Describing a picture in English

29. srpen 2011 | 12.22 |

Describing a picture in English

1) Introduction

  • The photo/picture shows ...

  • It was taken by/in ...

  • It's a black-and-white/coloured photo.

2) What is where?

  • In the foreground/background you can see ...

  • In the foreground/background there is ...

  • In the middle/centre there are ...

  • At the top/At the bottom there is ...

  • On the left/right there are ...

  • in the upper part

  • in the lower part

  • Behind/In front of ... you can see ...

  • Between ... there is ...

  • to the boy's right / left

  • in the top left-hand corner

  • in the bottom right-hand corner

  • on each side / on both sides

  • the second from left/right

  • there is a ... to the left of / to the right of / in front of / behind the ...

4) What I think about the picture

  • It seems as if ...

  • The lady seems to ...

  • Maybe ...

  • I think ...

  • ... might be a symbol of ...

  • The atmosphere is peaceful/depressing ...

  • I (don't) like the picture because ...

  • It makes me think of ...

examples:

  • There's a lion in the foreground.

  • The woman on the right-hand side is young.

  • I can just see a cat in the background.

  • The man on the far left-hand side is short.

  • In the middle, there are some children.

  • In the top left-hand corner, there's a bird.

  • In the bottom right-hand corner, there's a monkey.

  • the girl seems to look at the viewer.

  • His / Her eyes seem to follow the viewer.

  • The viewer has the impression that the people in the picture are alive.

  • To the alert eye it will become apparent ...

  • The viewer finds it difficult to withdraw his eyes from ...

  • The painting is vivid / happy / expressive.

  • The picture makes the viewer feel ... (sad/happy)

  • The picture inspires the viewer to think about ...

  • He / She (probably) wants to criticise / express / show ...

  • It is obvious that the artist wants to criticise / express / show ...

  • What the artist / photographer / painter wants to point out is ...

  • I think / believe / am sure that ...

  • It seems / appears to me that ...

  • The problem illustrated here is ...

  • This is a picture of

  • In this picture, the sky is clear and the sun is shining.

  • At the foot of the mountains, the soil is bare and the slopes are steep.

  • The lake reflects the mountains, like a big mirror.

  • The water is clear and very still.

  • This is a portrait of a man / woman. He/ She appears to be about ____ years old.

  • The man / The woman has...

    • long / medium-length / short hair

    • curly / wavy / straight hair

    • black / dark brown / medium brown / light brown / blond / red / gray / white hair.

  • The man has a mustache and / or a beard. OR The man is clean-shaven.

  • The woman has (large) brown / blue / green / hazel / gray eyes.

  • The woman has a straight / Roman / Grecian / snub / hook / ski-jump / button nose.

  • His / Her mouth is small / wide.

  • His / Her lips are thin / thick (full).

  • The chin is small / pointy.

  • The jaw is square / strong / weak.

  • His expression is calm, but solemn.

  • The main elements / most striking elements of the photo are on the right

  • The picture is clearly dominated by the little boy in the centre of the picture

  • The main figure seems to be / looks like / appears to have / probably has / is portrayed

  • as / represents ...

  • At first glance, one might think that (the lady is well dressed), but a closer look at (her skirt) reveals that (it is full of holes).

  • The lady is shabbily dressed. One can see this from / judge this from / by the holes ...

  • The boy is neatly dressed. There is no evidence of (dirt on his trousers).

  • The main figure is one of those people who ... She is young, in her early twenties (late forties / a teenager, a child, an old man) and well dressed.

  • It is obvious that the artist wants to make fun of / direct our attention to / express

  • From her facial expression, I can assume that...

  • Perhaps this man is about to...

  • On the right side of the room, there is a small table.

  • On top of the table, there are some books.

  • Next to the table, there is a tall lamp.

  • Let me see ... what do these photographs show?

  • Shall we start by describing what we see in the pictures?

  • That's all I can think of at the moment.

  • The picture on the left / the left-hand picture; the picture on the right / the right-hand picture

  • The top picture / the picture on the top / the upper picture; the bottom picture / the picture at the bottom / the lower picture

  • I prefer A to B. I like A more than B. I like A, but I dislike B. A is more ... than B

  • In the distance...

  • The scene/picture shows/depicts/ portrays...

  • It must be winter, it must be spring

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