Project Proposal Assignment 2

How documentary practice has changed in response to new technological advancements.


I will look at the beginning of documentary practice and explore how this has changed over time. There are a number of issues one needs to consider when studying documentary photography: does the image show a complete truth? Can we trust any image we see in an age where photos can be manipulated by technology? With many restrictions now taking place due to privacy laws, how can photographers overcome these difficulties and still successfully document something? Is your image safe? Is your image safe on the internet?


I will also explore the context that such questions have come from in order to understand the widely felt sense of doubt that the public feels about documentary practice. To investigate this subject I will first look at the beginning of documentary practice by studying the work of Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, Lee Frielander and August Sander. I then want to compare their work to more modern documentary photography and see how this practice has changed. For this I will also look at the work of Nan Golding, Trish Morrisey, Martin Parr and Gillian Wearing. By studying work that links to the key principles of my research I will be able to locate my own work in direct relation to my topic. However rather than producing a historical overview of my subject I will offer a personal opinion, demonstrating independent critical thought.


I will collect evidence from a number of sources: first hand experience, photographers, past lecture notes, public records, social media sites such as twitter and blogs, questionnaires, newspaper reports, TV programmes and books.


I have planned the following stages of my preparatory work in order to complete my proposal:


Monday 25th October – week one: research photographers that work in this practice. Look at Library books and the internet.


Monday 1st November – week two: Look for newspaper articles, TV programmes/films looking at documentary photography.


Monday 8th November – week three: Contact photographers that work in this style and try to get interviews with them. Also write questionnaires for the public to answer on their feelings on photography and complete them. This will help me to locate underlying assumptions about documentary photography and to question their validity.


Monday 15th November – week four: Write up essay from gathered research.


Friday 19th November – hand in draft essay including draft bibliography.


Monday 22nd November – week five: Investigate whether there are any useful contacts in London that would be useful for this essay.


Monday 29th November – London trip


Tuesday 30th November – Add the last bits of research from my London trip to the essay, and check my essay to make sure that all is complete. Finish off my Bibliography.


Friday 3rd December – hand in essay



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