Andrew Crawford's Blog

Visual Literacy Com 105-006

Archive for August, 2010



Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis

Visual Literacy

Andrew Crawford

For my critical analysis, I chose to critique a photo of three basketball players from my favorite team, the New York Knicks, about three years ago. They are clearly a dejected group of players, who seem completely frustrated by what is happening on the court. Overall it is a sad image, full of disappointment and frustration.

The first element that I noticed in the photo, aside from the obvious losing and frustration that is occurring, is the symmetry of it. All three players are sitting with their elbows on their knees or upper leg, with their hands on their head. They also all have a towel on some part of their body, which tells me that they have been on the bench for awhile watching the losing unfold before them. The three players are centered in the image with a partial view of some fans in the background. I find it very impressive that a photographer from the other side of the court captured such a symmetrical image.

Another element that I find interesting in the photo is the increasing theme of it. The players, Nate Robinson, Mardy Collins, and Renaldo Balkman, happen to be arranged in size order, from left to right, smallest to tallest. Also, the position of the towel is increasing as you go down the bench from left to right, with Robinson’s towel on his knees, Collins’ towel around his neck, and Balkman’s towel around the top of his head. Again, a photographer across the court took this photo at a live basketball game. Granted, the picture isn’t perfect, as evident by the portion of another player’s leg on the left edge of the image. This makes the image more appealing to me because it makes it obvious that the photo wasn’t altered at all whatsoever.

The third element that I found intriguing about the image is the framing of it, and frankly the lack of a definite frame. In fact, the edges of the photo act as a natural frame for the scene. The viewer is forced to focus on the players and the players alone, as they are the dominant feature in the photo and are framed near perfectly by the edges of the image.

All in all, the photographer captured the image of misery, losing and frustration perfectly in this live shot of the Knicks bench. It was a perfect storm of elements for the photographer as his subjects were aligned near perfectly and natural elements of symmetry, framing, and an overall increasing nature were present. This is a good example of what live sports photography should be like, and that is what makes the photo so appealing to me.