I found all these links very useful; it pushed me into doing more research on these projects. The good thing is that some of these projects are very successful and others are not… this gives us a chance to see why…
‘Interrogations’ by Donald Weber
“Watching the methods was not pleasant. Humiliation, violence, degradation. How could you not be repulsed? But the reasons I was there were not for judging them, but was to actually show something very special in the terms of the secrecy of the act. I made a special document precisely because it was about the ‘absence of the void,’ that it showed humans at their most vulnerable and most cruel. This series could easily be judged along the same lines as a war photographer that constantly gets criticized for not doing anything, for not jumping into the fray.”
9:30AM PST, NOV. 10TH
As you know, so often I think it is important that a photographer really describes the circumstances of their work. Donald Weber must be aware that I harp on about access (as it relates to photography in prisons) because he emailed me and asked me to pass on this information:
“As you know, I’ve spent almost six years living and working in this area. On my very first trip I met a police detective with whom I got along with. Over time, we developed a bond and a trust. Every trip I would bring him photographs and was always very upfront with my work, who I was and what I was doing. Never hiding the results, however critical they may be of him and the methods the police employ.”
“About five years ago I witnessed my first interrogation, and was utterly shocked at its violence, not just physically but mentally as well. Solzhenitsyn talks for almost a third of his book The Gulag Archipelago about the nature of interrogation, and the importance of the interrogation not just through Soviet history, but universally. He would think everyday about the moment of his interrogation how he was broken, and everyday about the moment of his execution. So, the seed for this story was planted.”
“For obvious reasons I could not just ask to photograph inside an interrogation. As my work progressed, so did my police contact, who rose over time to the rank of Major. He had gained a position of authority to grant permission. Since we had spent so many years together photographing, he was aware of my methods and how I worked. We rarely spoke to each other, during work or after hours. I felt it best to maintain as much distance as possible but still respectful of his role. When he finally granted permission he still made me work for the access to the actual accused.”
“I sat almost everyday for four months on a bench in a hallway of the police station waiting with the people who were to be interrogated. The first month, not a single frame was photographed. Each day I would show up 9am, and leave approximately 12 hours later. Most days were spent with nothing to photograph, many of the accused were not interested in having there photo taken. On average, I was lucky to photograph maybe two people a week over a four month period.”
“This was not simply a case of walking in saying hello as a privileged Westerner and flashing my camera around. This was a project five years in the making. So before anybody rushes to quick judgement, I felt the facts as to how the work was created should be shared.”
About these ads
‘’Interrogations, by Donald Weber, is a collection of images operating along the undefined boundaries between the private and the public. Photographs of arrested petty criminals at the moment of their confession convey a raw honesty that is painful to see. It is painful because in most images those photographed show obvious guilt, which is a strong emotion usually confined to the private domain. So there are interesting ethical issues surrounding Weber’s work.’’
‘Traces’ by Manuel Vazquez
‘’However, it was the work of fellow Spaniard Manuel Vázquez which I found the most moving in the Time & Motion display. His visual renditions in response of the 2004 Atocha bombing in Madrid make use of universal metaphors of dark and light, life and death, blurring the boundaries between fiction and reality yet conveying a strong and poignant message. Vázquez also explored the multimedia environment for this body of work.’’
‘Sleepers’ Dhruv Malhotra
‘’Dhruv Malhotra’s Sleepers portfolio blew me away. OCA level 3 students reading this, please go and see his work. This is a lesson for us all in the West, with our far-reaching gaze which is at the same time inherently shortsighted. Here we have an Indian photographer from Jaipur who could teach us a thing or two about what it takes to put together a coherent and captivating body of work on a humanist topic of universal appeal.’’
‘’I think there was a universal thumbs up for Dhruv Malhotra’s’Sleepers’.
‘The Election Project’ by Simon Roberts
‘’ The other body of work at the Co-Op building I would like to mention is Simon Roberts’ The Election Project. You may have heard of it. It provides an interesting visual and conceptual counterpoint to Malhotra’s sleepers. Sitting on a fence is hardly a comfortable place to be so I will take a stance here, for the better or the worse. Roberts’ images left me cold. What is photography if not a mechanism to elicit emotions in the viewer? Roberts’ images triggered zero emotions in me – unless you count my frustation and mild annoyance at his work as emotions. What purpose do his images serve? To me, they reflect an election utopia, an idealised society devoid of emotions and tension embarked in the ultimate civilised activity: a confrontation-free electoral process.
So you see Roberts’ images, and then you go to the far end of the exhibition were election photographs taken by the public are also shown in a collage. Here you will spot posters of Gordon Brown defaced with red paint – a metaphore for the spill of blood in Iraq? And photographs of David Cameron with a hand-painted toothbrush moustache – OK, unfair but very funny. Yes, emotions, they make us human. On a very personal level, and intellectual and artistic considerations aside, I’d rather see the photographs taken by the public one hundred times than Roberts’. Because if a photograph doesn’t make the viewer feel anything, well, what is the point of taking it in the first place?’’
‘’ Can’t comment on Simon Roberts because there was a power failure on the first floor of the Old Co-Op building when I was there. They certainly didn’t look too good in semi-darkness!’’
‘’ I share Jose’s concerns with regards to the Election Project images…on first sight they left me a bit cold. Although I have to admit as I spent more time looking at the images I began to see more in them – perhaps this was Simon Roberts’ intention…to make us look and think.’’
‘Closer’ by Stuart Griffiths
‘’ I thought that, and Stuart Griffiths’ ‘Closer’, were the strongest work of the Brighton shows.
A lot of the rest provided plenty of grist to the mill in the context of some of the debates already taking place on here, irrespective of its appeal.’’
Queer Brighton by Molly Landreth
‘’ For me the highlights were the sensitive portraits by Molly Landreth – Queer Brighton at the Lighthouse and Mexican taxi driver, Oscar Fernando Gomez’s, photographs through the window of his cab on show at the Co-operative Department store.’’
‘Windows 2009’ by Oscar Fernando Gomez
‘’ I knew that no matter how shocked I initially was when I first saw the slideshow by Peter Dench, I would eventually say something positive about his work. “Don’t do it”, I said to myself, “you are from Barcelona”…well, I’m not really, but even though the UK is my country of adoption, I’m still, strictly speaking, a foreigner.
And that poses certain challenges when it comes to doing cross-cultural analysis, which is why I wanted to remain neutral about Denche’s work. But sitting on the fence is pretty uncomfortable, and the opportunity to stir controversy too attractive, so I’ll take sides, for the better or the worse: I actually like his work. I’m not talking about his photographs of drunks, on which I totally agree with Gareth, I mean the other set of images shown on the slideshow, those tackling the topic of multiculturalism. I find them visually unsophisticated, and that’s precisely why I like them so much. Slanted, unbalanced and off-the-cuff compositions add a layer of instability to his work which perfectly matches the subject matter. I look at his photographs and I get a sense of a precariously unstable exercise in multiculturalism. I’m not making a judgement here; but that’s what I felt when looking at Denche’s images.’’
‘’ The idea of authorship was challenged by Michael Wolf in his ‘A series of unfortunate events’. A collection of images regurgitated by Google Street View made up his exhibition. His photographs – they’re not his, are they? – highlight nothing if not the fact that we all like looking at things. It’s called scopophilia and it is hard wired in us. And if you’re thinking that the sexual connotations of the term are not relevant within the context of Michael Woolf’s work, well, think again because by looking at his work at Derby’s QUAD you – like me – became a voyeur. BJP magazine interviewed Michael Woolf at Format; worth watching to know more about the photographer’s motivations behind his work.’’
‘’ Which leads me to the topic of Street Photography, the main theme of Format and a genre which I love and hate in equal measure – you can read an older post on street photography here. Photography heavy-weight Joel Meyerowitz said that:
“Street photography is pure photography because it never borrowed from the vocabulary of painting in the way still-life, portraiture, genre-studies and landscape did. Most people now carry a camera-phone, and through the agency of the internet, a new generation has the potential to show us raw genius from the ranks of the millions of people now photographing this way.
(you can listen to an interview with Joel Meyerowitz on BBC’s Front Row – fast forward to 17′)
And with all the respect that I have for someone like him, I can’t help thinking that that’s a scary prospect, if not a dystopic one. No matter how compelling some street photography can be, as demonstrated by the In-Public collective exhibition at Derby Museum, I still find some of it slightly creepy. Millions of people with easy-to-conceal cameras observing us, stalking us. Did I say observing us? Street photography, with all its potential for communication, uncomfortably resonates with the Mass Observation Project.’’
Project Colour and modernity
Exercise 1: Read the article ‘Seeing and Believing’, written by Max Houghton for Foto8.
Core resources: Foto8#4.3_SeeingBelieving.pdf
The full issue is available to download from: http:/issuu.com/foto8/docs/vol4no3
Select two bodies of work from Eight Ways to Change the World that show different conceptual and visual styles and write a short reflective commentary in your learning log. Both bodies of work should be in colour. Discuss aspects like information, aesthetics and expression.
Core resources: Panos8ways.pdf
This article is about how non-government organizations (NGO) used photography to manipulate charity work idea.
The questions arise if photographs would be more truthful if were photographed by local photographs? Photographers from elsewhere may be influenced by NGO. However local photographers do not have relevant education and experience to do it.
Houghton explains how NGO uses their images, they records things what has been done to help those poor people, in the way attracting us to donate money and continue helping those people. However as many charities, lots of those money are going towards things no one promotes. Images we see are not truth, this documentary course proved this many times.
The main point is that getting closer to your subject, revealing more information, to show how charity work helped them is more interesting than sad images of hungry kids. I think the problem is that people stopped believing that help is possible and action was taken, as it wasn’t enough information.
The first image I chose from project Eight Ways to Change the World is taken at school. Limited access of education is popular between many documentary photographers. This image has strong signs, which creates narrative and raises many questions. I understand this image as the young lady ask for one more child to be educated with the help of charities, one after one this could lead to groups. This image is a proof that schools exists andruns well.I do understand that colour is revolution in documentary photography, however photographer doesn’t use very bright colours, seems like some of them are desaturated. Also I find format of the image quite different maybe cropped image? As there is no B&W option photographer decide to illuminate not important parts this way?
This image has strong signs too. Bricks symbolize building better lives and fulfill their dreams. Despite that those men lives in poverty they are able to work and support their families. What ‘s charity role in this? Provide bricks, equipment for work and better living. I can notice again that image does not contain much background and photograph format is different again, this is totally different to B&W.
Exercise 2: Choose a topic that interests you and produce a small portfolio of five colour images in a surrealist style.
Share your portfolio with the OCA communities in OCA/student and ask fellow students to comment.
Before you start this exercise visit Peter Dench’s website www.peterdench.com
Analyse Dench’s style, looking particularly at his use of surrealism. How effective is surrealism as visual and conceptual strategy in Dench’s documentary photography?
Peter Dench photographs UK during different occasions and situations, his photographic albums such as etic, love, drink, rain, fashion and so on. I paid attention to his album called ‘the last resort revisited’ which has strong influence by Martin Paar.
His surrealistic style with humor and special depiction creates powerful image of British every day life and problems/issues. However some of themes he chooses in my opinion has no narrative and some composition are not so strong. It feels like he only shot what he see instead of trying to create better composition with powerful narrative.
My five surrealistic images in color:
Topic: Light expressions
Exercise 3: Read the first chapter of The Tourist Gaze. Core resources: Urry_TouristGaze.pdf Write a 200-word reflective commentary in your learning log about its relevance to documentary photography.
This chapter from book ‘The Tourist Gaze’ introduces us with Tourism in many ways: various social classes, cultures understand Tourism differently; gaze and photos that are produced reflect this different too.
I tried to find relevance to documentary photography, more closely to street photography. Urry talks about gazing to other people personal life, to be honest gazing is important part of street photography too as we need to find out why we will be taking this image, what details and composition can work better together and finally waiting for right moment, decisive moment.
In my opinion travel photography takes a huge responsibility for producing right photos with huge volume of information and details to attract potential client. By seeing those photographs we imagine the place and more often is not like we expected.
I remember looking at photos of Paris and wondering how great it would be to get there, Eifel Tower seem to be something magical, love flies around, many kissing people. Reality I saw when I get there was very far away from my illusion: huge tourist queue, waiting for 5 hours to get there, many policeman with guns, drinking wine at every corner and don’t forget very enjoying souvenir’s sellers.
Exercise 4: Go to: http://www.insight-visual.com/paul-exhibition.html
and look at Paul Close’s environmental portraits. Analyse his visual style and consider whether the images work as documentary photographs and, if so, why.
Firstly few definitions of documentary photography:
Documentary photography has implied a practice in which the photographer examined a socially conscious concern of the time within an extended form. An extensive series of images as well as the use of text are utilized to provide an in-depth examination into a subject with the intention to suggest empathy and/or social change.
Documentary photography is extended form — that is, a work composed of a sizeable number of images. Some relation to text is a given, even if it’s only minimal, as in the identification of subject, date, and location; the text may in fact be extensive. There is no external time limit implicit in this form; some documentary projects have stretched over decades.
For this reason, the documentary photographer is likely to have the opportunity to refine the project, not only through the analysis of the work-in-progress at various stages but even by the reshooting of unsatisfactory segments of the work. The elaborate nature of such projects lends itself to subjects that are seen as enduring; for much the same reason, the final forms they assume tend to be durable: the book and the exhibition have to date functioned as the primary embodiments of documentary projects, though certain audio-visual formats are serving this purpose with increasing frequency.
– A.D. Coleman, from his essay, Documentary, Photojournalism, and Press Photography Now – Notes and Questions and published in Depth of Field.
Documentary photography has come to represent the social conscience of liberal sensibility presented in visual imagery. Like photos of children in pleas for donations to international charity organizations, liberal documentary implores us to look in the face of deprivation and to weep (and maybe send money, if it is to some faraway place where the innocence of childhood poverty does not set off in us the train of thought that begins with denial and ends with “welfare cheat.”)
The expose, the compassion and outrage, of documentary fueled by the dedication to reform has shaded over into combinations of exoticism, tourism, voyeurism, psychologism, and metaphysics, trophy hunting – and careerism.
It is easy to understand why what has ceased to be news becomes testimonial to the bearer of the news. Documentary testifies, finally, to the bravery or (dare we name it?) the manipulativeness and savvy of the photographer, who entered a situation of physical danger, social restrictedness, human decay, or combinations of these and saved us the trouble. Or who, like the astronauts, entertained us by showing us the places we never hope to go. War photography, slum photography, “subculture” or cult photography, photography of the foreign poor, photography of “deviance.”
Martha Rosler, from her essay, In, around and afterthoughts (on documentary photography) and published in The Contest of Meaning: Critical Histories of Photography, edited by Richard Bolton
As I see it, the intentions of a documentary photographer are to record some aspects of reality, by producing a depiction of what the photographer saw and which portends to represent that reality in as objective a manner as possible. If we can agree to that description, I can already see our critics pounding on their desks accompanied by some degree of glee on their faces, as they suggest that this is precisely the reason why there is no room for the computer to be used in recreating documentary images.
I believe we have already discussed in all sorts of forums the fact that photography per se, is tantamount to manipulation. That the impact of the lens selected, the film chosen, and all the other technical variables leave ample room to question the so called “faithful representation” of reality.
So why are so many people up in arms about the idea that a photograph edited in the computer is not really a true documentary representation? As I have come to understand it, it has mainly to do with past traditions and customs.
Pedro Meyer, from his essay Redefining Documentary Photography and published in The Real and the True: The Digital Photography of Pedro Meyer
Paul Close has very strong photographic voice, looking from the side it looks like he follows Ricard Avedon signature. Avedon main idea was to separate subjects from their background. I think this type of photography is difficult to understand, as there are no details to tell anything about subject, however we are forced to look at his eyes, lips, facial expression, body language, and clothes.
Close places his subject on the white background, however leaves plenty of important links behind it. There are people standing behind white background or some kind important place that definitely links with the subject. This type of photography is interesting to view; it’s like puzzle you have to find right pieces connecting to the subject and have to think why and how it used.
I like the idea how photographic separation makes subject and his environment even closer, it seems like this way subject importance to his environment is shown. In my opinion white colour gives strong contrast to the rest of the image, black background would not have same affect? This portfolio also raises the idea that tourist will never be professional photographer, there is always a chance to catch really good moment, but professional photographers has a reason why and instructions how he will achieve successful image. I will categorize his photography as documentary as there is a lot of important information, there are clear signs of what African needs and aspirations are.
Exercise 5: Read the interview with Cia Rinne on The Roma Journeys. Core resources: CiaRinne.pdf.
Research and compare Koudelka’s Gypsies and Eskildsen’s The Roma Journeys. Discuss aspects to do with the photographer’s intention and the distinctive aesthetics and approach of each body of work.
The interview introduces us with Eskildsen’s photographic project about Roma’s life and conditions what occur. This project been produced between 2000 and 2006 with help of Cia Rinne. Photographers spent lot of time with their subject, even lived with them if circumstances were right. The interesting fact is that photographers did not have a certain photographic goal before traveling to Roma, there was only their own interest and curiosity. I found this very surprising, this means that there is no need to preplan or to set goal for yourself prior shooting…This is totally different what we are told by OCA learning materials and tutors?
We are asked to research and compare Kaudeka’s Gypsies and Eskildsen’s The Roma Journeys.
- The first biggest difference is the choice of photography. Kaudeka photographed in Black and White and Eskildsen used colour in some of his photographs. In my opinion black and white create stronger feelings and circumstances that photographers wants to express.
- Kaudeka’s images represent older era, many of his subject are older people, we can see in their eyes, body positioning and expressions they hard live they lived, it seems like they did not have any modernity in their lives.
- The photographic detail as colour documentary photography says us that Eskildsen’s photographs are modern and more like contemporary art.
- Eskildsen photographed young people, his images full of positive feelings, there is no signs different view to gypsies lives.
- I noticed that Eskilsen’s project including gypsies of seven different countries are very different, this shows us a huge impacts and affects of home country, this creates the rules of live.
Exercise 6: Exercise
Read the article on We English in Eight magazine (issue 25, summer 2009). Core resources: Foto8#25_WeEnglish.pdf
The full issue of the magazine is available to download at:
Download Stephen Daniels’ introductory essay to We English and the relevant contact sheets from:
Write a short reflective commentary.
Simon Roberts uses ‘Motherland’ project as a tool for representing how English people are attached to their homeland. Photographer decides to take images of people in everyday life and social activities.
Simon Roberts has very close idea as Tony Ray-Jones, Martin
Parr and John Davies but he has a different approach, his image are more distance, there I more connection between people and landscape.
I found one of his sentences quite disturbing:
‘’It’s an enormous amount of work, incredibly time consuming, and this
is one of things young photographers don’t realise – 20 per cent of your time
is taking pictures and 80 per cent is banging your head against a wall trying
to make things happen.”
I am not sure if I can agree with this, in my photographic projects I definitely spend more than 50 per cent on my time on photographing and rest on writing, explaining and creating visual idea. There are so many successful photographers round and each of them have their own techniques which can not be judged.
Robert’s wide frame pictures have very strong little details in foreground, most of the time there are people who make frame full, they explain why this image is English and purpose of each beautiful landscape.
‘’Many of the most memorable shots incorporate coastal scenes yet I wonder how much of this statement is weighed down with personal memory and in so doing realise this is a huge part of the work’s charm. Woolacombe beach, in Devon, where I spent a holiday as a ve-year- old, provides now, as then, a perfect sandy playground. Holkham beach, here swathed in soft dusky sunlight, in Norfolk, brings together a game of cricket as well as a mother chastising her child for unfair play and an endless trail of people meandering down to the sea. The beach is Sarah Roberts’
favorite place, and so the annual family visit there takes on a sense of pilgrimage. A snowy scene plays out on a golf course, near Roberts’ parents’ home
in Oxted, Surrey. In this one image there is a sense of the Englishness of manufactured landscapes, a painterly quality that Roberts frequently brings to each frame and the personal association (the young Roberts would toboggan there as a child).’’
The words above show us strong personal links to selected places, once again every successful photographic projects are based on personal interests, places or feelings.
Exercise 7: Exercise
Read Brett Rogers’ introduction to the online gallery of Documentary Dilemmas at:
Follow the ‘Glossary’ link.
Look at the work of the photographers highlighted above and others.
You might nd it useful to read the Arts Council document Changing Britain as a brief
contextual background to Documentary Dilemmas.
Core resources: ChangingBritain.pdf
http://collection.britishcouncil.org/whats_on/exhibition/11/14136 – link no longer exists
Steele- Perkins photographs are unique because of his strong choice of decisive moment, he catches it exactly in the right time, He took the project on British poverty, used to knock on the door and asked to take pictures of people in their environment. His psychologist studies helped him to understand his subjects better, in the same way to pass this information to viewer. My favorite photograph is “Bingo for pensioners” 1975, I love the way how photographers chooses the right moment, Bingo has to be fun for old people, chance to escape home and speak to other people, chance to escape their lonely lives, however this image talks about poverty and hard life which, it seems that image is about Bingo game, but this is the way to see the sign of poverty.
Looking at ray-Jones images I noticed that they are very similar to Martin Parr and Chris Steele-Perkins photography. Tony Ray-Jones influenced them both together with Daniel meadows and Simon Roberts. Tony Ray-Jones had strong personality and very simple thinking of photography: “Do not take boring photographs”. He gained degree in graphic design at Yale, United States. So he had a strong opinion about Creative Camera magazine – “Your magazine’s shit.’’ Streets and seaside were the main photographic places for Ray-Jones, however he took some photographs at boarding school, opera festival, beauty contest and pop festivals. He had a perfect eye for detail that perfectly worked in his complex compositions. Most of his images seems to be cluttered, however every detail is there for a reason.
I do like an idea of capturing same street in different occasions; there are variations of situations in his project. The book ‘’Present” “relays on idea that present last only for couple of seconds when new situation occurs. There is very abstract theme and hard to develop into a project, however Paul Graham managed to do this very well.
Martin Parr has very unique way to present world to us, his garish colours and unusual compositions creates totally different way that we never though of. He uses symbols to pass a message to the viewer, the strongest symbol I have seen recently is alcohol and young people, he pass the strong image to the public, however the photograph doesn’t look so serious. He creates inimitable photos, which can not be repeated. His photographic approach perfectly works for art photography; together his images can be used in advertising in journals and newspapers, One of the most interesting techniques he uses is humor, his images makes us to recognize ourselves and laugh from it.
First major retrospective photographer, manly worked on middle class mining district. He grew up in such a family; this is why all those situations and photographers were very close to him. It is like insider on the outside. He has many very interesting photographic projects such as “Can I help’’ and “Day dreaming about good times’’ – it seems like those two takes us back to eighties, it seems like we are back to old supper markets, miners, old fashion clothes and so on.
Anna’s tutors were Paul Graham, Martin Parr and Karen Knorr, this influence is clearly seen in her photographs. The most famous project – Work Stations, competing, employment and people at every day life. Anna Fox used colour and flash, her main intensions were to record present, produce images that gives this felling. Large scale images with lots of colour and it had to be sharp, combination of text and images. Humor in photographs is perfect tool to engage with viewers. Anna Fox projects looked more like journalistically project, as she interviewed everyone she took photographs of.
Read the document ‘Martin Parr: Photographic Works 1971–2000’ by the National Museum
of Photography, Film and Television. Core resources: Parr.pdf
Watch an audio slide show of Martin Parr talking about his progression from B&W to colour
photography and The Last Resort: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJinAgBYaLs
In this video Martin Parr acknowledges and defends what he calls the “hypocrisy and
prejudice” in his work. What do you think about this statement? Write a short re‑ective
commentary in your learning log.
We have heard Martin Parr’s name quite a lot during studies with OCA. The reason would be that he is the perfect influence for colour documentary photography. He definitely has his own photographic voice, together with a good eye to decisive moment; he catches people in the vulnerable situations with odd and funny facial expressions. However he does this for a reason, every project has clear idea why and what he wants to tell. He is brave photographer, his project Boring seems to my very interesting: to take boring images for the sake of it, while other photographers tries to attract viewer with something interesting in their images, Parr choses totally opposite way.
To me all Parr’s projects are very unique, every photograph requires attention to details, so we can understand what photographer has to say. I like the way Parr produces new project, his chooses main problems what surrounds him, so he is very familiar with them and this is easy to reflect it in his imaginary.
Martin Parr calls ‘hypocrisy and prejudice’ that is strongly shown in his photographs, however in you look more carefully into details he is preaching against this. This is the reason why every image has to be studied more carefully; every detail there is for a reason. For example project where English people went to France to get duty free food products, the main idea was to show the wellness of West, however the details shows us angry, untrusted, desperate and rowel people.
Exercise 9: Read the article on England Uncensored by the BBC Picture Editor Phil Coomes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/17190001
Dench talks about his “humorous approach with an underlying social commentary”. What do you think of this approach? Does it work? What are the ethical issues?
Peter Dench had a clear idea how he want his photograph to be presented, humor helps to attract viewer, however photographical voice offers social commentary, which starts discussions and makes this work more popular.
I think this approach worked very well, this can be proved by World Press Photo Award. In my opinion it was easy for Peter Dench to follow Martin Parr’s footsteps, as his project ‘The Last Resort’ created the rules and footpath for younger generation.
There are issues that Dench confirms, his images are struggling for better camera settings, and he calls it laziness and fear.
Dench images have the ethical issues, subjects are caught in uncomfortable situations and I do not think they would like anyone to see those photos.
Exercise 10: Exercise
Read the article ‘Think Global, Act Local’ by Diane Smyth (BJP Aug 2010, p.55):
http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/interview/1932196/global-act-local Research Tom Hunter’s work at http://www.tomhunter.org/html/news.php
Finally, listen to Tom Hunter talking about one of his most iconic images, Woman reading a possession order, on Radio 3: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zt7ky
Summarise your thoughts in your learning log or blog
Tom Hunter takes a project on to show his neighborhood in a better way, than it is shown in newspapers.
There are many interesting facts about him, he left school aged 15, worked as laborer, then tree surgeon up to age of 29, when he started his photography education. Many of his projects are very personal, which helps him to created closer view; he also manipulates situations, to attract more attention to the social problems.
I do agree with many Hunter’s ideas, such as we do not need an expensive photographic equipment to create good images, that is better to take only three good images, than thousands, that his images are about passing a message to public, fictions are not less true full than straight photography.
Hunter also thinks that photography is all about art and message to the public, he does not like that his photographs buy reach people and hang them on their wall.
BB3 recording reveals some additional information about Tom Hunter and his work. Hunter links his photographs ‘’The Ghetto’’ to The Golden Age of Dutch painting – artist Vemeer. Hunter been influenced by his paintings. There are many similarities to this, composition, idea and mood.
I found this photographer very unique, open and he definitely knows what he wants to achieve with his photography project.
Exercise 11: Exercise
View the video on Hasan and Husain Essop at the V&A exhibition Figures and Fictions and write a short reflective commentary in your learning log or blog.
Identical twins Hasan and Husain Essop, creates and amazing idea of altering documentary images after shooting, another very unique idea is that they are only two actors in all set of images this is because they are not allowed to shoot and display images of other Muslims due their religion.
They subject is Muslim faith, they were grown up in very strict Muslim family, so they are trying to reflect this to younger generation and it seems that this slowly dies in their environment.
They were thinking for a long time on photographic subject, when they looked at the strongest teenagers issues, strong western influence, where Muslim has to give up their Islamic faith in order to act like westerns.
They have unique way of creating an image, each of them think separately and create his own image, then they discuss it and put together all information, create an image.
There is an issue that this type of photography seems too far away from tradition photography as it does not seems to be real, we can not find real faces, emotions, body language, relationship with other people.
I found this information very useful, documentary does not mean only images taken know and reflecting current situation, it can be staged and also altered after shooting.
Exercise 12: Exercise
Read the article on Jeff Wall in Pluk magazine. Core resources: pluk_JeffWall.pdf Briefly reflect on the documentary value of Jeff Wall’s work.
I found Jeff Wall’s images boring with no links to documentary photography. It seems like those photographs are not finished, some important parts are missing; there is no connection to viewer.
His work is staged and performed, like Husan and Husain photographs, however objects seems just too far away, others taken from subject’s back, hides all necessary information.
Domestic and everyday scenes do not seem very informative; I can not feel any message to be send out from these images. It reminds me of Martin Parr project ‘Boring”.
Exercise 13: Exercise
Read the WeAreOCA blog post ‘Seeing is Believing’:
Read all the replies to it then write your own comment, both on the blog page and in your own blog. Make sure that you visit all the links on the blog post. Base your opinion on solid arguments and, if you can, refer to other contributions to the blog.
This is very interesting article; however we need more proof that those images are not real and are altered with Photoshop. We grown up in society where we are keen to believe everything we see and this is totally normal, firstly every human being tend to believe and only afterwards he raises questions which caused daubs in the information we see.
We all know that image of Osama Bin Laden appeared in newspaper at the same time we understand that those kind of images if they would be real could not be released by press, I guess it should be some kid of government secret.
I wrote an essay based on this thematic, and if you will look carefully into this image, you can see difference in colors and tones between Bin Laden’s body and face. I only can guess that this has been done by purpose.
Question: Seeing is believing? Can only be answered by everyone personally, this states comments on article. So answering this yes or no is impossible, as everyone has his own thoughts on this. This actually reminds me of believing in God, many people do believe in God, but others don’t.