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6.0: Photograph reading and interpretation - Form three topic

6.0: Photograph reading and interpretation - Form three topic


Concept of photograph reading and interpretation 

Photograph is an image or picture taken by a camera on the earth surface. This image can be stored in hard copy or soft copy.

Photograph reading  is simple recognition of both man made and natural objects in a photograph.

Photography interpretation is examination of image or picture to identify objects and judge their significance.

Photograph reading and interpretation involve obtaining information about man made and natural features portrayed in photograph.

Types of photograph

Photograph can be taken from different positions towards the ground based on the position of the photographer and alignment of the principle axis of the camera.

There are three types of photograph

 (A)horizontal or ground photograph Is a picture taken on ground level whereby camera and object are at same level.

These type of photograph usually focus on object in front of the camera.

The focus of the camera may lead into close up or general view object Closer object appear larger than object which are farther from the camera.
There are two types of horizontal photograph

(i)Paranoma or general view photograph These are general view photograph which show many items on an extensive landscape Also can be defined as taking a numbers of pictures from the same point and combining or stitching them to make one image covering a wide view.

(ii)Closed up horizontal photograph
This is photograph which focuses on one specific object that needs to be interpreted.

Characteristics of horizontal photograph

(i) It is taken when principle axis of camera is horizontal to the object.
(ii)It is taken about 180⁰
(iii)It shows only the front view of the object.
(iv)It divided into three part which are foreground, middle ground and background
(v)The scale decrease from foreground to background.
(vi) It does not show the top view of the object.
(vii) The closer object appear larger than further objects
(viii) In general view photograph large horizon is seen

(B) Oblique photograph

The word oblique means neither parallel nor at right angle to a specified line.
Therefore oblique photograph is a picture taken from elevated angle less than 90⁰.
There are two main categories of oblique photograph which are low oblique and high oblique photograph.
 (a) low  or ground oblique photograph is a picture taken at elevated angle of less than 60⁰.
The photographer is an elevated angle such as mountain, hills, buildings.
This type of photograph characterized by;
(i)photograph divided into three parts which are foreground, middle ground and background
(ii)objects at foreground are large and seen clearly
(iii) Objects decrease in size from foreground to background
(iv) three dimension view is seen (top view, side view and front view

(b) high oblique photographs; 

These photographs are taken from the sky with the camera tilted at an angle of less than 90⁰ towards the ground.

Characteristics of high oblique photograph

(i)Photograph might be taken when aircraft or drone is flying at low levels. 
(ii) Objects near the camera appear slightly larger than those far away from the camera
(iii) Also small horizon is seen 
(iv) it covers large area than ground photograph

(C)Vertical or aerial photographs: this photograph is taken when principal axis of a camera is vertical 90⁰ .
They are taken by a camera directed above the object.

Characteristics of vertical or aerial photograph

(i) they are taken at 90⁰ with a camera positioned above the object.
(ii) they cover large area compare to ground photograph
(iii) it shows only the top view
(iv) it has uniform scale that can be used for map making.
 Similarities and differences between photographs and maps

(i)Both have scales
(ii) Both are used in planning and management activities such as agriculture, engineering and military activities.
(iii) Both show natural and man made features
(iv) Both are used in field works or field studies such as research, census and survey

Uses of photograph
(i) It used to keep record of events such as volcanic eruption, fishing, mining and ceremony
(ii) photograph summarize bulky verbal expression.
(iii) it used for map making. Due to development of science and technology cartographer now days do not use hand to draw photograph but they use computer such as the use remote sense that track various photograph which transformed in map.
(iv) photograph can be used to understand weather of a particular place.
(v) photograph can be used to describe the landscape of an area. It shows high land and low land areas, rivers and forests.
(vi) photographs may be used for planning purpose. For example building and city planning.

Reading and interpretation of photograph Photograph reading and interpretation involves the following criteria; (i)identification and description of the photographic features.
(ii) identifying and interpreting physical features in the photograph.
(iii) Identifying and interpreting human activities in photograph.
(iv)Associating or relating different features on photograph.

(A)Identification and description of the photographic  features.

Easily way to interpret photograph is dividing it into three parts.
Photograph may be divided into three part as follows; foreground, middle ground and background
Foreground is a part of photograph that focus on the camera
Middle ground is a part of photograph that is between foreground and background
Background is a part of photograph that is furthest from photographer.

Element used to identify and describes features in photograph
(a) Tone refers to the colour characteristics of an object relative to other objects in a photograph 
Colour of an objects helps to identify objects. Water bodies appear blue, tarmac roads appear dark, vegetation appear green.
It can used to indicate time for example brightness colour on atmosphere indicate afternoon while yellow color on horizon indicate morning or evening and darkness  indicate night.
(b) shadow; the time of the day when the photograph was taken is indicated by a shadow of the image, for example morning the shadow is long casted on west, evening the shadow is long casted on east and afternoon the shadow is shorter and casted at the centre of an object

(c) Association presence of a particular feature in a photograph indicate probability of present of other activities, condition and features.
Presence of water bodies may indicate fishing activities and transportation.
Presence of filling station may indicate automobiles.
Presence of thick forest might indicate lumbering.
(d)location; presence of particular objects in photograph might indicate particular area such as lion indicate presence of game reservoir or national park.
(e) prior knowledge of the photograph; familiality of the photograph help to interpret and describe features, surface and object presented in the photograph.

(B) Identifying and interpreting physical features.
(i)Relief ; is variations in the elevation of the ground surface, also features of height above a plain.
When describing landforms, it is important to go further and describe forces and processes responsible for land formation and its modification.
Relief features on photograph includes flat landscape and mountainous landscape.
Flat landscape includes low land area which involves features like plain, 
 Mountainous high land involves features like mountain, ridge, escarpment and plateau

(ii) Drainage is removal of surface and sub-surface water from one place to another.
water are flowing through channel that is so called drainage system. Example of drainage systems are rivers, sea and lake.
Through photograph variety aspects of drainage  system can studied such as river valley and stages.
The presence of water fall in photograph indicate the river is flowing over steep land (upper section of the river
The presence of delta or ox bow lake indicate the river is at low stage
 (iii)The nature of the rock can be identified such as area with waterfall indicate hard rock and temporary water bodies indicate permeable rock which loose water easily
(iv) climate is average weather condition occurring long period of time at a particular area.
One can identify climate through photograph as follows;
(a)The type of vegetation and crops. For example
-presence of cacti indicate semi desert or desert.
-presence of sisal that grown in hot area receiving low rainfall signify hot climate.
-Presence of sugar cane grown in hot region receiving high rainfall indicate hot climate.
-Coffee and cotton grown in tropical climate
(b)type of clothes people are wearing
-heavy clothes indicate hot climate while light clothes indicate cold climate
(v) vegetation 
Photograph can show type of vegetation grown; for example forests, grassland and swamps plants
The plants should be described by heights, size, shape appearance and name should be given. 
(vi)settlement is a place where people establish community. Such area comprised by building, roads, hospital, church and mosque.
Rural and urban settlement can be described in photograph
Rural settlement can be identified by scattered houses, presence of farming and semi permanent building
Urban settlement can be identified by permanent building, tarmac roads, markets, planned city and motor vehicles

(C) identifying and interpreting Human activities
Criteria for interpreting human activities 
(a)presence of water bodies indicate fishing activities.
(b)presence of large plantation or small farming indicate agriculture activities.
Presence of roads, airway and railway signify transportation
Presence of city signifies trade, transportation


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