5 Tips on How to Find Value in a Photograph

A photograph is taken in a special moment in time that is captured forever. This is the beauty of photography and forms of art or media can tell a story of one moment. 

That image is then left to interpretation and the audience has to decide what journey it takes them on. Of course this journey depends on the individual’s life story and how they view the world. Below are 5 things to consider when reviewing a photograph. 

1) The focal point in an image always has a significant meaning, even if it is not what the photographer intends to highlight. Whether it is a face, a stone or a metal object, the focus point will be expressing a key message that is important to consider. 

2) At the polar end of this is what is not highlighted. What can you see that is hidden, obscure or appears meaningless in the photographs? These objects or shades could be telling the real story.

3) What year was the photo taken? Is there anything in the photo that references the date like a newspaper or trophy? How does the date have an impact on the value or subject at hand?

4) This leads on to politics and economics. What was the political landscape like at the time the photo was taken? Is it worth doing some research on who was in power and what policies they introduced that could have influenced the subject?

5) Consider the technological impact of the time the photo was taken and printed (if it isn’t a digital file). What camera or development process did they use? What type of paper was in fashion at the time? Could they afford the best solution to develop their work? How would that affect the quality?