[YPS SIG] Re: documentary photography anyone ?

  • From: John Illingworth <johnillyphotography@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: sig_yorkps@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 17:09:05 +0000

My thanks to photo.net for this brief explanation of "documentary

First, we generally think of documentary photography as photography that
has a connection to real situations and that attempts to represent those
situations with minimal distortion. We know, of course, that even though we
think of photographs as honest evidence, they can lie in many ways -- but
here the distinction is that we expect the documentary photographer to
attempt to present work that minimizes this, or at least doesn't
purposefully misrepresent. Walker Evans said that the term should be
"documentary-style" photography, because it was really meant to be art,
where true "documentary photography" would be photographs that served a
function. That is, if you were in an auto accident, you might make a
photograph of the damage to the car as evidence for the police or for an
insurance company. Someone doing a documentary photography project on auto
collisions on a dangerous stretch of freeway, however, wouldn't really care
if their image was great evidence for those purposes -- they would be more
concerned if it worked for the project they are doing, and perhaps about
its aesthetic qualities.

A great place to start looking at documentary (or documentary-style)
photography would be the work of Mary Ellen Mark. She has many books you
can find in any local library or bookstore. Often they involve immersion
into a particular culture or activity or place, and reveal at a very deep
level how people live and often something about human nature. They are also
usually amazing when appreciated as visual art.
Well its a start I suppose.

John I.

On 15 November 2011 16:55, Charlie Eddington <ceddington@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>  I'd be interested in the documentary group and also the contemporary one
> that was previously discussed. I appear to be getting jobs doing
> documentary stuff so I need some help!
> Cheers,
> Charlie
> Charlie Eddington
> e: ceddington@xxxxxxxxx
> w: www.charlieeddington.co.uk
> On 13/11/2011 09:54, Allan Harris wrote:
> OK then, we have a new group!
> Allan
> On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 22:29, sarah i'anson <sarahplews1@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
> <sarahplews1@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>  That's three of us then know nothing/ not very good, which seems an
> excellent starting point!
> ________________________________
> Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 20:47:00 +0000
> Subject: [YPS SIG] Re: documentary photography anyone ?
> From: johnillyphotography@xxxxxxxxx
> To: sig_yorkps@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> I'm up for a bit of that!
> I know nothing about it though
> John I.
> On 11 November 2011 12:18, Allan Harris <allanharris.harris@xxxxxxxxx> 
> <allanharris.harris@xxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
> Yes! I'm just not very good at it.
> Allan
> On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 21:41, Sarah I"Anson <sarahplews1@xxxxxxxxxxx> 
> <sarahplews1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
>  Hello
> This is just a provisional anyone else interested in documentary
> photography
> ?
> Sarah
>  --
> Allan Harris
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> --
> John Illingworth, LRPSwww.fiji-images.co.uk
> Tel: 07792379106

John Illingworth, LRPS
Tel: 07792379106

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