What is Visual Literacy?
Visual Literacy is an area of study that deals with the critical “reading” of
A fundamental tenet of Visual Literacy is that photographic images
are a language and thus can be understood in much the same way
as a written text can.
Just as a person who can speak a language, but cannot write or
read it is considered illiterate, a person who sees images, but
has not been taught visual literacy skills cannot fully understand
Why is it important to become visually literate?
Photographs have permeated every aspect of our culture. When we
read the newspaper, wait at the bus stop, watch television, see
a film, go on the internet, and now, talk on the phone, we are constantly
being exposed to photographic images. Most people merely see these
images without having been taught the ability to understand them.
Before we were taught to read, we could physically see the words
on the page, however, it took education before we could understand
what the words meant. Likewise with images, most of us only “see”
the photographs without having the ability to further understand
the complexity of what is being communicated.