Learning to look beyond the frame: how is the "blind field" of a photo filled?

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Hilander , M 2016 , ' Learning to look beyond the frame: how is the "blind field" of a photo filled? ' , Zeitschrift für Geographiedidaktik , vol. 44 , no. 2 , pp. 3-24 . https://doi.org/10.18452/23261

Title: Learning to look beyond the frame: how is the "blind field" of a photo filled?
Author: Hilander, Markus
Contributor organization: Teacher Education
Date: 2016
Language: eng
Number of pages: 22
Belongs to series: Zeitschrift für Geographiedidaktik
ISSN: 2198-4298
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18452/23261
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/340257
Abstract: This article discusses the processes of the interpretation of photos from a semiotic perspective. The main data-set covers drawings by Finnish high school students. These drawings depict the “blind field” — that is, the empty space surrounding the photo’s frames — of a photo taken in New York City. Every photo is framed in some way as it reveals only a part of the landscape it attempts to depict. Theoretically, it is argued that one’s life experience, education, and social relationships among other things affect how the viewer fills in the blind field. Therefore, the blind field is said to be the source of meanings in relation to a photo. Ontologically, photos are not understood as objective re-presentations of the world, but as subjective worldviews as photos are always taken by somebody and looked at by someone. This interaction between the photographer and the viewer is approached by asking: to what extent do the blind field and the students’ drawings in the blind field explain the meanings of the photo? This is a relevant question when taking into consideration the fact that a student’s way of interpreting photos in, for instance, geography textbooks might differ from that of the geography teacher. Therefore, the main argument of this study is that photos should not be taken for granted. Moreover, the elements that are not made visible in the photo also form an important part of the interpretation of photos.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
1171 Geosciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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