Initial thoughts for main essay

Below are a few thoughts/bullet points to help guide me to produce my two thousand five hundred word essay on Photography as a tool to document. 



“The very nature of photography was to record events”.

Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at Dartmouth College and a detective of photographic fakery.


All photography is documentary?

Surely a photograph is a document of a place, a state of mind a feeling or a conception. All of this is documenting a state, or a position held by the photographer.

A documentary image can be truthful or untruthful it can construe a misleading situation the camera never lies but the image it captures very often does, due to its physical nature and parameters it can never tell the whole truth.

All art forms are of an addictive nature, that is, the artist decides what to include in their artwork, photography, on the other hand, is subtractive in nature, the photographer decides what to leave out of an image. This may happen at the time of the image being captured or during post-processing and subsequent cropping of the image. It does not end there, the image can portray a completely different meaning just by its treatment during the editing process

Initial ideas

  • History and development of the photographic image and it’s use as a tool to document events, lifestyle, fashion, culture, crime, etc.
  • Manipulation of the photographic image to give a required impression.
  • Modern-day documentary photography.
  • Not perfect but the best tool we have to record today for the generations of tomorrow.

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Stuart Franklin captured one of the most powerful images of the last century – the ‘tank man’ in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, 1989. From his insightful position as a photographer, Franklin explores why we are driven to visually document our experiences and the world around us. He focuses on photography but traces this universal need through art, literature and science.

Taken from the Amazon listing page


Click here for a link to a piece in the Guardian about Franklin