Barthes: photography is considered a truth for example Barthes didn’t think he went to a certain event but when he saw a photograph of himself there he believed that he must have been there and forgotten about it.

Henri Catier Bresson – decisive moment, believed that photographs shouldn’t be tampered with as it effects the validity of a photo.

Kevin Carter Pulitzer – photographed the image of the vulture with the girl. He justified not helping her by saying he is only there to observe.

W Eugene Smith believes the integrity of a photo is a tell a story rather for example in one of his images he asked the woman to throw the bucket of water although this wasn’t a complete truth it didn’t detract from the essence of the story. Diane Arbus and the boy with the grenade is another example.

Susan Sontagg believes we have missed the point of a photograph if we forget about the person in it, for example Robert Capa’s solider being shot 

Paul Hansen took photos of of Palestinian men carrying their nephews after the Israelis shot them. The photo looked more like an advertising shot, so many people question the truth of the image. The image looked more like it was advertising because Hansen edited five layers to the photo to bring out certain aspects of the photo and placed the layers on top of one another like in HDR photography.

Russian’s took out people from their photos like Lenin.

Amateur shots, taken on phones, are more believable now, for example the shots of American soldiers abusing prisoners.

One photographer got his flatmate to take a photograph of him from their flat roof and in the background was the Twin Towers burning after the events of 911.

Photography and Death.

This subject is very much a taboo subject, especially in Western cultures.

Photo of men being hung in Indian 1930, where a crowd came to watch. (Link shows sensitive image)

Victorians photographed death, became like a memory.

On graves you might find a photo of the person, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Briony Campbell – The Dad Project, she documented her dad’s death, a way of memorialising her dad.

Andres Serrono – artist interpretation of morgue photos, titled with the way the person died.

Paul Smith’s – Impact series

We were asked in our groups to find out about one of the following:

  • Mass observation
  • New Topographics
  • Farm Security Administration
  • Objective Style Photography from the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie

I chose to write about Mass Observation for my group:

Mass Observation was created as a social experiment founded by three men Tom Harrisson, Charles Madge and Humphrey Jennings in 1937.  The aim was to gain an insight into the everyday lives of the general public of Britain and to change the perception that the men believed the media and politicians had cast on the people of Britain. A national group of people was formed the included amateur observers and trained fieldworkers everyone was assigned topics to focus on such as pub culture, effects of air raids or thoughts on happiness. The project stopped in the 50s and then relaunched under the title of Mass Observation in the early 80s with similar themes. The data collected was in many different mediums writing such as letters, lists, reports and anecdotal, drawings and photographs and objects such diaries, maps and newspaper cuttings. More than 4,500 people have taken part and many of them continued over many years. The creators understand that the volunteers may not be completely representative of the entire population but they could be considered citizen journals giving an insight into their lives.


We then watched part of  a film about Don McCullin and discussed what we saw. We compared him to Henri Catier-Bresson, that they are similar in terms of the decisive moment.

Finally we reviewed our summer tasks. We chose of the reviews from our summer project. I chose my Notting Hill Carnival review, I felt mine went well, the only criticism would have been to include history of the of the carnival, I will include this on the page of the review found here.


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