Probably not. We all perceive visual information differently but there are pieces of information that we have been trained by our society and culture to 'read' in certain ways. It would be surprising if you weren't already quite good at it...
The key is being able make connections between what message you receive from an image and how your brain turns that into something meaningful. Use the sections below to help you clarify your understanding of visual techniques and just how incredibly valuable they can be. As for what's in the picture (which is called a Rorschach test for those of you playing along at home) - it's quite clearly a duck playing tennis with a hamster.
Your brain is already working away like crazy to analyse the world around you. It's subconsciously picking up on all sorts of visual clues and sometimes it does that at remarkable speeds - your first visual analysis takes just one millisecond (although, in fairness, that's just your brain making a quick scan for danger like lions and tigers and bears, oh my). So what does your brain do in that split second? What's it looking for?
How do I process the information I've gathered?
It is important you have an understanding of how visual features of texts are used to convey meaning as you will invariably be asked to analyse an image in Paper One and you may choose to use a visual text as related material. This brief article explores the steps you can follow in order to best demonstrate your understanding of the importance of using visual techniques to create meaning.
The list of visual techniques is growing as we become better at understanding them. Nonetheless, there are quite a few of them that have been around for quite some time. That makes them reliable. This collection below is a strong combination of visual techniques that will allow you to analyse all kinds of visual creations. As always, click to embiggen - or download your own set right here.
The images in the slideshow on the left have already been labelled by the dominant techniques. Watch the set and see if you agree with the choices made. The images in the slideshow on the right have not been labelled so that you can try for yourself. Below that slideshow is a link to the accurate responses for those images. Write down the techniques you think are dominant in each image before checking your responses. Good hunting!