We were introduced to the french theorist Roland Barthes, as he studied whether images contained messages. When we look at an image, it can be analyzed on two levels. When we talk about the 'denotations,' we are referring to the literal qualities of the image. What exactly is in the frame? What does the heading read? The 'connotations,' are the deeper messages being conveyed. What is the composition trying to tell us about the product? What are the rhetorics of the image? The 'sign' is what is there, and the 'signifiers' contain the meaning.
We were shown this image of American president Barrack Obama: