Reading a photograph is a considerably different process from critiquing a photograph. Minor White had a different terminology. He preferred to call it experiencing a photograph. Here is a blurb from an article written by him that appeared in Aperture magazine.
"Postpone judgment! When starting to read, experience a photograph, or take part in a photograph (or picture of any kind) first put aside both like and dislike. Leave criticism to the last, or better still forget to criticize."
Reading a photograph has nothing to do with the 'conventional wisdoms' we all know by rote. It is trying to understand the photograph rather than the craft of photography.
Bring along one or two of your own photographs if you like. Look for photographs that have special meaning to you. Generally the photographs that are the most interesting, the most valuable to 'read' are the ones that would do the worst in a camera club competition or would be the least likely to sell as a wall hanging. Those are the photographs that are more likely from within your soul, something really important to you as a person. They are the photographs that stir an emotion or have metaphorical meaning; the ones that make you happy, sad, wonder, question or even tell a truth or a secret. They are personal rather than cliché. Be prepared to talk about your photograph—not how you made it, but why you made it and what it means to you.
The September Reading Photographs will be on Sunday, Sept 29th, 2:00PM at the Katy Contemporary Art Museum. Further details to follow. This will be limited to six participants. Please only RSVP if you are sure you will be there. Don't block a spot from someone else. Thanks!