Example of Analysis of Visual Data

Photo 1

Photo 1

Suggested Interpretation
The photograph has been taken on land looking out towards water, which appears to be the sea. It is a day time shot, and the weather is warm, sunny with some cloud. It doesn't appear to be windy. Given the weather it is likely to be a summer month. It is difficult to know what the subject of the photograph is. The foreground shows tables and chairs, some with occupants, but none are the focus of the photograph. Also on shore is a construction that looks as if it is intended to be used as a bonfire. The background shows views across to the sea, which may ultimately be the subject of the photograph. The photograph includes a mixture of individuals, couples and groups, some appear to be family groups, sitting on plastic chairs at plastic tables on grass. Most of them are drinking cold drinks and talking or enjoying the view. Some people are walking towards the sea through an adjoining field. There are a number of sailing boats on the sea and in the distance are white cliffs.

Photo 2

Photo 2

Suggested Interpretation
The photograph is taken outdoors in what appears to be a garden, with four adults sitting around a wooden table on two benches and a chair. The clothes worn suggest it is a warm day and that it has been sunny, as one person has sun glasses on his head. Also the adults are drinking cold drinks, four of which might be alcoholic beverages. It is difficult to suggest a time of day, though it might be the afternoon or early evening in the summer. This is a posed photograph which records the group of four adults (one female and three males), possibly friends, spending some social time together, possibly in the garden of a public house. There is also the wheel of a bicycle in the background and given the attire of the group, it could be that they have either cycled to the pub for a drink, or are stopping mid-route for a drink and a rest. Given the number of drinks on the table it suggests the photographer might be a fifth member of the group, taking the photograph to record the event.

Photo 3

Photo 3

Suggested Interpretation
The photograph is taken at the edge of white cliffs, on a grassy cliff path probably by the sea. In the foreground are four adults with bicycles. There is a fifth adult bicycle on the ground suggesting there is another adult as part of the group, who is taking the photograph. There are trees in the background and a few people walking along the cliff path. The sky is clouding and dull, though there may have been sunshine during the day as two of the cyclists have sun glasses on and the three males are wearing shorts and t-shirts. The group are the same as those photographed in picture three, though in a different setting. They are wearing the same clothes as in the previous photograph, suggesting this might have been taken on the same summer's day.

Photo 4

Photo 4

Overall interpretation

This set of photographs depict a group of five adults cycling along a coastal path, in the summer. This is a series of shots taken on one day, that might be part of a longer cycling holiday. Two of the photographs show the adults, who are probably friends. These photographs focus on the activities they undertook in the day, possibly recorded to provide a memory of events for the photographer and the friends. One photograph records an ancient ruin and a further might be recording the scenery and coastal path that the group have cycled along.

To help validate the interpretations the photographer was asked to comment on the above analysis for accuracy. It is not always possible to validate interpretations in the way, though where possible it helps establish trustworthiness.

Photographer's response to the suggested analysis

The cyclists were a group of 5 friends who went to the Purbeck area of Dorset near Corfe Castle (photo 4) for a weekend in the middle of September. We camped overnight, but that would not be obvious from the selection of photos provided. The photos actually span both days, with the correct sequence of photos being 4, 2, 1 and 3.

Photos 4 and 2 were taken from the garden of a public house in Corfe Castle, where we stopped for lunch on the Saturday – it hadn't arrived while the photos were being taken. Photo1 is the garden of the pub, where we stopped at for lunch on Sunday. There was a long wait for food, hence no-one could be observed to be eating! The garden was overlooking the Solent, and the Isle of Wight can be seen in the background. Also, note the bonfire in the field beyond the garden – ready for bonfire night? Photo3 was taken on the ride back to the campsite – a refresher and camera opportunity.