Temporal Accounts documentary photography

"Documentary photography usually refers to a popular form of photography used to chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history and historical events as well as everyday life" @ Documentary Photography / Wikipedia

This project based task explores photographic practice as a means of conveying a story / narrative or documenting an event or sequence.

As identified on the task sheet for this project the aim of the project is to:

  • Introduce you the student to the photographic practice and tradition of documentary photography.
  • Explore the making of photographs as a means of documenting time and place or constructing a narrative.
  • Investigate the elasticity of time through explorations of the world.
  • Explore the documentation of narrative accounts and the potential of photographic sequences.
  • Develop conceptual meaning through the construction of curated images.
  • Explore the critical and historical aspects of the documentary photograph.

Two core task components make up this project;

  • 1A-Research task: Storytelling
  • 1B-Practical task: The Documentary image
  • Pairs + Diptych
  • Photo Flipbook
  • Hand drawn stencils
  • Images as words
  • Phone a friend
  • Small worlds

See examples of the above @

Research Task:

1A – Storytelling

‘Write a feature, review or critique style article (intended for publication) that explores the work of one photojournalist, documentary film maker or photographic artist whose images have influenced the way we view the world and explain through interpretation, how their images tell a story of significance’

The key thing here is to look at those photojournalists, documentary film makers and/or photographers whose work has had a significant impact on an audience.

Some photographers to consider; Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lang, Joel Meyerowitz, Steve McCurry, James Nachtwey, Jacob Riis, Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado, Nan Goldin, Robert Frank, William Klein, Erica McDonald and Garry Winogrand.

(minimum 500 words)

Refer to your task handout for presentation guidelines.

1B – The Documentary Image

‘ Produce a series of photographic images that document and / or interpret; an event, journey or a narrative account of a period of time in your life’

Your submission:

  • A minimum of 15 images.
  • 3 or more identified images as part of the submission that demonstrate an experimental approach to either camera work or post processing.
  • One ‘landmark’ image. i.e., an image that in your opinion captures the essence of your documentary.
  • One image / photo montage.
  • An evaluation / critique of your submission
  • A curated gallery of images as a web page export from Lightroom or as an Adobe Spark Page.
Created By
Gary Poulton


All images Gary Poulton unless otherwise stated.

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