Monday, October 11, 2010

TERM 4 : Week 1

Photography as a social document & photojournalism.

Social documentary and photojournalism are the two major genres of photography where ethics become important.
Perhaps what defines this ethical importance most is the circulation of the images. The circulation of an image is very important when dictating the responsibility of that image. Context is everything.
Photojournalism started out as etchings in newspapers to support articles, this also raises the topic of the difference of using photographs and photographic images, two entirely separate things.
Social commentary and photojournalism also raise the major topic of tension between truthful imagery and photo manipulation as it is expected that photo journalists have a responsibility to be objective as the document side of photography is stating "THIS IS THE TRUTH".
This issue is raised in such things at the OJ Simpson photo in TIME magazine, in which Simpson's skin was portrayed as considerably darker than the original image on the cover of the magazine, hence changing the visual coding and the meaning of the photograph/the story that went along with it.

Mainly photojournalist / social documents aim for the audience to view an image, raise awareness and act compassionately -> give money to charities etc etc.

Issue of candidness is raise when Riis introduced spontaneity to his photos by using magnesium flash powder, which would shock his models and get them to react accordingly. Raised the idea that spontaneity is more real than something carefully constructed, which we know is not the case.

Today more people are aware of the ethical transaction as there is more awareness about camera's and photography. James Nachtwey -> not wanting to be exploitative by making human contact before doing a shoot.

Photo journalists have the power to say something on someone elses behalf.

Genre of documentary photography remains the same, generally subject positioned in the center of the photo and surrounded by elements that tell the story of that person

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