Dissertation Photography Topic Essay

Submitted By Charlie-Hadfield
Words: 1133
Pages: 5

Charlotte Hadfield

“All photographs are accurate. None is the truth.” Richard Avedon (1923–2004)

The topic

Photography ( myth, truth, fiction, lies or deception )

Title ideas

Photography, truth or fiction?
Photography, truth or fiction? A look into documentary photography and photojournalism.
In the 21st century do we now accept prefer fact to fiction ?
'Documentary photography, fact or fiction?'
Is photography a manipulation of the truth?

What could it involve in the discussion?

Photo manipulation – Magazines, airbrushing painting pictures of a perfect woman, is it damaging, are we hiding the truth or painting a perfect fictional reality

Staged pictures, are we being shown images to please or are we hiding imformation, are we blinded by fictional pictures, politics are they hiding things by manipulating imagery

Modernism, image culture, is it acceptable to falsify the truth ?

The great depression, images that show not what it was actually like, do they deliberately show bad images, or good images, to make the world we live in appear better or worse then it is?

Documentary photography, do they falsify the truth ?

Is it ethical, moral or acceptable to manipulate images?

Is their any truth in photography at all ?

Is manipulation of horrific images their to keep us safe from the shocking truth ?

Possitive reasons why manipulated photos are acceptable, ie art

Identify the problem:
Design usually involves addressing problems. If your topic is not problematic, it probably isn’t worth doing. Problems are often identified by the existence of a controversy. EG “Is the success of David Carson due mainly to his breaking of accepted rules for graphic design?” or “Does David Carson really break any rules of graphic design?” By comparison, “I want to find out more about David Carson” is not dealing with a significant problem! Begin to identify the problems and controversies associated with your topic by writing a summary of the various “received” positions you have found through your research. Also say what you hope to gain by joining in the debate. 150 words minimum.

Photographs can be accurate, but none are the truth? Seeing used to be believing, technology and programmes such as photoshop, have they made photographs less believable? How have they affected our views on photographs, are we less shocked, do we lose respect for its original context, do we even take in information from photos anymore? Does it depend on the source it comes from ie a political photos, do we find these more believable. But what about magnum photos, they are candid, does this mean they speak the truth, how can we possibly know if they are a lie?

I hope to gain a better understanding of whether there can be some truth in photography, or whether every photo even lies when it is supposed to be telling the truth. I would like to discover the reasons why photography has now changed in the modern world and the reasons why we manipulate photos. Perhaps there are acceptable reasons that photography is now very fictional, perhaps it is an form of art? Is this new world of photography all negative or can their be positives, like is hiding the truth safer for us?

Relationship to studio path:
I am really interested in photography and this is definitely a field I want to progress in when I finish university so think this would be helpful, also I studied photography at A-level so know a lot about its history.

Case studies:
Modernism, the great depression, soviet union, documentary
Daguerreotype, photoshop, technology
Newsweek Cover Art, Time magazine OJ Simpson, manipulated darkened photo communist russia, 'enimies of the people' removed from photos. Staltin airbrushed enimies out of photos
Robert Carpas 1936, Falling soldier, Magnum Photos
Identify significant visual examples that you could analyse and discuss in order to explore your chosen topic. 150 words minimum.


Background research: