English Oral – Shark Cullings

Shark Culling Each year in Australia, the number of deaths from shark attacks ranges between zero to three deaths. To put this into perspective, more people around the world are killed as a result of falling coconuts or vending machines. Following a small rise in the number of shark attacks In Western Australia over the past two years, the Western Australian Government has legalized the culling of all sharks over three meters long caught on baited drum lines, In an attempt to reduce the risk of fatal shark attacks.
The decision has sparked mixed reactions from the public, with a scarce amount purporting the Government’s decision. Those who agree feel that the culling will make swimming at the beach a safer, more relaxing experience. On the other hand, those who disagree argue that the Government has made a quick decision without doing their research. They say that we will never completely prevent shark attacks and there are other ways to prevent shark attacks without going on a “killing spree”. The first image presents a rather horrifying image of a dead shark covered in blood, with it’s jaws open showing all of it’s teeth.
A man is kneeling down beside the shark with one arm appearing to be resting on the shark. The shark is a lot bigger than the man in the photo, this is magnified even more by the man kneeling down. The photographer is positioning the viewer to see the shark as a big, scary monster, and the man to be a hero for killing it… As though killing a shark is something to be proud of. The second photo presents a beautiful scene of healthy green beach shrubbery, with the sand, beach and waves in the background as the water is populated by numerous surfers enjoying the morning waves.

Hard to Ignore, however, is the warning sign In the foreground of the Image warning beach-goers of a shark sighting. It could be said that these surfers are Just plain stupid, but it could also be said that they know how small the risk of being attacked by a shark Is, especially when In a group of surfers close to shore. The mall figure In the photo Is the warning sign. It draws viewers attention to the risk that the surfers are taking and the viewer’s focal point shifts from the sign to the surfers In confusion. The photographer has positioned the warning sign to be the largest, most obvious WARNING’ to all people not to enter the water.
However, by the photographer capturing the surfers in the background, viewers are bled to see that the surfers have ‘looked past’ the apparently big warning and that the surfers don’t see the sharks as big scary monsters to be afraid of. The photographer made the sharks appear to be a minor issue as opposed to an issue that makes the public so fearful of sharks that they’re too afraid to enter the water. The third image is perhaps the most powerful image. It presents a photo of a human swimming or diving deep in the ocean, right next to a big shark. The shark looks big, but not in a scary way… In quite a majestic and beautiful way.
The photographer is positioning viewers to see that the shark is a beautiful creature f the ocean that means no harm to humans. The photographer has captured the blue ocean water in the photo which makes people feel calm and relaxed. This allows viewers to see the diver as relaxed and at ease, and also to see the shark as gentle and calm. In this image viewers are able to see how large the shark is in comparison to the human. Usually people are scared of things larger and greater in size than them, but in this case the person doesn’t appear to be scared of the shark. Can’t see teeth. Texture is smooth and not rough and scary. Calming.
Majestic Light – glow of the light shining through the water which is beautiful and pretty. CONCLUSION Photographers can manipulate viewers to perceive a particular issue in either a negative or positive way. Quite often when pictures are used with articles or stories, the picture supports the story or article by the tone in the writing and agrees with what is stated. The shark culling topic has many different opinions, either negative, positive or neutral. The photos or images that accompany articles in the newspapers or magazines help to support what the writer is saying by providing the viewers with a biased approach to the issue.

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