ON STREET PHOTOGRAPHY and other life changing events


Introducing The Likert Scale / New Street Agenda

Kino und Theater © Knut Skjærven

Kino und Theater © Knut Skjærven


When you look at a photograph, you execute a tacit content analysis. When you regard a real life scene, you perform a content analysis, as well.

In ordinary looking and seeing, be it a real life situation or a photograph, content analysis is already at play. How else would you know and appreciate what you are looking at?

Science is more specific. There is a distinction between a quantitative and a qualitative method.

If you have a series of photographs in front of you can count the number or people in each and come up with an average of people per photograph. That would be a quantitative analysis.

If you look for attitudes of the people involved, as an example, that would be part of a qualitative analysis.
In describing photographs in New Street Agenda we will go a step further: we will introduce a Likert Scale.
A Likert scale is a simple way of detecting attitudes or opinions. You simply mark a scale when you answer.

The opinion you want to investigate could be this: Do you think that street photographs should have people as the bearing element?


The scale you are asked to mark, could be like the one below:

High agreement                                  Average Agreement                                                   Low Agreement

* – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – * – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -*

Mark the scale and you have your answer.

There are at least three critical areas using such a scale. You need to know them all:

The first is formulating the case you want to investigate. The second is your ability to read images. The third is the truthfulness in giving the answer.

A Likert Scale can be used to detect your strength and weaknesses as a (street) photographer. It is possible to suggest a road ahead and set up a customised training program. As you like it.

Obviously, this will not only improve your street photography but you visual instinct as a whole.

The Likert Scale, by the way, is called so because if was first put to use by an American psychologist named Rensis Likert (1903 – 1981).

© Knut Skjærven.

Link to the original post at ON THE GO: Workbook for New Street Agenda.


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