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Analyzing Photographs
Photographs, films, and other images are visual evidence of people, places, objects and events. They provide valuable clues to what life was like in the past. But like all clues, visual evidence is a piece of a bigger puzzle. To put the pieces together, you need to play detective. You must become an observer of details. As you analyze each photograph and its bibliography citation, keep in mind that photographers, like speakers and writers, have points of view and a story to tell.

How can you become a good detective and figure out the story the photographer is telling? Here are some important steps you might follow.

  • Look carefully at the photograph.
  • Ask yourself questions {Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?}.
  • Use the clues you find to form a hypothesis { I think .... because ....}
  • Search for other clues to test your hypothesis.
  • Rethink your original hypothesis and make necessary changes to solve the mystery.

With these steps in mind, you are ready to begin your work.

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