CRITICAL ANALYSIS / how to see
Dissection of an Image – Guide
1) DESCRIBE SPECIFICS:
The more specifics the better -- study the details, it forces you to spend time with the image.
-- What is the image of? Describe the details within the scene.
-- What colors is it using and why?
-- What is the lighting like (Dark shadows? Bright sunlight? Studio set-up?)
-- What objects are included in the image? Faces? People? Buildings? Abstractions?
-- What is happening in the image?
2) DESCRIBE TECHNIQUE
-- Is the image underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too light)?
-- Is the image in focus?
-- Is the color correct (do the whites look white)?
-- Is there pixelation? Adequate resolution?
3) DESCRIBE FORM
Focus on how the image is composed.
-- How does the composition function? Is it pleasing to look at? Why?
-- Is the rule of thirds being used? Describe how it looks.
-- What is the point of view? From what angle did the photographer take the photograph?
-- What is the focal point? Is it framed? What is it framed by?
-- Where are the lines, and how do the lines direct your eye?
-- Is the image balanced? Symmetrical/asymmetrical? Describe.
-- Does the subject fill the frame or is there extra space?
-- What is at the edge of image (and what does the frame crop off)?
-- Where is the negative and positive space?
4) DESCRIBE CONTENT
-- What are the themes/ideas that are in the image?
-- Is there a story being told in the image?
-- Why did the artist make this image? What is his/her intention?
-- Does the image remind you of anything? (A dream you once had? Movies? Stories? Books? Childhood memory? Someone you might know)?
--Does it question or challenge beliefs or assumptions (political, ethical, social)?
-- Is the image interesting? Beautiful? Noteworthy?
-- Do you like it? Do you hate it? Why?
-- Is the photograph successful? Why?
Use this guide if you are stuck on what to write about: