It has outlined that the coalition have been preferred which not only states factual occurrences that is essential to the value of current affairs stories though also appeals to the audience which would mainly favor the coalition due to the audiences middle class socio-economic status.
Kill Your Scene
This is an online music news site and posts stories regarding record labels, albums and music artists. This site would focus towards a younger audience as shown by stories relating to current artists as well as the site having a large emphasis towards social media through the inclusion of the “most shared posts” on the website.
“Elektra, a rise to stardom”
This story discusses the main occurrences of the band “Elektra” that contributed to their “rise to stardom”. It would have more of a leniency to be subjective due to the factors contributing to a bands success being a lot less definitive than a more factually orientated story. It could therefore be discussed in a more colloquial manner that would also make it appeal more to its younger target audience.
Gardening Australia Magazine
“Gardening Australia Magazine” is the magazine version of the ABC TV show “Gardening Australia”. Its audience would obviously be an Australian that has a passion for gardening and would probably be targeting an elderly demographic. This would not only be because of gardening being a common pastime for people this age though also because of them being more likely to purchase media in a magazine format. This contrasts a younger audience that would more likely access their gardening needs online.
“Transform your garden in just 2 weeks!”
Through the succinctness of the title, it provides a sense of edginess that would give the audience with the encouragement that their own garden can be “transformed” in as little as 2 weeks. It is also a story more adapted to a magazine format as the headlines’ briefness allows the story to be more elaborated than it would on a website.
“New Matilda” is an online political forum that creates educated opinions towards Australian political issues and allows members of the site to do the same thing. Due to this format allowing its audience to contribute to the story, the audience would not only need to have an understanding of politics, though also to be knowledgeable of multiple political focuses in order to create their own opinion towards matters.
“Privatization of public education leaves system in shambles”
By clearly outlining an argument in the title, a subjective view is already established for the issue and allows their audience to either agree or disagree with its content. It also specifies the political agenda of education and therefore the the audience that would be contributing to the story would need to be particularly concerned education as well as politics related to the issue.
Experience Oz is a travel blog discussing places to travel in Australia. By being in the format of a blog it also portrays its stories subjectively. This makes its stories seem more individualistic and therefore relatable to audience which they would prefer over a more mainstream opinion that would be shared by travel media outlets such as “The Lonely Planet”.
“10 crazy adrenalin rushes to try when in Sydney”
Through recommending an “adrenaline rush” as an attraction when visiting Sydney, it is suggesting a pastime that is different to conventional tourist attractions that appeals to the audiences desire to have new and unique experiences.
International model and environmental scientist Laura Wells launches the national “Cash For Containers Scheme” in order to reduce plastic waste being dumped into the ocean leading to the deaths of marine wildlife.
Laura has featured in a billboard campaign that depicts her lying on a beach whilst being surrounded by plastic cans.
“Every year in Australia 8 billion bottles and cans are littered or go to landfill, that’s more than the planet’s entire population,” said Miss Wells.
She also stated, “birds swallow bits of plastic which get stuck in their stomach and build up to the point where they can’t eat properly and starve. It’s an awful death caused by plastic rubbish.”
However, companies that develop plastic waste are against the initiative resulting as shown with Coca Cola taking the Northern Territories government to court over the issue.
This has contributed in a clash between environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and governments to introduce the scheme on both a state and federal level. Governments are expected to make a decision later this year.