Analysing images can help your photography massively as it will teach you the strategies and techniques other top photographers are using in their portfolios. Therefore understanding this important skill will allow you to expand your knowledge of how other photographers work.

These are some rules and ideas you can use to analyse other photographs.

Make sure you use some photographic keywords when analysing an image.

 

Composition

Close your eyes and then open them and make a note of where they look first. This is the focal point and where the viewer’s eyes draw into first.

Have any rules been used? Like the Rule of Thirds or the Golden Rule?

Is there anything singled out or is there more than one subject in the photo? What are the subjects?

Has the Photographer purposely used a technique to compose the image?

What are the main colours the photographer has used? Have they used colour to compose the subject?

Substance

What is the image of?

Where was it taken? Outside, Inside, underwater, in a studio?

Why was it taken? To document, personal work?

When was the image taken?

 

Lighting

Where is the light coming from? Behind the camera, to the side or is it the camera pointing into it like a silhouette?

Is it natural light or has the photographer used flash?

Are there harsh shadows or soft light/shadows

Is the image over exposed or underexposed? What could this give the impression of?

What time of day was the image taken in? If it was taken outside is it sunrise, midday, sunset or at night?

 

Techniques the Photographer Used

Was it a quick shutter speed or a long exposure?

What aperture could the photographer have used, is it a high or low depth of field? What does this imply?

Have they purposely overexposed or underexposed the image?

Is the camera still or moving with the image?

Are there any other artists that could have inspired them?

Study the photographer’s history on their website and see who has inspired them and are they using the same techniques?

 

Editing

Could this be a digital photo or from a film camera? Therefore how could they have edited the image?

Have they printed the photo and then manually edited it by applying other elements to it?

 

Write your opinions on the image

Is the image successful? Why?

Do you like their work? Why?

Is the meaning clear? Why?

 

 

How to analyse a photograph Infographic

How to analyse a photograph

Thank you for reading this article, if you have any other ideas please leave a comment down below and I’ll add them to the list!

If you’re studying photography I highly recommend you check out these ebooks and articles:

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Author

Harvey is a photographer from the UK who specialises in Landscape and Travel Photography. You can find his work on his website harvtrek.com or his instagram @harvtrek

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