METHODOLOGY and VOCABULARY 

TO ANALYSE A VISUAL DOCUMENT

This page is closely linked to the page concerning adverts

If you need structured sentences please refer to that page.

 

METHODOLOGY

DESCRIPTION INTERPRETATIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY

ART CARTOONS
CONNOTATIONS

 

 

 


I. INTRODUCTION : identifying the document and presenting it

  • Where did it appear ?

  • Who created it ?

  • When was it published ?

  • What for ?

II. COMMENTARY

u DESCRIBING THE GENERAL LAYOUT

  • What is / are the most important element(s)in this visual?
  • How is the attention of the reader attracted?

  • What approach is adopted ?

v ANALYSING THE VISUAL

  • What motivations or needs are targeted ?

  • What message does it convey?

III. CONCLUSION 

  • What is the impact on the reader?

  • Is the aim of the photographer / cartoonist reached?

  • What is your personal opinion?

 

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CONNOTATIONS

Camera angles

·   a close-up, a long distance shot

·The subject is seen from above = downward view (1)

 

   from below = an upward view (2)

 

 ·       The horizon is close, far away (3)

 

Major lines

·       There are many vertical/ horizontal/ diagonal lines (4)

·       There is a sense of perspective given by...

·       There is a feeling of movement suggested by...

 

 

 

 

Space distribution

The way surface is distributed in the picture gives more (less) importance to an element.

Referential images

 

 

 

 

Colours / setting / time references

 

 

 

(1)  If the subject is seen from a high-angle shot (downward), it makes him appear smaller, unimportant and even ridiculous.

(2)  If the subject is seen from a low-angle shot (upward), it makes him appear taller and bigger and it can make him look more impressive.

(3) A low horizon conveys a feeling of freedom.

  A high horizon makes the viewer feel claustrophobic.

 

(4)  An X composition generates a feeling of order and stability.

·       If the vertical lines are apparent, there is a movement towards the sky and spirituality.

·       If the horizontal lines  predominate, there is a connotation of materialism.

·       A harmonious combination of vertical and horizontal lines results in an impression of peacefulness and calm.

·         A picture containing no lines, no bearings may create an impression of anxiety or even anguish..

 

 

 

characters / objects

  • can be  // can give

  •  is / are presented as

    • an obvious reference to our cultural background (ex : The Mona Lisa)

    • a slightly distorted image of...

    • a parody of...

 

 

  • can symbolise

·  ideas

·  feelings

·  concepts

·      red can suggest blood / anguish

·       blue can symbolise the sea / the sky /peace

·      black may remind us of death

·      green is a symbol of nature, hope

·       sea and sun suggest summer time and holidays

·       night is synonymous with fear

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PHOTOGRAPHY

   
photography (l'art de la photo)   to photograph 
a photo(graph)   to focus on
a photographer

 

to reinforce
a poster (une affiche)   to pose
a slide (une diapositive)    
ANGLE SHOTS:
  • a close-up
  • a low angle shot 
  • a high angle shot
   
the framing (le cadrage)    
the layout (l'agencement des éléments)    
special effects    
the setting (le cadre / le décor)    
 

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CARTOONS

   
a cartoon (un dessin humoristique) funny  
a cartoonist (un dessinateur) witty (drôle, spirituel)  
a caption (une légende) hilarious  
a balloon (une bulle)    
a target (une cible)   to target
  • a symbol of
  • a representation of
  • a criticism of
  • symbolic of
  • representative of
  • critical of
  • to symbolise
  • to represent
  • to criticize
a caricature caricatural  
a satire satirical  
an exaggeration exaggerated  
humour humorous  
sarcasm sarcastic  
 

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 ART

 

 

an artist bright (lumineux)  
a painter # dark (sombre) to paint
a painting colourful  
an oil painting (une peinture à l'huile) classical

dull (terne, ennuyeux)

 
a canvas (une toile) dynamic # static  
a collage original  
an etching (une estampe) romantic  
a drawing (un dessin) soft to draw
an engraving (une gravure) surrealistic  
a lithography unusual  
a sketch (une esquisse)    
a watercolour (une aquarelle)    
a landscape (un paysage)    
a portrait    
a full-length portrait (un portrait en pied)    
a still life (une nature morte)    
a frame (un cadre)    
a scuplture    
a sculptor   to sculpt
a work of art (une oeuvre d'art)    
 

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DESCRIPTION

 

 

foreground blurred (flou) to stand
background pale to show
composition / layout    
light (l'éclairage)    
main colour (couleur dominante)    
a hue (une teinte)    
characters (personnages)    
attitudes    
clothes    
face expressions    
physical appearance    
position (posture)    
relationships    
social status    
 

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INTERPRETATION

   
aim (but)   to aim at + V-ing
life-size (grandeur nature) abstract to compare
handling of the subject (le traitement du sujet) concrete to be influenced by
  allegorical to convey  a feeling (donner une impression)
  attractive to emphasize
  beautiful to focus on
  expressive to suggest
  figurative to symbolize
  lifeless  
  meaningful  
  natural # artificial  
  pretty  
  realistic  
  striking  
  symbolical  
  vivid  

Ó Madame Yannick GUILLET