"They (the LA Times) have fired someone for doing a professional job in trying to come up with a better picture, the same way that any of their journalists polish a text so that it reads better and is succinct. (why should a photographer be deprived of doing exactly the same that other professionals are doing on a daily basis as long as the information is not distorted?). The only explanation I can find is that by accusing the photographer and attempting to portray themselves as publishing 'unmanipulated' news, they are seeking to conceal the factual reality of their biased and one-sided presentation of the overall news. That seems to be the more important issue at hand."
Art moves us. Whether it makes us feel joy, sorrow or revulsion, art has the power to affect us and express ideas that transcend rational thought and language. Art communicates these primal experiences not just through an artist's inspiration, but also through very clear, recognizable visual communication techniques. Writing a picture analysis essay requires a basic understanding of essay structure and these visual communication techniques. Excellent picture analysis essays combine both these elements while addressing the more ephemeral ideas and experiences communicated by a picture.
How to Write a Picture Analysis Essay By Tom Becker
Why are captions so necessary in photo essays? In all of the Life Magazine photos that we have discussed in class, all of them had captions under, over or next to each picture. Why is it necessary to write a caption next to the picture that says a man is holding a brick in his hand? I think the audience can come to the conclusion on their own, assuming they have to functioning eyes—check, one functioning eye. I think that most of the time captions take away from the drama and overall experience of a picture. I like to think that many photos can interpret in different ways for each person. Captions disintegrate this self-enlightenment and force the reader to go down the well-paved road that the editor has set up. Why force the reader to look at the image a certain way? Let them discover the message for their own. This experience is much more meaningful and a hell of a lot more impactful, in my opinion. When I look through photo essays, I never read the captions. I only look at the images and only when I am completely perplexed do I look at the captions for some guidance. That is what captions are for, for guidance. If a reader needs help, he or she looks at a caption. However, I feel that many readers cannot refrain from looking at the captions before they try to analyze the pictures for themselves.
A 20-year veteran of the news business, Walski was confronted by his editors, confessed, and accepted his summary punishment. He called his action a "complete breakdown in judgment" that was caused in part by the stress of his assignment. [It should be noted, though, that Walski did not just push the wrong button and send the wrong picture in the exhausting heat of the moment. He had to consciously manipulate his two digital pictures in Photoshop an action requiring both skill and intent. He had to create the separate, faked, image, and again with intent transmit it to his editors, saying nothing about the alteration.]Writing a photo analysis essay entails developing visual literacy of the elements that go into its composition. First, learn the specific vocabulary expected when talking about photography. For example, if a photographer takes a straightforward picture with no unusual elements, this is called the direct approach. Likewise the word "value" carries a content-specific meaning: the range of light to dark tones. You also need to be comfortable discussing specific elements of composition such as balance, or the distribution of visual elements in a picture.But the picture is a fake a computer-generated amalgam of two different photographs, made one after the other. In one (unmanipulated) picture, that prominently features the standing man and child, the British soldier is not gesturing and is looking away from them. In the second image (also unmanipulated), the soldier is gesturing dramatically, but the man and child are much less visible. The conclusion is inescapable: Walski deliberately combined two of his good legitimate photographs to make one superb illegitimate one. The bogusness of the picture was discovered at the Courant, after an employee noticed what appeared to be a duplication of elements and people in the image's background.And, importantly, Souza declared, the blame is not just on one misguided shooter. "Photographers are given less time to produce more pictures. There is more competition for the limited space that exists in a newspaper. This pressure results in more temptation to manipulate the photographic situation: either by directing the subject or by digital manipulation. With digital cameras and wireless transmission, there is also less accountability."A visual analysis essay contains the standard introduction, body and conclusion. The introduction announces the paper's purpose as a visual analysis, includes pertinent facts about the photo and states your claim. For a photo, spatial ordering works best. Describe the image in the order the eye naturally takes: from left to right, top to bottom. Use this organization to reveal your reading of the picture's message, supporting your claim with ample evidence from the image and your notes. That done, either state your evaluation of how the elements contribute to its meaning or how effectively the image communicates. The conclusion summarizes your analysis, introducing no new information but tying up any loose ends.