Paul Martin Lester Work Case Assignment

The following is adapted from the work of Paul Martin Lester.

In order to find meaning from a visual message, you need to learn a systematic way for studying images.

Make an inventory list of every element in the image,

Note the lighting used in the image,

Note any eye contact by subjects in the image,

Note the visual cues of color, form, depth, and movement,

Note how the gestalt laws apply toward the composition of picture,

Note any semiotic signs that are a part of the image’s content, and

When you’ve gone through the six steps noted above, it’s time to apply the six perspectives for visual analysis to the piece. Each perspective is noted below.

Personal Perspective – Gut Reaction

Rick Williams’ Omniphasism (all in balance) or Personal Impact Analysis

What is the picture’s story?

List primary words.

List associative words.

Select most significant associative words.

Pair up primary & most significant associative words.

Relate word pairs with your own feelings.

Relate any inner symbolism.

Write a brief story concerning personal insights.

Historical Perspective – The image’s place in history

When do you think the image was made?

Is there a specific style that the image imitates?

Technical Perspective – Consider the process decisions

How was the image produced?

What techniques were employed?

Is the image of good quality?

Ethical Perspective – Moral Responsibility

Was the image maker socially responsible?

Has any person’s rights been violated?

Are the needs of viewers met?

Is the picture aesthetically appealing?

Do the picture choices reflect moderation?

Is the image maker empathetic with the subject?

Can all the image choices be justified?

Does the visual message cause unjustified harm?

Cultural Perspective – Societal Impact

What is the story and the symbolism involved with the elements in the visual message?

What do they say about current cultural values?

Critical Perspective – Reasoned Opinion

What do I think of this image now that I’ve spent so much time looking and studying it?