Interpreting historical images
Study the photograph for two minutes, forming an overall impression and then examining individual aspects. Then answer the following questions.
Are there people in the photograph? _________
How many? ________
Number of boys or men ___________
Number of girls or women _________
Describe the clothing worn.
Describe people’s facial expressions.
Describe what the people are doing.
Describe in detail any objects in the photograph.
How are the individuals in the photograph using the object(s)?
Can you tell when or where the photograph was taken?
Estimated time of day: ___________
Estimated time of year: __________
Outside or indoors? ___________
Describe in detail the place where the photo was taken.
Consider the eye of the photographer. He or she makes decisions about what will be framed within the camera’s lens, predetermining even those images that appear to be spontaneous.
Can you tell anything about the perspective of the photographer by what has been included or omitted in the photograph?
Does the photograph seem spontaneous or posed?
What do you think happened after this photograph was taken?
What do you think might be happening outside the frame of the photograph?
Based on what you have observed above, list three things you might infer from the photograph.
What questions does this photograph raise in your mind?
A caption is a short description or explanation of a photograph, often detailing what is happening in the photo, where and when it was taken, and who appears in it. Using the information you’ve gathered above, write a caption for your photograph.
How do you think the caption would differ if it were published in a Nazi newspaper, a Jewish-German newspaper, and an American newspaper?