Within semiotics there are two things called Connotations and Denotations.

Denotation means the simplest description of an event or an object. These are a lot harder than you think as that you have to crack right down to the simplest way to describe something, as if you are describing it to a baby.

Connotations on the other hand is what the object or event means to you personally, like what comes to your mind when you see what you see or hear or even feel, these are ever so similar to signifier and signified, bellow is a diagram of semiotics and how they are split up.


Today we went on a trip to London to check out the photographer of the year exhibition. Our task we had were to pick a few photo’s there and to be able to identify the connotations and denotations within the photo’s.

Screenshot 2015-11-26 16.15.29.png

Juan van den Heever, South Africa
Battle of the bee-eaters

Connotations – Two birds fighting in the clear blue sky, with clear beautiful colours.

Denotations – Two animals flying in the sky.

Screenshot 2015-11-26 16.18.36.png

Don Gutoski, Canada
A tale of two foxes

Connotations – Cute, lonely baby fox in dire need of food in the frozen wasteland in the antarctic, resulting in to hunting for a similar kind. Though maybe the white fox was his friend and he just can’t take it to let him go.

Denotations – An animal holding another dead animal alone outside.


Screenshot 2015-11-26 16.34.16.png

Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa
The shark surfer

Connotations – A surfer paddling next to a terrifying shark in the clear blue ocean.

Denotations – A person and animal floating in water.

Screenshot 2015-11-26 16.24.24

Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain
Beetle beauty and the spiral of love

Connotations – Two beetles making love on a stringy green stem, looking like a green turkey twizzler (If you can remember them!).

Denotations – Two bugs on a plant.

Screenshot 2015-11-26 16.31.28

Britta Jaschinski, Germany/UK
Broken cats

Connotations – Awful animal cruelty to such magnificent cats who should be out in their pride lands instead of in a dark horrid room getting abused and forced to perform certain shows. This photo truly disgusts me personally as I am completely against any type of animal cruelty.

Denotations – Animals standing on objects with humans around them.

I found this great practise on how to review my own and others work, again this helps you understand your target audience and how they’ll view your piece of graphical work. Next I will be researching in to Paradigms and Syntagms.