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World of Photography


You don't take a photograph, you make it. Ansel Adams







Photography is one example of a visual text that can be used to teach media literacy and critical thinking. When students interpret or create photographs they better understand how visual language works and the constructed nature of all texts. Even the youngest students can easily make their own visual texts through photography.

Visually literate students understand that:

  • photographs are produced and used for different purposes, for example, the purpose of an advertising photo is very different from a photo in a nonfiction picture book or from a snapshot of your best friend
  • photographers make choices about the way the photo is constructed (camera angles, framing etc.), that impact the message conveyed to the intended audience
  • readers draw on their experience and their understanding of visual language to come up with an interpretation
  • not all people interpret photographs in the same way

Teachers who are considering using photography in their classrooms will find the projects and classroom ideas in this section of the website helpful in getting started.


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