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EDFL 1830 - Visual Literacy Assignment

For visual literacy assignment in EDFL 1830 Introduction to Academic Literacy 

Interpreting Images

Why do you think advertisements and news stories include pictures? Because they catch our attention and images can tell stories without using any words. Whether we are aware of it or not, we react to images. 

Below are a series of images of a mother and child - 3 are photos, one is a painting. They each evoke a different mood.

Examine the four images and consider the following things (for image #4 begin by ONLY evaluating the painted figures, not the rest of  the image):

  • What are the expressions on the faces of the mother and child?
  • Are they interacting with each other or looking at something else?
  • What is the mood of the mother and the baby in each picture?
  • Do the colors and/or background add to the mood?
  • Image #2 - do the words give you a different interpretation of the image?

Image #4 (painting - I know this one is shocking)

  • You have examined just the painting of the mother and child and determined a mood based on their expressions, etc.
  • Now consider the "elephant in the room" - the mortar crater and bullet holes in the mother's head.
  • What do you see and feel now? How does it impact your reaction to the picture?

This is a good exercise to help you understand how to "unpack" an image and not just take it at face value whether it is of people, a cityscape or a landscape. Really LOOK at what is there.

Image #2 

Sarah and Em

Photo by M. Ezcurra