Visual Reflection

hi everyone today’s lesson centers exclusively around the visual reflection and how to write them and a few tips on how to do well when writing them and things to look for so a visual reflection assignment is similar to any other written work in that you state your idea and then you defend your idea with details from the visual text that you provided so in a visual reflection assignment you will be asked to reflect upon and support your idea and impressions regarding a visual text that can be a photograph a cartoon a drawing poster advertisement etc there’s more than one visual text that can be presented as well so you may have a couple you’re encouraged to choose a prose that will enhance the presentation of your ideas excuse me so refer to the photograph or the image and give a basic summary of what the image shows or what it depicts so have a piece of rough paper scrap paper next to you so that you can write down some ideas images remember can be responded to critically and personally so give sentences that indicate this as this is what you’ll be wearing about in your body or your paragraphs so provide a general impression that the visual portrays you consider the atmosphere of the of the image or the cartoon or the poster etc consider the mood or some other descriptive word of how it makes you feel so you’re going to examine the visual text reflects reflect on the ideas how does it make you feel what impression does it give you and what’s suggested by that visual text sometimes I like to say what do you think the cartoonist the editorialist the photographer the artists purpose was in writing or drawing or photographing this image that might help you always consider the context and develop your response by referring to the text you can respond from a personal critical or a creative perspective so in your writing you should select a prose form that is appropriate to the ideas you wish to express so in other words you cannot write a poem that’s the only one but otherwise select a problem prose form that’s appropriate to the ideas you want to express and then remember to make create a strong unifying effect your task ultimately is to communicate to the reader the ideas and impressions you get when you look at and analyze the visual so when you sit down and see the visual just look at it and think take it all in look at all the details analyze it think of a big picture idea because that what that of what that visual might represent so then once you think you figure that out base your writing and use of detail on the big idea or the theme the message and there’s multiple ways that you can interpret a visual so there might not be a right answer but remember to maintain a unifying effect throughout your writing stay on topic in other words don’t stray from the topic and start talking about yourself and your own personal experiences focus on the visual so the format of a visual is much the same as any other written response you state your idea and then you defend your idea with details from references to the photograph or painting or visual other any other visual form visual responses are worded as follows you’ll see a question such as what idea does the photograph painting cartoon communicate to you explain how the details in the photograph painting are cartoon and the photographer painter cartoonist choice supports this idea so with the words you and the question you can use I in the response as it asks you what the visual communicates do there is room for different responses so remember there’s no right answer but there are defensible answers in other words you need to support what you’re saying with reference to the visual so here are some things that you might want to consider then when you’re writing your personal response start with the topic sentence give a statement of your overall impression of the visual how it makes

you feel or the general mood of it then discuss your personal response to the image so here are some questions that might help you respond to this part how does the image make you feel what atmosphere does it have is there anything that sparks a memory of something else with the picture does the picture tell of things that are particularly interesting to you what does the picture make you think of or the cartoon or the photograph what does the what what do you think is going on in the picture what do you think has happened before the picture was taken or the illustration etc or will happen after so these are things to consider when writing a response and you can write down those ideas if you like always qualify your responses by including how some of the different details or choices techniques the author uses to create or develop your response or explaining what makes you respond that way so let’s see if I can create a new slide minimize the font and here are the questions questions to ask in case you’re writing down notes here’s some of the here’s some of the questions to ask analyzing visual so let’s look at this one and I know I’ve done this one before if you’ve watched you looked at any of my courses you’ll see that this is the example because I’m just doing a generic or a general visual response well what idea does the photograph communicate to you if you were to look at this you’d see that by analyzing it the background is hazy and grey which probably evokes a a more somber atmosphere and it’s hazed out or blurry because the most important focal point in this image are the two people in the center of it you can see that from the image they’re probably suffering particularly if you look at the facial expression on the man he must be either cold or in pain and you can tell that they are dirty they’re wearing heavy clothes although it doesn’t look cold it may very well be but because they’re wearing heavy clothes and they’re dirty it might suggest and a backpack in front of them that they’re homeless and destitute particularly this would be confirmed or at least reaffirmed with the expression on the man’s face the little girl or boy we can only assume it’s a girl because of the color pink however that to a homeless person that wouldn’t necessarily be the case but is offering the little girl let’s say for the sake of talking about this is offering a cracker to the man in an effort more than likely to provide comfort not offering something elaborate is more than likely she doesn’t have access to that but food would bring comfort to somebody’s who who’s homeless so it’s her greatest gift that she can give him to make him feel better and chances are it’s probably all they could afford to buy particularly if they’re homeless something like that would be filling but not expensive so these are the kind of questions that you ask yourself the atmosphere I’ve talked about it it seems gloomy with the background the pitcher makes us feel probably evoke sympathy for them because you see that here it is a little girl trying to comfort a man and it’s it’s a sad scene because he’s helpless to do anything it might make you think of them the vast number of people who are homeless in our country and in Canada in particular how difficult that would be given our long winters long and very cold dark winters

and thus the clothing that they have on what do you think has happened before and after that’s a story that you could tell if you wanted something preceding what got them to this point in life or where will they go from here what’s the future look like for that little little child these are all questions that you can explain in your personal impression and when you do that it will contribute to your understanding of a central idea suggested by the photograph you want to again expand upon the photographer’s message that was that he or she in this case Steven shaver was trying to project to you when you’ve done that you’re going to sum up your personal response to the paragraph and you can say how you personally your personal impression led you to the central idea that might be a good transition now remember that you start with a thesis statement so your answer to the question even at its poorest humanity can still find it possible to share what little they have so that’s what this little girl was doing even in her poor State she’s trying to give something to someone else that would be one of your main messages or themes right there now remember that a theme or a message is something stated about life a truth the reality it’s not a moral but it is an observation in life then once you’ve established that in your own mind and it can be worded in many different ways but then you’re going to explain how the details in the visual and the creator’s choices support this idea so in other words how does the picture relate to this because you have to justify that in this case I’m writing an essay well the old man is cold and dirty which reflects poverty the little girl is also dirty and has only crackers to eat they are poor and have little the old man is in pain by his expression he’s huddled into himself as if trying to they are trying in vain to gather want the background is blurry and indistinct which accentuates the isolation of the two there’s no one coming for help to help them they are not part of the big picture and finally the little girl is offering a cracker her only food to the old man she’s holding the cracker up as a gift or an offering a hope to bringing comfort and a freight facial expression although not entirely clear seems to be one of concern he’s probably all she has and so she’s very close to him so these are the points that you’re going to write down as you’re preparing to write your reflection now that you have your main points you can write down your answer okay so if you’re going to go from a critical format which is what this is the format of a mini essay so you’re going to analyze the details of the visual the colors the symbols words facial expressions body language objects background just as I’ve done and then you’re going to discuss how they prove the big idea and here’s my response it seems that even at its lowest poorest coldest and most desolate state humans can find a way to attempt to comfort one another this candidate photograph reveals a moment between an old man and a child where the child offers all she can to ease the discomfort of the old man she has little to offer but the offer itself interesting then the old man is in the photograph is cold and hungry his face reflects his pain his the man’s jacket seems to have a broken zipper leaving only the buttons to attempt to shut out the cold he Huddle’s into himself in a vain attempt to gather warmth the man is perhaps the girl’s grandfather as the cold and hunger of poverty can age of persons prematurely the man may even be her father this little girl is also cold her soiled clothing of dirty hands indicates she stares the same state of poverty with the old man the coated hat once a bright and cheerful pink had been covered with the dirt and suit of living on the street so that’s your your if you were to write a critical format formal essay this would be a similar this would be a type of approach that you would take continuing on the image is in the foreground the girl and the man are sharp and distinct like the hunger pains and cold winds the images are sharp the background abruptly blurs behind them

like most of the poor in society they are not part of the big picture the background is blurred symbolizing a separation from the rest of the scene the rest of the world they are isolated in this situation there is not a forthcoming no help advancing from the background the background like their future is blurry and uncertain the girl is offering a cracker this is all she can all she has offer her face not entirely visible but what we see indicates concern as does her body language she is holding food up to the fellow man an offering of all she has to offer in order to ease his pain his most likely has refused to eat the little food they have in order to feed the child his sacrifice is another example of humanity in the course of circumstances he refused to eat the food that would ease his hunger because he wants to prevent her hunger she offers all that she has in the cracker in an attempt to ease his pain even in their isolated hunger and cold man and the child both offer comfort and aid to one another and finally to summarize notice how the interpretation is defended with details from the photograph so in other words when you ever you have to discuss what you think and then explain using reference to the picture why you think it okay so you can’t say for example that these two are robbing a bank because nothing in the image supports that nothing so you have to in other words reference the picture to support your conclusions you’d also draw conclusions from details so for example we do not know the relationship of the man and child so you can surmise it you can suppose that they are either grandfather daughter or father daughter and it’s also acceptable to draw on personal experiences as they interact with the picture but it’s not acceptable to make inferences that are not supported by the details of the picture like I said there’s nothing in the picture that that indicates that they are robbing a bank for example that would be ludicrous so you can you have to stay on topic you can use a creative format to this form that’s fairly wide open you can choose a creative style to communicate a big idea some options are a script a letter a diary journal entry a short story or a news article and this format will require you to create some details you can write as if you you are one of the people who are the objects individual you could write from the child’s perspective or from the man’s perspective or you could create your own character somebody who sees them from a distance although you do have a lot of freedom with this format it is essential that your real writing still connect to the details of the visual and the big idea that it communicates do not go off track and you can never use poems you’d also write from a personal account connect with the big idea and the details individual to your own life so this could be your friends your family your job your school hobbies your country sports places you’ve traveled to etc but again don’t make it about you make it about the picture so here’s some examples what ideas what idea does the photograph communicate to you you know you look happy family a kids possibly a wife back here father in a uniform military uniform likely has been away for an extended period of time so perhaps he’s just arrived home but even more so looking at the absolute you know the absolute exuberant in the family’s facial expressions he might have been gone for a long time or perhaps even injured or something else gone missing in action so those are some details and again the background isn’t that important it’s the facial expression so you can see that all of them are rushing you know legs are held high both feet off the ground with this girl arms open wide very excited to see the return of their loved one so then you would take a scrap piece of paper and write down some ideas just get started and what’s the message hmm maybe something this is cliche but absence does make the heart grow fonder cartoon because you’re not always going to get photographs and if you remember Michael Jackson what idea does the cartoon communicate to you 1987 if you look up pictures of him I’m bad I’m bad from his song at the time a

hit song 2003 after all of his plastic surgery and holding his child baby with a blanket over its head so that it can remain anonymous I’m mad I’m mad mad being crazy so what and then write down some ideas get thinking on scrap paper here’s another example of what you might see a new ballpark construction by max Mason and what does that image project to you again start writing down some ideas so always ask yourself what idea does the photograph communicate what idea does the cartoon communicate or the drawing or the poster or the advertisement communicate then plan your ideas before you begin to actually write your good copy take some time to think what is the big idea or the theme of the visual a new slide let me just what is the big idea or the theme of the visual what details in the visual support and create this big idea okay make references refer back and forth to the visual what prose for or format will you use in writing your response and what voice do you need to create or suit this format so remember you’ve got three formats personal critical or creative and then have a topic sentence write an idea or a statement for the visual based on the idea or the topic that you’ve identified as the main point the main message explained how different details work to give that to protect that idea refer to objects expressions on faces placement of people etc background images for detail mentioned be sure to explain how it contributes to the main idea and then explain how the techniques the creator used develops that idea including things like a perspective or the atmosphere camera distance and angle so for each be sure to give details about it and then explain how it contributes to create the idea and finally your clincher sum up the idea shown you may wish to use a sentence such as all of these details and techniques contribute to develop so convey give suggest the idea of and then so on so and then finally with your conclusion you should have both three sentences for sure to sum up your main points regarding the idea and the impressions created through the text the visual text give an overview summary of what you’ve said in the body of your response and then give a final statement about the idea suggesting by suggested by the image try to make it profound you know think about when you’re thinking about a profound concluding sentence think about what should people think about based on this photo or image or how should people react to a situation similar based on the photograph or the image and that’s it and now you also have a handout located in your introduction introduction at the beginning of your unit 1 so make reference to that as well within the theory units so always theory visual reflection is where you’ll find your written PDF document on how to write a visual reflection again if you have questions so please feel free to ask me contact me at any time I’d be happy to help you thanks and have a great day