Photography has a wide-ranging tradition of documentary realism and the purpose of this module is to deliver a working understanding of documentary photographic practices, to enable the photographing of subjects which may be unfamiliar to the student and which may require preparatory research, investigation and assessment; this will be complemented by a study of contextual, theoretical, critical, cultural and historical aspects of the medium, with reference to documentary practices.
This module complements the preceding photography module: the emphasis of this module is on practice-based individual field work; whereas the emphasis of the preceding module (Studio Photography) is on building a team approach within the controlled environment of a studio. Through in-depth study of different areas of documentary realism in photography and in the production of project work relating to this, students will be empowered to realise a sophisticated resolution of projected aims, in which a high level of debate will be encouraged and to which all students will be expected to contribute. Various areas of documentary realism will be researched, including its applications in social investigation and classification, travel and exploration, reportage, photojournalism, street photography, typology and areas of contemporary art practices. The documentary photographer Robert Capa said “If your pictures aren’t good, you aren’t close enough"; the team building of the previous semester is intended as a precursor to the more regular and intensive group critiques that will now form a core feedback mechanism for this semester’s external production work. These critiques serve the purpose of providing critical feedback in a forum for the discussion of techniques, approaches and problems encountered, so that students may engage with each others’ style of working and reflect on individual working practices, so as to evolve the capacity for critical self-reflection. Prints will be output by students to an industry standard high-end photo quality archival pigment inkjet printer.
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