The Analysis of a Photo by Fred Ramos

Fred Ramos Photograph Deconstruction (500+ words) – Critically analyze all of the essential elements of a photograph from Fred Ramos, El Faro photo reporter who will be talking to our class. Consider how form (compositional principles & photographic techniques such as framing, depth of field, motion capture, etc) relates to subject (people & events depicted) and context (location, year, social/political climate, etc). Unlike the Print Poster Deconstruction, this analysis involves a factual historical event: Do the photograph’s visual aspects direct us to read & understand it a certain way within its historical/social/political context? You must relate at least 3 contextual/historical facts and at least 5 visual principles/techniques of photography discussed in class and in the The Photographers Guide: A Graphic Guide book that are relevant to your photo.



Photography is a means through which photographers communicate with their audience. from a single photo, someone can communicate various aspects of society. However, to communicate properly with the audience, a photographer needs to apply certain techniques such as framing, depth of field, and motion capture. The proper application of these techniques allows the photographer to the audience about the photo’s social, cultural, and historical perspective. The following essay will delve into some of the techniques used by Fred Ramos and the social, contextual, and historical facts that can be derived from the photo.

Visual Principles/Techniques 

The depth of field (DOF) is a technique that is used in taking the photo. DOF is defined as the distance between the closest and the farthest object within the acceptably sharp focus in an image (Franz, 2019). In the image, the DOF is shallow as the camera was near the subjects of the photo. The camera lens is concentrated on a smaller part, and the only thing it captures are the few people behind whore are not far, and thus all objects in the photo are clear. 

 Framing is a key technique used in the photograph. Ramos uses the risen ground below his subjects as his frame to hide the structures and the vehicles behind. To achieve this, he took the photo from a lower part of the ground, which made his subjects over him, and the ground blocked what was not part of the photo subject. 

The subjects in the photo are the people in personal protective equipment and the coffin they are carrying. They are moving towards the grave, and when the photo was taken, it applied motion capture to the moments when the subjects are in motion. This way, Ramos took the photo with every detail in it without having to wait for the subjects to be static to take a clear photo. 

Positioning the camera in Infront of the subjects also gave Ramos a frontal view of the subjects. The camera position in this photo was partially elevated, which allowed Ramos to frame the photo and take even the feet of his subjects and the bottom of the coffin. The positioning also tells the audience that the subjects are headed for a lower place than them, and probably it’s a grave. 

Contrast is also used to differentiate between the subjects of the photo and the people behind it. A white color majorly characterizes the subjects in the photo while the people behind are in dark clothes, and thus someone can easily differentiate between them.

Contextual/historical Fact

The photograph is taken in a burial due to the coffin that the people in PPEs carry to the graveyard. Unlike the other burials where close family members are allowed to come near the grave, this burial has professionals in PPEs conducting the burial. The people who seem like family are behind and keeping a distance. Historically the photo was taken during the COVD 19 due to the polyethylene sealed coffin. The people in PPEs also tell that this is not part of a common burial. The people behind are also putting on facemasks, which has been a common trend in society. All these indicators tell the audience that the photo was taken during the COVID 19 period. 



Franz, R. M. (2019). Photographic techniques. A-to-Z Guide to Thermodynamics, Heat & Mass Transfer, and Fluids Engineering Online.