critique of graphic elements

critique of graphic elements

You will analyze and critique a photograph taken by your partner, evaluating whether the use of graphic elements (lines and shapes) is effective in conveying meaning.

To prepare:

  • Read Chapter 4 from the course text, The Photographer’s Eye.
  • Review the websites in this week’s Learning Resources for more inspiration and examples of photographs.
  • Review the “Critiquing Photographs” website in the Learning Resources.
  • Retrieve and review your colleague’s Week 3 photograph from the Discussion board.
  • Consider the following questions about your partner’s photograph:
    • What graphic elements is your partner using in the composition of his or her photograph?
    • What story or message is your partner telling in his or her photograph?
    • How do the elements identified contribute to the overall meaning of the photograph?

With these thoughts in mind:

Post a critique of your partner’s photograph, specifically focusing on graphic and photographic elements. Explain how the graphic elements contribute to making the photograph dynamic or static. Analyze the extent that the graphic elements direct the viewer to the significant content of the photograph. Explain how the most important graphic elements relate to each other within the picture frame. Considering the photograph’s dominant graphic elements, to what extent would you say these elements contributed to the telling of a subjective or objective story? (Approximately 500 words).

In your post, be sure to:

  • Refer to one specific example from your course reading.

Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.


Freeman, M. (2013).
The photographer’s eye: Graphic guide: Instantly understand composition & design for better digital photos. Burlington, MA: Focal Press.

  • Chapter 4, “Graphics” (pp. 62–79)

    This chapter focuses on the use of lines, curves, and shapes in the composition of photographs.

Tallis, T. (2006). Critiquing photographs. Retrieved from
This article explains how to critique photography and why this can and should be a positive, helpful exercise.

The following websites comprise galleries that allow you to experience the fundamental elements of photographic art.

Artnet. (2015). Imogen Cunningham. Retrieved from

Commerce Graphics Ltd., Inc. (n.d.). Berenice Abbott photography. Retrieved from

Vivian Maier. (2014). Retrieved from


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