How to Write a Picture Analysis Essay
It is widespread today to post pictures on the internet forums and social networks. Recently, it has become pretty popular to disseminate photos from different parts of the world; photos which describe some important event there, or merely the way of living of the local people. The main goal of this process of dissemination is to convey a given message to wider audience, and also to give more information about a subject. Regrettably, people just post these pictures or share them, without even an attempt to reflect upon their message, background or event which has been captured. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to render the reality in an absolutely perfect way, so every picture, painting, or video shows only one side of it. Therefore, a picture shows the world from one personal point of view. This is your starting point while writing a picture analysis essay.
How to write a picture analysis essay - 6 essential tips
1. Focus your attention on the author of the picture
Who is he/she? What is his/her field of interest? Does he/she have any artistic achievements and fame? This information will help you to analyze the context of the picture better.
2. What is the context of the picture? When and where has it been taken?
Explain a little about the temporal and geographic dimensions of the picture. This is pretty important because, otherwise, your interpretation may be wrong or inadequate. A lot of “false” images are circulating in the World Wide Web, and they lack reliability and trustworthiness exactly because of this misplacing or distorting the information about their context. This is true especially when the pictures are related to war crime allegations. Hence, you should be certain that you have gathered all the required information.
3. Think about what you see on the picture
There can be one human being or more than one, or just a landscape, or an abandoned house, or an animal, and so forth. The best pictures are usually those which combine various elements, thus enforcing different impressions on the mind of the observer.
4. Grasp the picture's message
Now is the time to grasp the message of the picture. Professional photographs always aspire towards disseminating important information, or changing the attitude of people towards a definite issue. Social, political and economic issues are mostly referred to. Here you need to analyze the picture against its background; if you know where it has been taken and who is on the picture, then it will be much easier for you to understand it.
5. Have notes
During all this preliminary research it is recommended to have notes in order to write your thoughts and insights. Now, let’s talk a little bit about the structure. You have to be able to incorporate the following things in your text:
- author of the picture and its source/s
- description of the picture
- techniques used by the photographer
- message of the picture
- reaction to the picture; for example, some pictures depicting war action, poverty, disasters as well as some positive images (of friendliness, equality, happiness) can provoke strong reaction from the society.
6. Show an essay to your friends
After completing the first draft of your picture analysis essay, consult with your friends or classmates regarding your task. Ask them what they think about your essay and the picture. Maybe they will point you to something on the picture that you haven’t been able to notice yourself.
Remember: an advice given by your friends should only help you make your paper more objective and informative. Do not plagiarize!
If you have doubts about the way how to write a picture analysis essay, we can say that it is absolutely up to you and depends on your own style of writing. At any rate, what you need is to practice your imagination, and to collect the necessary information. Then your essay will have value and impact.
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