ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Terms to Use When Analyzing a Visual Text

Updated on November 8, 2016
SayaEducation profile image

Author Erwin Cabucos has a Master in English Education from the University of New England, Australia.

Image by E.C.
Image by E.C. | Source

Useful terms when analyzing an image

By Erwin Cabucos

Analysing a visual text involves examining all elements of the image so that a feasible and convincing meaning and interpretation could be achieved. This may mean looking into the subjects in the photo, the words that are printed on the page, the setting used or the colour applied in the image. But there are more than that.

The book Interpreting the Visual by De Silva Joyce, H. and Gaudin, J., by Phoenix Education, published in 2011 gives thorough explanation of the important aspects of the image that a keen reader must see in a visual.

Here are some important terms for those elements. Like any written texts, multimodal and visual texts have rich repository of meanings where discourses and representations of peoples and ideologies can be found.

  • Participants – refers to people, animals, and objects that are prominent in the image.
  • Perspectives - involved in representing 3D space on a flat 2D picture surface. This enables us to see the framed painting as a window onto a space that is different to the one we occupy.
  • Vanishing point - corresponds in the picture plane to the point in the eye where light reflected from objects in the real world can be seen to converge. Eg, situating the vanishing point at the level of the viewer's eyes will appear to out the viewer in the picture.
  • Raised vanishing point - refers to high-angle shot where the subject is shown downwards, as if the audience is looking down. This suggests lesser power for the participant, or begging for sympathy from the audience.
  • Lowered vanishing point - or high angle shot, giving more power to the participant, demanding for respect from the audience.
  • Vectors - the actual or imaginary line showing the direction of action or lines of movement or of an image. Integral to understanding narrative processes in the image.
  • Narrative processes - refers to the way an images tells the story or explain a causal process that takes place over time. It is important to know the distinction between narrative and conceptual. The vectors connect the participants. Narrative processes may be active, reactive or telling a conversion process.
  • Conversion or thought processes - This is often evident in diagrams where the action shows conversions or cycles.
  • Speech and thought-processes - This is often shown on images with speech balloons and thought bubbles.
  • Action and reaction processes - participants doing action in the image. The vector originates from a participant and usually directed at another participant. In some images, this element of the image tell a lot of gender relations. Notice how the action originates from which gender and received by another, suggesting power relations in the gender.
  • Circumstances - they refer to the setting, providing a wider context in the image. They may also refer to accompaniments of the participants, giving more information and backgrounds to the participants. There are participants in the image who are not linked to other participants by vectors; they are circumstantial participants.
  • Embedding - the process of combining more than one representational structure within a single image. This shows the versatility of the image that it may perform other function other than the main participants or circumstances they are showing.

© 2015 Saya Education


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)