Being "literate" in the twenty-first century implies a variety of skills. Often, the term refers to verbal literacy, describing someone who can read and write. Literacy might also be used in the context of computer literacy, someone who knows how to operate a computer and manage files. In some ways, building visual literacy is similar to building verbal and computer literacy. Basic elements and terminology come first, followed by more advanced skills that help you analyze and explain the impact of images on viewers.
The Visual Grammar
The gurus identify and offer examples of the visual elements used to analyze images: content, framing, composition, focus, lighting, angle, and color.
Video Focus Point
Look for answers to this question when watching the video:
- How do specific visual elements help a viewer understand what a picture is saying, rather than just what it is showing?
Download the transcript of The Visual Grammar
More Than Meets The Eye
More Than Meets the Eye offers a brief analysis of a film poster and discusses some different ways that text and visuals often combine to create meaning. A classic Hollywood era, film noir, provides the backdrop for the gurus to explain how to analyze visuals by exploring the interaction of an image with text, context, and subtext in order to generate meaning.
Video Focus Points
Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:
- How can text, context, and subtext add meaning to an image?
- How can text, context, and subtext sometimes distance a viewer from an image?
- What effect does "announcing" a topic have on writing?
Download the transcript of More Than Meets The Eye
Visual Elements 1
Many terms fall in the category of visual elements, which are the basic components used to create a work of art. This activity takes a defining look at fundamental elements commonly used in visual communication.