Week 7 – Social Relationships – High/ Low Modality image analysis

Student name : ChungYan (Charlene) Chan
Date of post: 6th September 2014 
Topic and relevant lecture week: Week 7 – Interaction and User Experience 1 – High/ Low Modality image analysis

IMAGE 1 – The fault in our stars (high modality) 


Artist : Poster design – Gravillis Inc. 
Photography – Frank Ockenfels 
Title : The Fault in our Stars 
Year of creation : 2014
Dimensions : 1013 x 1500
Collection/ Source : Online, IMP awards
Technique & Material : Photography, Computer graphic 
Genre : Movie poster 
Style : Casual, romance 
Image URL : http://impawards.com/2014/fault_in_our_stars.html

The Fault in our Stars is a newly released movie in 2014. It is a romance film of two teenagers falling in love with each other in a cancer supporting group. In the poster, they are laying on the grass relaxingly next to each other smiling and enjoying their time. However, there is a breathe supporting device around the girls head help her breathe.

Sign : signifier and signified

Grass – nature, relaxation
Breathing device – medical, sickness, surgery 
Smile – peace, comfortable 

The breathing device is a signifier telling the audience that this girl is sick and needs medical support. Regardless, they both lay on the grass symbolising they are carefree and relaxed. The smile on their face is an icon representing their happiness being together/ with each other. 

Social relationship 

This is a narrative image with transactive interaction between the two people. They are both laying on the grass facing different direction looking at each other. They show a high level of intimacy by displaying no personal space between each other indicating that they are in a romantic relationship. 


This image is given to be read from left to right, from the girl’s eyes to the boy’s eyes then down to her elbow and back up to her chin and her eyes. This displays an infinite loop which makes the composition interesting and lasting to look at. The camera is relatively close to the two characters giving not much space between them and the audience. It is also inviting the audience to have a very close look at their intimate relationship.   

The face between the two person also create a loop due to the boys face being upside down. Their face is positioned in the centre of the composition holding the whole picture together. 


This is a high modality image with no filters. There might be a few modifications made on Photoshop or other editing program while designing and developing this poster. But most part of this image will be classified as a high modality. 

The high level of detail in this high modality image successfully conveys the social relationship between the two people. 


IMAGE 2 – diary of a wimpy kid (low modality) 


Artist : Gravillis Inc.
Title : Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules  
Year of creation : 2011 
Dimensions : 1013 x 1500
Collection/ Source : Online, IMP awards
Technique & Material : Computer graphic, sketch
Genre : Movie poster 
Style : Casual, sketch
Image URL : http://impawards.com/2011/diary_of_a_wimpy_kid_rodrick_rules.html 

This is a movie poster for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules 

Sign : signifier and signified

Two boys – young male children
Tow boys – immature, very confident and proud of themselves
Boy’s shadow- reflecting their inner-selfs   
Shadow – childish
Welcome to next grade- still in school 

Social relationship 

There are two characters in this image, two young boys. They are facing their backs to each other with one showing a smile but another with a grumpy face. From this image, it seems like they are either classmates, friends or siblings. Even though they are facing their backs to each other you can see a close relationship between them. Their shoulder touching another’s head and legs placing next to each other symbolises their intimate relationship.

In the cartoon shadow behind them that reflects their physically appearance, viewers can still notice the similarities between the two characters and elements that makes them connect to each other. 


With both the characters looking into the camera, they are looking at the audience and having a connection with them. The angle viewing the characters are from lower angle looking up, representing their characteristics as a ‘wimpy kid’. Their dominance are shown through the use of angle. Compositional wise, thought the two characters were shot from below upwards showing their dominance, the views do not feel threatened or any kind of fear for them because they both only take up 1/4 of the overall composition with a lot of white space around them. With the white space, it makes them very non-threatening and harmless. They are just represented as kids attempting to be adults and be in control. The placement of the character and the shadow also symbolises value of the elements; with the photograph of the boys on left as ideal and the reality as ‘wimpy kids’ on the right. 

It seems like there are artificial lights hitting them from the bottom left hand corner casting a hug shadow on the wall. The shadow behind them seem like it is a reflection of their inner selfs still being a child. This is represented through a child-like drawing with simple lines, shapes to generate a complete drawing. 


This image involved half high modality and half low modality. The high modality being the photograph that is placed in the foreground and the low modality being the almost stick figure like sketch in the background. 


Jewitt, Carey and Oyama, R. (2001). Visual Meaning: A Social Semiotic Approach. In Van Leeuwen, Theo and Jewitt, Carey, Handbook of visual analysis, (pp.134 – 157) [SAGE]. Retrieved


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