Criticizing Photographs / Edition 5

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 07/25/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 40%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $49.25
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 47%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $49.25   
  • New (6) from $59.84   
  • Used (9) from $49.25   


This brief text is designed to help both beginning and advanced students of photography better develop and articulate thoughtful criticism. Organized around the major activities of criticism (describing, interpreting, evaluating, and theorizing), Criticizing Photographs provides a clear framework and vocabulary for students' critical skill development.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780073526539
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 251,169
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Terry Barrett is Professor of Art Education, with a joint appointment in the Department of Art, at The Ohio State University, where he is the recipient of a distinguished teaching award for courses in criticism and aesthetics within education. He has authored four books: Interpreting Art: Reflecting, Wondering and Responding; Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary (2nd ed.); Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images (4th ed.); and Talking about Student Art. He edited the anthology Lessons for Teaching Art Criticism, published articles in Aesthetic Education, Afterimage, Art Education, Exposure, Camera-Lucida, Dialogue, Cultural Research in Art Education, New Advocate, New Art Examiner, Studies in Art Education, Teaching Artist Journal, Theory into Practice, Visual Arts Research, and many chapters in edited books. He is an art critic in education for the Ohio Arts Council, consults museum education departments, juries exhibitions, and conducts workshops on studio critiques and writing.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Criticizing Photographs, Fourth Edition, Terry Barrett

Tentative (10/20/04)

1. About Art Criticism

Defining Criticism

Sources of Criticism

Kinds of Criticism

The Backgrounds of Critics

Stances Toward Criticism

Relations Between Critics and Artists

Criticizing Criticism

The Value of Criticism

2. Describing Photographs: What Do I See?

Defining Description

Descriing an Exhibition: Avedon's In the American West

Describing Subject Matter

Describing Form

Describing Medium

Describing Style

Comparing and Contrasting

Internal and External Sources of Information

Description and Interpretation

Description and Evaluation

The Importance of Description to Readers

Principles for Describing Photographs

3. Interpreting Photographs: What Does It Mean?

An Exemplary Interpretation

About Interpretation

Defining Interpretation

The Objects of Interpretation

Interpretive Claims and Arguments

Interpretive Perspectives

Three Interpretations of Eleanor

Other Interpretive Strategies

Combinations of Interpretive Approaches

"Right" Interpretations

Interpretations and the Artist's Intent

Interpretations and Feelings

Interpretation, Meaning, and Personal Significance

The Community of Interpreters

4. Types of Photographs

Categories of Photographs

New Categories

Descriptive Photographs

Explanatory Photographs

Interpretive Photographs

Ethically Evaluative Photographs

Aesthetically Evaluative Photographs

Theoretical Photographs

5. Photographs and Contexts

Internal Context

Original Context

External Context

External Contexts and Connotations

Interpreting Barbara Kruger's Untitled ("Surveillance"), with Contextual Information

"Surveillance" and Internal Context

"Surveillance" and Original Context

"Surveillance" and External Context

Barbara Kruger's Untitled ("Surveillance"), and the Categories

Descriptive Photographs

Explanatory Photographs

Interpretive Photographs

Ethically Evaluative Photographs

Aesthetically Evaluative Photographs

Theoretical Photographs

The Interpretive Process: A Summary

6. Judging Photographs: Is It Good?

Examples of Judgmental Statements

Positive Judgments

Negative Judgments

Implied Judgments

Opposing Judgments

Comparative Judgments

Jugments and Reasons

Judgments and Criteria

Different Criteria





Other Criteria

Choosing Among Criteria

Differing Judgments

Judgments Are Arguments


Judgments and Preferences

Intentionalism and Judgments

The Objects of Judgments

Judgments of Robert Mapplethorpe's Photographs

Hilton Kramer's and Grace Glueck's Views of Mapplethorpe's Work

Other Critics' Views of Mapplethorpe's Work


7. Photography Theory: Is It Art? Is It True? Is It Moral?

Photography Theory and Practice

Ontological Concerns: What Is a Photograph?

Digital Images and Ontology

Epistemological Concerns: Are Photographs True?

Realist Theory

Conventionalist Theory

Photographic Truth

Aesthetic Concerns: Is Photography Art?

Modernism and Postmodernism

Digital Images and Aesthetic Concerns

Ethical Concerns: Are Photographs Moral?

Marxist Theory and Ethical Photography

Feminist Theory and Ethical Photography

Multicultural Theory and Ethical Photography

Queer Theory and Ethical Photography

Postcolonial Theory and Ethical Photography


8. Writing and Talking About Photographs

Writing About Photographs

Observing Works and Taking Notes

Quick-Writes and Careful-Writes

Students' Interpretive Writings

Building Visual Interpretations

Making Personal Meanings

Judging Photographs

Writing Criteria Statements

Three Student Views of Immediate Family by Sally Mann

Metacritical Writing

Writing Artists' Statements

Processes of Writing

Talking About Photographs

Studio Critiques

Kinds of Critiques

Conducting Successful Critiques

Principles For Effective Critiques



Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)