Thompson concludes his theoretical discussion by suggesting five basic rules for photographic interpretation
: first, contextualize photographic practice both before and after the image is produced (emphasis in the original); second, analyze both the symbols and their messages within a rhetorical narrative; third, study the accompanying ("anchoring") texts; fourth, look for other documents such as photographs, descriptive texts, and maps, in order to interrogate the photograph and corroborate our interpretations ("the historical method"); and fifth, question ("deconstruct") the image's composition through studying what is excluded (pp.
The imagery came from the National Photographic Interpretation
Center which, in 1996, morphed into a CIA/Defense Department entity known as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, changing its name once again in 2004 to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
The CIA's National Photographic Interpretation
Center (NPIC) had an experienced and dedicated complement of imagery intelligence officers, capable of melding the imagery derived with collateral information to produce accurate and timely intelligence reporting.
Baker designed cameras with long focal lengths that folded into tight fuselage and satellite spaces; Kodak developed films that could survive the temperature extremes encountered at reconnaissance altitudes; Lundhal organized a photographic interpretation
activity to receive and analyze the pictures.
Established in October 1996, NIMA replaced the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA), the Central Imagery Office (CIO), the Defense Dissemination Program Office (DDPO), and the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation
Symbolic structures easily lend themselves to photographic interpretation
. Photographers can isolate powerful symbols within their frames--most often in abstract, rather than literal terms--to tell a story, make a point and express an idea.
"It is this sense - or even sensation - of place that I attempt to capture, rather than a slavishly photographic interpretation
of a particular place."
But image analyser Geoffrey Oxley, a retired RAF intelligence commander trained in photographic interpretation
and acting as an expert witness for the prosecution, said he was satisfied a man hurling missiles into Dempsey's bar opposite Cardiff Castle was Donnelly.
NIMA was formed on October 1, 1996, through the consolidation, in their entirety, of the Defense Mapping Agency, the Central Imagery Office and the National Photographic Interpretation
By combining historic record and modern photographic interpretation
, the book escapes a pitfall that plagues so many others on the Civil War--blow-by-blow descriptions of its military history.
The author was a photo interpreter for the Central Intelligence Agency's National Photographic Interpretation
Center (NPIC) during the crisis and he relates in exacting detail the methods of processing and interpreting surveillance photographs of Cuba in 1962.