Eyeing A1

A look at newspaper front pages from around the country

Posts Tagged ‘atlantic city

Essay on the photo essay

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There are portions of Atlantic City that aren’t seen by visitors or even those that live there. Apart from the casinos, it’s a not a town anyone would go visit. There’s corruption in the government and crime on the streets. There are also people who live under the Boardwalk and call it home. I focused most of my photo set on this.

Almost every photo has alphabetic text that I incorporated with it. These weren’t captions but supplements to the photos to help make the message clearer.

If we look at the pure image of many of the photos, there is too much left to interpretation by the receiver. So what if there is a guy smoking a cigarette on a street corner or a closed supermarket? To get the reader to look deeper and see the message I want them to see, I added alphabetic text (in certain colors and fonts), different tones and captions.

Take the pictures of the two homeless men. There are two sentences in each photo. One describes who this man was before he found his way onto the streets. The other is how outsiders view him.

The ‘homeless’ stamp is in big, Hollywood-type font and bright colors because it is the initial reaction people have when they see them. The other sentence is smaller because it usually takes people looking harder and deeper to get to the truth.

It was important to highlight what I wanted people to look in each photo. The alphabetic text is arguably more important than the photo itself. I wanted people to see how they immediately label situations and how the subjects often time view the situation.

In Visual Culture: A Reader, Roland Barthes says, “We are still a civilization of writing, writing and speech continuing to be full terms of the informational structure (p. 38).” The captions accompany the alphabetic text in the photos to explain to the reader what the signifieds are in the image and to avoid everything else in the photo.

The very first image in the set has alphabetic text that evokes a different meaning of the pure image. The connotation signifies a warm, cozy place to live, somewhere a person feels comfortable and where they are always welcome. However, the picture – which purposely is hued in sepia tones to convey sadness – is of a place under the Atlantic City Boardwalk. To most of us, this is not a home. The text is to show the dichotomy between the thought of the saying and what is actually pictured.

The last photo perhaps was the most striking and had the least work done to it. I didn’t write the alphabetic text. They are handwritten names of dead homeless people. However, it was important to make it this last photo. I showed how some of the homeless lived leading up to this photo, but there is an end to all of them, and often to early. The homeless community is tighter than many realize and the people we walk past daily have names and have people who care about them. I put the photo last because I wanted their life to be shared first before we find out how it all ends.

The pictory was also mocked up.

This was the original photo taken of the Atlantic City beach.

raw Pictory photo

It was a cold, cloudy day and doesn’t evoke a feeling of happiness, summer and wanting to splash in the blue water. I changed the hues of the picture to make the photo more vibrant and have the colors really stand out. Bright colors evoke a feeling of happiness and joy, but one has to wonder why the beach is empty on what looks like a summer day.

A place that was once happy and probably full of kids running and laughing is empty, but there are people nearby. The homeless living under the Boardwalk with probably the best view of the ocean.

Here’s a link to the entire set and Pictory.


Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

My Pictory – revisted

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Once upon a time Atlantic City was a resort town. Families vacationed on the beach while letting the waves splash their feet. This was long before the casinos were built. The empty beach evokes memories of those long-gone days as the beach looks peaceful, but just a few steps away there are homeless living under the Boardwalk. The Atlantic City beach isn't a vacation for them, but the only home they have.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 24, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Atlantic City’s homeless – revisited

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Here’s a slideshow of the pictures for Atlantic City’s homeless.

Here’s an example of some of the photos:

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 24, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Why Atlantic City? And, where is the fun?

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Atlantic City is a shithole. There’s no easy way to say it. Yet, everyday thousands of people come in and out of the city to gamble, shop and eat.

I am one of these people. I love Atlantic City. I play poker at night while talking to people I wouldn’t normally meet. Enjoying myself and winning money has a way of making me forget about what goes on outside of the casinos.

The crime rate is bad. The government is corrupt. Everyday The Press of Atlantic City has a new story about something negative of Atlantic City.

And, still we keep coming back.

I chose to take pictures of what is outside of the casinos because I want people to remember there are still people who live here.

I drove through Atlantic City one night (chaperoned) and looked for places that were downtrodden. It was difficult. The first place I visited was the where the last supermarket was in Atlantic City. The IGA. I laughed when I took this picture because the supermarket closed in 2006, but there is a sign on front saying ‘Coming Soon.’

It’s not coming. In fact, another supermarket may never come for a year or more.

However, this wasn’t the first photo I chose to show. I went with the beach. I went with serene and calm first because that’s what people want to see and think about when they and that’s when I led into the rest of the photos. Every other photo depicts something run down, and often, with something that gives a positive image.

Think about the photo with the Irish Pub. There is a closed, boarded building next door and the rest of the block looks the same. One good and one bad, but which way is that block headed. Sadly, the rest of the block is headed towards empty lots and closed buildings. The Irish Pub is one of the last few remaining businesses on that block.

Living near Atlantic City all I hear about is how the casinos have to change their image to make the city more of a resort for tourists. But what about the residents? What about the people who have live here? There are homeless walking the streets and living under the boardwalk. There are empty lots where viable business stood and had people working.

Instead, the only thing growing in Atlantic City is the casino by Revel Entertainment. Even that has it’s issue because it was given tax breaks and homes were taken away by eminent domain. Atlantic City is more for the tourists than the residents.

The captions were very important and I had to think about what I was going to right to ensure I would get my point across. The interplay between them needed to be perfect because without them, the reader could easily see the good side or even miss some details of the photos altogether.

I hope you enjoy Atlantic City as much as I do.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 11, 2010 at 3:10 am

Posted in Class discussion

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Pictory: Where do we go from here?

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He stood there for several minutes, unmoving. With his hood pulled up, there was no way of knowing he stared at the feral cats or the ocean in the distance or nothing at all. This is a sad glimpse of Atlantic City. The people of this town feel lost and almost as though they nothing in a place where there is so much money. Even with millions of dollars funneling through Atlantic City, there are so many homeless, desperate and those without a future who don't know where to look.

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 11, 2010 at 2:38 am

Posted in Pictory

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Changing the meaning of photos

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During class this week, we went through photos Bill Wolff took while in Mexico. Different groups were created and were given titles to relate to each photo. Even though many of the groups used the same photos, they all meant something different based on the caption written by the group.

Here are some of the photos that were used.

This exercise was a good lesson to think about when doing our upcoming project.

Here’s one of the photos that I may use in the project.

Let’s play with captions.

1. A man looks out over the dunes into the water, thinking about his girlfriend situation.

2. A man checks on his cats that live around the Boardwalk in Atlantic City.

The first caption doesn’t even make mention of the feral cats living around the Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Instead, the reader is focused on the man and him gazing off.

The second caption makes you notice the cats now, in addition to the food and plates set out for them.

What kind if caption can you set up and how can we change the meaning of the image?

Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

March 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm