A Beginner's Guide To Pictures

Published: 13 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/3nt92yws5z.1
Stuart Oring Stuart Oring


This is a guide to understanding photographs and art based on the theories on the subject by Ralph Hattersley and Minor White at the Rochester Institute of Technology. It explains the different kinds of photographs, a passive and active approach to understanding pictures, procedures for the analysis of a picture, characteristics of the experience, an example analysis of a photograph, the concepts, art and design motifs, worksheets for the analysis of a photograph, steps in the photographic process, blocks to understanding a photograph, evaluation of responses to photographs, collation of the photographic experience, prediction of the visual experience, evaluation of photographs and examples of various types of photographs. It is a correlation of the approaches to understanding photographs in order to construct an approach to the understanding of photographs which combines an active approach through analysis of the photograph and a passive one that utilizes contemplative meditation.


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I arrived at my data from class lectures by Ralph Hattersley and Minor White as well as development of material for my M.A. thesis about Minor White. It is based upon a life time of study on the subject of "understanding photographs".


Art, Photography, Image Interpretation, Visual Communication, Fine Arts, Art Criticism