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Visual Analysis – Digital Image Essay

ASSIGNMENT: Visual Analysis – Digital Image Essay
Pick a topic and use two or three keywords to run a Google image search. Select 4 different images from your search that together; tell a story about the topic. Use Perlmutter’s “eight ways to understand an image” (in Lester, 2006,p129, see file “Lester-2006.pdf”), and Lester’s descriptions of “ethical perspectives”(in Lester, 2006,p137, see file “Lester-2006.pdf”),  to write a visual analysis that rationalizes your image choice and the story they tell. Compare the rhetorical impact of the images in relation to your original keyword search and the sites where the images were found – minimum 2000 words.


Structuring the analysis (Please note that you may use subheadings to organize your analysis)

PLEASE include a print out of each image with your assignment. You may imbed the images within the text or include them as appendices at the end. You must include a link of where they were found.

Part 1:
(I have done this part. See file Part-1-Draft.docx)

  1. i) Introduce your analysis with a few sentences describing your Google search words and why you chose them.
  2. ii) Write a detailed description of everything evident within each image. In addition, include a description of any paratext. Use the following components of Perlmutter’s “8 ways to understand an image” to analyze each image individually and how they relate to each other (you may use the subheadings to organize this section):

CONTENT: What is happening in each image and what is the story being told? What are the elements used to construct that story (objects, people, colour)? How do the images work together to tell a story?

PRODUCTION: How are the images created – how are elements composed in the frame, cropped, close-ups, clarity, size relationships, obvious manipulation?

FUNCTION: What is the context ofhow each is image used (purpose- advertising, NGO site, news article)? Refer to the site where each image is presented. Who might be the intended audience?

EXPRESSION: What emotions (pathos) are conveyed by the content? Do all the images convey the same emotion or express different emotions– explain?

FIGURATIVE: How are symbols and metaphors used, and how do they affect our reading of the images individually and as a grouping? Are there any “culturally sensitive elements” (think socio-political contexts and histories around the subject matter) and how do they affect reading across cultures?

SOCIAL/HISTORICAL: How do the images reflect the culture and values of the time? Do they reference any historical periods? If so, how?



(p129 and p137 in file “Lester-2006.pdf” and make sure you read the rest of the document too as you need use the terms from the document. Also, you need read the PPTs to learn the terms.)

  1. i) Name and apply the artistic and inartistic proofs in your comparison (use the terms). Critically examine which proofs belie the facts, which proofs persuade you – or not, and explain

    ii)Acknowledge the assumptions that you bring to your reading of the images and critically examine how those assumptions are tested through your analysis.

iii) What are some explicit ethical considerations within the grouping of images? Do they represent normative thinking, or do they perform a utilitarian role? Use Lester’s ethical perspectives to support your analysis.

Conclusion: You must make concluding statements that reference how all these components contribute to the story being told by the image grouping.

PLEASE NOTE: Your overall response must include all components described above and be written in clear, correct, and concise prose. The images must be included with the analysis.

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