[YPS SIG] Re: documentary photography anyone ?

  • From: sarah i'anson <sarahplews1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <sig_yorkps@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 19:00:22 +0000

Apologies for the reference to 'both' in context of film.cameras. Ive only just 
opened emails properly and seen your replies Charlie and Sue, so that should 
read 'all'



From: sarahplews1@xxxxxxxxxxx
To: sig_yorkps@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [YPS SIG] Re: documentary photography anyone ?
Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 18:55:53 +0000

What a useful clarification. Part of my job is consultations with people who 
live and work in older peoples homes - If professional ethics were not a 
barrier Id  have my camera with me like a shot! Much of the work involves 
lengthy and sometimes intimate discussion with groups and individuals in their 
own environment and I sometimes can't help.but think of the great image the 
person/group would make. 
Anyway I digress!

Do you both still have  film cameras ? One thought as a bit of a project was 
using only one 36 exposure black and white film each,  take pictures of what we 
each consider to be documentary photography, and submit the best images to each 
other for ( hopefully kind and conatructive !) critique. I don't know the dark 
arts so mine would be 'as taken' and lab processed! Oh and it probably would be 
Jan before I had anything to submit! 


Date: Tue, 15 Nov 2011 17:09:05 +0000
Subject: [YPS SIG] Re: documentary photography anyone ?
From: johnillyphotography@xxxxxxxxx
To: sig_yorkps@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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

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!




    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!


On Fri, Nov 11, 2011 at 22:29, sarah i'anson <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>

Yes! I'm just not very good at it.


On Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 21:41, Sarah I"Anson <sarahplews1@xxxxxxxxxxx>


This is just a provisional anyone else interested in documentary


Allan Harris
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John Illingworth, LRPS
Tel: 07792379106


John Illingworth, LRPS
Tel: 07792379106


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