(855) 4-ESSAYS

Type a new keyword(s) and press Enter to search

Interpreting the photographic essay

            The concept of the photographic essay is a broad subject allowing uniqueness in viewer interpretation. Separating text from pictures and interpreting them apart from each other as well as viewing both as a whole is important in comprehension of the photographic essay. In W. J. T. Mitchell's essay entitled The Photographic Essay: Four Case Studies, Mitchell studies four separate types of photographic essays by his standards and analyzes them to find the meanings that are not necessarily implied. Mitchell utilizes the same standards on all four essays and that is how we as readers can differentiate between the essays and gain a better understanding of the broad scope of the photographic essay. The scope encompasses the relations between text and photographs and whether they are seen as independent or if one aspect is seen a predominant of the two. .
             Mitchell starts off his essay by asking three questions with which he uses as his standard for interpreting all four case studies. He asks about the relationship between photography and language. In response to this question he uses a paradoxical phrase by saying that "photography is and is not a language; language also is and is not a "photography- (Mitchell 510). This is an excellent example of how different views of what element is superior in this equation can be derived from this simple answer and applied to a standard for viewing a textual photographic essay. Mitchell also asks about why the relationship between photography and language matters. His answer to this is, "the relation of photography and language is a principal site of struggle for value and power in contemporary representations of reality; it is the place where images and words find and lose their conscience, their aesthetic and ethical identity- (Mitchell 510). By stating these answers to questions readers can begin to develop an idea for identifying a photographic essay.

Essays Related to Interpreting the photographic essay

Got a writing question? Ask our professional writer!
Submit My Question