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There has been much written about how when verbal text is coupled with a static picture, it creates a kind of stability or fixedness. The verbal text may make a picture less ambiguous and help provide a context for understanding the picture. In other words, verbal text attempts to fix a picture's interpretation. Birdsell and Groarke (2004) describe such fixing as "immediate verbal context." Immediate verbal context is the way "Words can establish a context of meaning into which images can enter with a high degree of specificity while achieving a meaning different from the words alone" (Birdsell & Groarke, 2004, p. 315).

Barthes (1978) makes similar comments on the ways verbal text works to situate pictures. He writes that words "anchor" a picture to a particular understanding of that picture:

The text helps to identify purely and simply the elements of the scene and the scene itself; it is a matter of a denoted description of the image (a description which is often incomplete)...The denotative function corresponds exactly to an anchorage of all the possible (denoted) meanings of the object by recourse to a nomenclature. (p. 39)

At the same time, however, we want to point out that pictures or visual images similarly function as anchors. When audiences visit a web page, they are often not greeted by verbal text; however, the concepts and/or verbal text are still in the minds of audiences. For instance, if we look at WSU’s homepage, we may not see the words “parents,” “students,” or “education,” next to the images, but we can assume the website is designed for an audience of parents and students and that it’s based on assumptions about the audience and their image of what a college education should be/look like. Pictures, then, can also be viewed as ways to anchor verbal text and conjure particular understandings of what a designer means by “you,”“parents," and "students."

Anchorings, then, are important rhetorical issues for designers and audiences because static visual imagery  can deny the existence of different kinds or types of the thing being represented in anchoring concepts or verbal text . It is a rhetorical necessity for designers to consider what they are anchoring as well as the technologies they use to anchor imagery; otherwise, synecdochic singularity is the result.

Though she doesn't make an explicit connection to synecdoche, Nancy Allen (1996) in her work on the ethical considerations technical communicators face when using graphics and illustrations describes the importance of selection. Selection, as Allen explains, is what is included in a photo as well as its absence. Selections are the decisions a designer makes regarding what is pictured, not pictured, and how it is pictured.

Allen also describes framing or how "Placing a frame around a picture adds shape and structure influencing audiences to relate to some items but not others" (1996, p. 89). As with emphasis, we see framing as a specific part of selection; a designer selects a frame. Framing isn't exclusive to a picture frame. For this piece, we are concerned with a different kind of framing. For us, framing is nearly synonymous with anchoring. As with anchoring, we are concerned with how verbal text and visual imagery frame audiences visiting web pages. Web pages, though, may not use verbal text to anchor their audiences generally. They may not explicitly use terms such as "people" "you" or "student." Framing includes the content of a web page (i.e. verbal and visual imagery) as well as the page's purpose.

A static image tells an audience how things should be and a dynamic image tells an audience how things could be. The difference in modal verbs ("should" and "could") for describing static and dynamic imagery is similar to Bolter and Grusin's (2000) notions of immediacy and hypermediacy.  A static image on a web page seems to operate under the visual style of immediacy in that its goal "is to make a viewer forget the presence of the medium...and believe that he is in the presence of the objects of representation" (Bolter & Grusin, 2000, p. 272-273). Because only one visual representation is available, the visual representation or the picture communicates the only way things are and are obligated to or should be. It is as if an audience sees unmediated reality in a static picture—what one sees is "real" or "natural" or is a transparent view of the world. Dynamic images, on the other hand, operate under the visual style of hypermediacy in which the goal of this style of visual representation "is to remind the viewer of the medium" (Bolter & Grusin, 2000, p. 272). The sequence of dynamic imagery reminds an audience of the web medium—that the visual imagery being used are artificial and not "natural" and that it is composed of a number of choices that are not unmediated. Dynamic imagery, then, communicates possibilities and coulds. Rather than THE ONE representation of how things are and should be, dynamic imagery offers multiple "how things are" and "how things could be" to audiences.

Dynamic imagery even allows one to use a variety of picturing strategies to communicate social relationships between audiences and pictures too. In their description of how visual "images represent social interactions and social relations" (Kress & van Leeuwen, 1996, p. 121). Kress and van Leeuwen describe how different angles and spatial distances create different relationships between viewers and the subjects of pictures. For instance, a picture shot from a low angle makes the pictured subject seem powerful to a viewer. And a close shot or close-up communicates intimacy with the pictured subject. Static imagery seems to necessarily select one type of interaction between viewer and picture subject (i.e. the picture creates an intimate interaction between the subject and viewer or it doesn't). Dynamic imagery offers the possibility of multiple interactions or "realizations" between viewer and picture. Rather than either/or (static imagery), visual imagery can be both/and. In our "Shows" you can see how dynamic imagery can make claims to many of Kress and van Leeuwen's "realizations" at once. The pictures can communicate intimacy (close shot) and impersonality (long-shot or far away shot).

It is important to remember that dynamic pictures, as all pictures, are always synecdoches. As representations of parts for wholes and wholes for parts, they are always concealing—something is always missing. After all, "A photograph can help us see a subject in new ways, but it cannot help us see in all the ways" (David Blakesley as cited in Murray, 2009, p. 176). And, finally, we don't mean to suggest that dynamic imagery is "better" than static imagery. Instead, we mean to point out that depending on an author's/designer's purposes and value systems, it may be a better rhetorical decision to choose static imagery in some situations and dynamic imagery in others.