Photographs Capture Time And Create Meaning

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Photographs capture time and create meaning. Mark Klett’s “Under the Dark Cloth”, is a simple, yet compelling piece of art which captures his experience in Monument Valley, Arizona on May 27th, 1989. The perspective of the photograph is strategic in allowing the viewers to see from Klett’s point of view. This angle places the viewer in the first person, connecting them directly to the image. Images of landscapes are often engrossing, Klett’s piece does this on two planes.
In the text, Visual Methodologies, author, Gillian Rose uses semiotics as a way to make sense of an image. She defines semiotics as the study of signs and their use or interpretation, or, “how images make meaning” (pg. 75). Under close inspection of Mark Klett’s “Under
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Another question could be looked at through the lens of “positional communication”. “Who is positioned as superior and who inferior?” (pg. 82). The photographer makes the audience feel as if they are a part of the image, giving the audience a connection to the subject of the photograph. This allows power within the image to be equally distributed and shared between human and nature.
The objects within the image, such as the watch, camera, and dark cloth connote time, preservation, and reflection. Klett’s use of signs give his photo the purpose it needs to remain captivating. Within Klett’s photo, icons, indexes, and symbols are all presented.
The icon most prevalent in the image is the upside down image of Monument Valley. This iconic image represents that specific rock structure in the valley. This image is also a synecdochal sign, it is a part of this rocky range, representing the national park as a whole.
The two indexes that stand out immediately are the camera and the dark cloth. When you see a camera- you immediately think of documentation or memories. When we think of something under the dark cloth or in a dark space we think of referees reviewing a play or the process of developing a photograph. When someone is under the dark cloth, it is a personal, capturing moment. This sign is a moment of silence and critical reflection.
The symbols which are presented in the photograph include the camera, watch, and the style of the photograph.
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