Update 1: 26.11.16
Update 2: 15.12.16
Update 3: 22.12.16

Choice of Sources for Essay

In this post, I introduce the various references I have read for my essay report and explain why I would have included them. Here are my top few criteria that I look for when I choose my research sources. They are slightly different from during the lecture because I have given more thought on this after that. They are (in no order of importance):

  1. Channels: To recognise the different platforms or channels the information may come. Identify if the source is scholarly/ academic, a popular magazine/blog or trade/ professional, and how are they useful to my essay. To consider what perspective and biasedness of the source.
  2. Relevancy: In what way the reference is relevant to my essay. Some sources may be outdated but contents of a particular article may still be a relevant subject or topic to my context.
  3. Credibility: Contain bibliographies or reference lists and other external sources cited, or that author and review board credentials and affiliations are given.
  4. Evidence: Clues and indication of where the original reference gets their information from, and whether it is comparable with another source.
  5. Recognition: Accolades and background of the author or the quality of the source;  if the source is widely read by many people or if it is targeted at a specific group of audience.

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Books

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1) Conflict, Time, Photography.

“Conflict Time Photography” explores the relationship between photography and sites of conflict over time, highlighting the fact that time itself is a fundamental aspect of the photographic medium. This lavishly illustrated book reveals the different perspectives which artists using cameras have brought to the sites they have depicted over different passages of time: from works made a few moments or one day after an event, to those made one year later or 10, 20, 30 and 100 years later. Subjects covered include conflicts from all over the world in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including key themes of landscape, ruination, reconstruction and the human cost of conflict.

Essay: The Modern Archive of Conflict

Shoair Mavilian is an Assistant curator to Tate Modern Musuem. In her essay, The Modern Archive of Conflict, she describes the photographic archive as an important element to for recording, measuring and categorising conflicts in history, so as to preserving the past, in the present and for the future. They rupture the idea of linear time and provide a vision into the past, bridging the gap between past and present, and allowing artists to activate moments from the past in the present. In essence, conflict and archive work simultaneously, both on as aesthetic and abstract level: conflict generates archival material due to the inherent need to remember the war, loss and trauma of a particular time. The fluidity and elasticity of the archive, therefore, is anchored and tethered by conflict, while conflict relies on the archive for remembrance.

Rather than focusing on the passing of time and the unique ways that artists have used the camera to reflect on past events, I chose this source as my reference as I was looking at how artists have used the camera to reflect on moments of conflict, from the seconds after a bomb explodes, through to a full century after a truce has been declared, particularly how it affected people’s view of these landscapes.

From these research, I learnt that to these who had seen such destruction for their first time, people wanted to travel to those war zone locations for the purpose of sight-seeing. war-torn landscapes became part of the propaganda tool. To the victors of the war, these images might represent triumphant over their enemies. To the losers of the war, these images might represent humiliation. To these not affect by the war, either the neutral side or later generations, it may be de-contextualised and may well represent different meanings.

David Alan Mellor, S. B. M. B. M. S. C. S., n.d. Conflict, Time, Photography. Illustrated ed. s.l.:Harry N. Abrams, 2015.

Mavilian, S., 2014. The Modern Archive of Conflict. In: Conflict, Time, Photography.. s.l.:Tate Publishing, p. 224.

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2) Truths and Fictions: Journey from Documentary to Digital Photography.

“Truths and Fictions” is a collection of Pedro Meyer’s work using digital technology. With the employment of new computer technology to add the dimension of digital treatment, he juxtaposes fantastic images in realistic and surrealistic ways. His photographs manage to maintain a sense of narrative & spirituality and they are wonderful storytellers by themselves.

Pedro Meyer is one of Latin America’s preeminent photographers and is a pioneer in the field of digital imaging. In his foreword in Truths and fictions, Joan Fontcuberta made a strong case of around Pedro Meyer’s use of digital technology to create visual stories, as a sense of interpretation of the reality. I chose this source as my reference because I was looking at how digital technology could play a part in creating provocative landscapes. it is not about how accurate the camera portrays the landscape, but what stories might the photographer tell its viewers that make it thought-provoking. Joan Fontcuberta is a Spanish conceptual artist as well as a writer, editor, teacher and curator.

Meyer, P., 1995. Truths and Fictions: Journey from Documentary to Digital Photography. 1st Edition ed. New York : Aperture.

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3) Witness in Our Time

“Witness in Our Time” traces the recent history of social documentary photography in the words of twenty-nine of the genre’s best photographers, editors, and curators, showing how the profession remains vital, innovative, and committed to social change. The second edition includes a new section of interviews on documentary photography in the field and an exploration of the role of photojournalism in 21st-century media. “Witness in Our Time” provides an insider’s view of a profession that continues to confront questions of art and truth while extending the definitions of both.

I choose this source as my reference particularly because Ken Light has noted Brazillian photographer Sebastiao Saldago’s statement in supporting the notion that photographers have to constantly adopt new strategies to address the obstacles and opportunities created by the rapid media changes and cross-cultural contact as the times changed. This is relevant when the media technology comes into context as part of the many elements in making landscapes provocative.

Light, K., 2000. Witness in Our Time. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

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4) Photography As Activism

Photographic images have become one of the most popular tools used to advocate for social and environmental awareness. This can be as close to home as drug use, prostitution, or pollution or as far away as famine, war, and the plight of refugees and migrant workers.

This book has a comprehensive theory of, and history of, photography as activism. It also includes interviews with contemporary photographers. It is a call to action for young photographers to become activists, a primer of sorts, with advice for how to work with NGOs and non-profits, how to work safely in conflict zones and with suggestions for distribution on websites, blogs, and interactive agencies. Michelle Bogre is an author, an Associate professor at Parsons The New School of  Design, Documentary Photographer, Writer, as well as an Intellectual Property Lawyer.

In this book, I learnt that while photographic images in photojournalism had to portray the reality of the situation to its viewers, it could also be used with the intention to persuade viewers into responding to the situation. I chose this source as my reference because of Michelle Bogre’s explanation of the photography’s role in social reform from the philosophical and historical aspects and how it has influenced people, citing examples from the works of Thomas Annan and Lewis Hine.

Bogre, M., 2012. Photography As Activism. 1st ed. Amsterdam: Focal Press.

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6) Photography: A Critical Introduction

Photography: A Critical Introduction was the first introductory textbook to examine key debates in photographic theory and place them in their social and political contexts, and is now established as one of the leading textbooks in its field. Written especially for students in further and higher education and for introductory college courses, this fully revised edition provides a coherent introduction to the nature of photographic seeing.

I included this source as my reference because I found parts of this books, topics on photojournalism and landscapes to be helpful in my essay as it made me compare and analyse against Susan Sontag’s critiques in those areas as well.

Wells, L., 2000. Photography: A Critical Introduction. 1st Edition ed. London: Routledge.

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7) America & Lewis Hine: photographs 1904-1940

Lewis Hine was a pioneer in documenting the working conditions of children. His poignant images of coal mines, sweatshops, and factories shocked America into passing its first legislation to regulate and reduce child labour. Generations of Americans have benefited as a result. The scenes in Lewis Hine’s vision speak for themselves and cause one to have a visceral reaction. From a technical point of view, the compositions are very fine and draw the eye into the scene. There is a strong sense of the moment, even though the scenes are 70-90 years old.

This book made me understand better the cause Lewis Hine was really after, in all of the photographs he has taken. The images strike hard at me with its messages without captions, as though They are as gripping as anything about work or slum life on the front pages of a newspaper.

Trachtenberg, A., 1977. America & Lewis Hine: photographs 1904-1940. New York: Aperture.

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8) Ansel Adams /Landscapes of the American west

Ansel Adams’s legendary photographs inspire an appreciation for natural beauty and conservation that has communicated down the generations. His ambition was not simply to record the landscape, but to capture his emotional and spiritual response to the wild areas that he loved so deeply. The results are spectacular: an emotional charge and passion shine through the prints with an intensity that is as powerful today as it was over sixty years ago.

This book gave insights as to why Ansel Adams loved the Yosemite; landscapes of the American west. I have learnt that at the time Ansel Adams had a cause of concern. It was the preservation of these landscapes that made him want to photograph them. I chose this book as my reference because it gave me a better understanding that beyond the inspiring photographs, he had an environmental concern and it precisely this objective which made him set out to capture these landscape images.

Wrigley, R., 1992. Ansel Adams /Landscapes of the American west. Leicester: Magna Books.

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9) On Photography 

In “On Photography”, Susan Sontag’s groundbreaking critique of photography asks forceful questions about the moral and aesthetic issues surrounding this art form. Photographs are everywhere, and the ‘insatiability of the photographing eye’ has profoundly altered our relationship with the world. Photographs have the power to shock, idealise or seduce, they create a sense of nostalgia and act as a memorial, and they can be used as evidence against us or to identify us. In these six incisive essays, Sontag examines the ways in which we use these omnipresent images to manufacture a sense of reality and authority in our lives.

One of America’s best-known and most admired writers, Susan Sontag was also a leading commentator on contemporary culture until her death in December 2004. Her books include four novels and numerous works of non-fiction, among them Regarding the Pain of Others, On Photography, Illness as Metaphor, At the Same Time, Against Interpretation and Other Essays and Reborn: Early Diaries 1947-1963, all of which are published by Penguin.

Sontag, S., 1979. ON PHOTOGRAPHY. 3rd Edition ed. London(Newed): Penguin.

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10) Bending The Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen

The older paradigm for photojournalists was to simply record events, with the hope—and frequently the expectation—that people and their governments would be moved to respond to the injustices pictured, as witnessed by the impact of certain images during the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. Given evolving media and political climates, however, including the billions of images now available online from all kinds of sources, the purpose and effectiveness of media, in particular of visual journalism, has been called into question. Bending the Frame, by author and critic Fred Ritchin, addresses the new and emerging potentials for visual media to impact society.

After reading, I felt the contents of this book was much closer than all of the books I have read. As I continue to research on the “Provocative Image” from the photojournalistic perspective, Fred Ritchin has sort of epitomised everything I need in my research, in the aspect of how new and emerging contemporary visual media use various strategies and innovative approaches to solving problems and impact the society. In addition, his insights of the digital media have also enriched my research.

Fred Ritchin is a professor and associate chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and codirects the Photography and Human Rights Program at NYU with the Magnum Foundation. He also is director and co-founder of PixelPress, which works with humanitarian groups to develop visual projects dealing with social justice issues. Ritchin has written for Aperture, Le Monde, the New York Times, and the Village Voice, and authored several books, including the prescient In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography (Aperture, 1990, 2000) and the more recent After Photography (2009).

Ritchin, F., 2013. Bending The Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen. First Edition ed. New York: Aperture.

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11) A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations.

The dictionary shows philosophers at their best and their worst, at their most perverse and their most elegant. Organised by philosophers, and indexed by thought, concept and phrase, it enables readers to discover who said what, and what was said by whom. Over 300 philosophers are represented, from Aristotle to Zeno, including Einstein, Aquinas, Sartre and De Beauvoir, and the quotations range from short cryptic phrases to longer statements.

Although not directly included in my essay, but I found parts of the material useful as I search for information about the term “Dialectics”. Thus this source was included because of the relevancy to my essay report.

Ayer, A. J. &. O. J., 1992. A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

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12) Controversies in Media Ethics.

“Controversies in Media Ethics” offers students, instructors and professionals multiple perspectives on media ethics issues presenting vast “grey areas” and few, if any, easy answers. This third edition includes a wide range of subjects and demonstrates a willingness to tackle the problems raised by new technologies, new media, new politics and new economics. Developed for use in media ethics courses, Controversies in Media Ethics provides up-to-date discussions and analysis of ethical situations across a variety of media, including issues dealing with the Internet and new media. It provides a unique consideration of ethical concerns and serves as provocative reading for all media students.

Although not directly included in my essay, parts of the information in this source was used, particularly to cite John C Merrill about his views on ethical considerations on the professional and humanistic stances. This is somewhat applicable only because I have considered talking about the debate about the codes of ethics in photojournalism being set up as guidelines, when not applicable.

John C. Merrill is Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, also the author of 30 books and over 100 articles in journals. David Gordon

David Gordon retired from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2002, where he taught mass media ethics and law as well as journalism and media/society courses.

David Gordon, J. M. K. J. C. M. C. R., 2011. Controversies in media ethics. 3rd Edition ed. New York: Routledge.

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13) Media Ethics: Issues and Cases

Media Ethics is a diverse, classroom tested compilation of 60 diverse cases that will help students prepare for the ethical situations they will confront in their media careers. Ninety percent of the cases are based on actual events, and authors from many institutions and media outlets contributed both real-life and hypothetical cases. There is a strong focus on ethical theory and practice throughout the book, which works well as both the main text in a media ethics course and in an “across the curriculum” approach in other media courses.

Although not directly relevant to my essay, parts of the information in this source was used, particularly to cite Christopher Hansen’s view of ethical considerations, not only in agreement with John C Merril’s views, but to further expound on the best approach to go about to minimise without compromising what the public needs to know.

Wilkins, P. P. a. L., 2008. Informing the Public Must Come First. In: Media Ethics: Issues and Cases. 1st Edition ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, p. p. 38.

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14) Journey Through the British Isles

This unabridged compact edition of photographer Harry Cory Wright’s breathtaking book documents his quest to capture the variety of natural landscapes that make up the modern British Isles. In the tradition of the great journeys undertaken by such photographic pioneers as Fox Talbot, Cory Wright travelled with his large-format plate camera through the fragile, frozen beauty of Unst in Shetland, down through the Western Isles and mainland Scotland to the dusty chalklands and glowing harvests of southern England and Wales. Each of his remarkable images is infused with the unique spirit of its location from wild mountain ranges to secret woodland glades, from windswept beaches in winter to wheatfields gleaming in the late summer sun.With an evocative foreword by travel writer Adam Nicolson, this is an outstanding portrayal of rural Britain today.

Borrowing citations from Nicolson in his foreword, about making close engagement with the details that matters instead of using the olympian view. this is in tandem with the rhetorical conception of the picture, a consideration of how to persuade with one’s imagery.

Adam Nicolson, 5th Baron Carnock, is an English author who has written about history, landscape, great literature and the sea.

Nicolson, A., n.d. Foreword. In: Journey Through the British Isles. London: Merrell.

Articles / Essays / Journals

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15) Educational Philosophy and Theory

Educational Philosophy and Theory publishes articles concerned with all aspects of educational philosophy. It will also consider manuscripts from other areas of pure or applied educational research. This journal has published manuscripts concerned with curriculum theory, educational administration, the politics of education, educational history, educational policy, and higher education.

Educational Theory as Theory of Culture: A Vichian perspective on the educational theories of John Dewey and Kieran Egan

I was researching for the what the Rhetorics theory encompass and this book has the evidence of what I was looking for. Although the contents of this article are suited for educational philosophy, I have found the material to be useful and relevant in my research report.

Egan, J. D. a. K., 2005. Educational Philosophy and Theory. Educational Theory as Theory of Culture: A Vichian perspective on the educational theories of John Dewey and Kieran Egan, 01 August, 37(4), pp. 475-494(20).

16)  Intentionalism, Art, and the Suppression of Innovation: Film Colorization and the Philosophy of Moral Rights

In this section of the Journal article, Lawrence Adam Beyer was talking about the art of persuasion existed as far back as the medieval times where artists were served as public relations of the establishment and not as gadflies. this source as used as evidence to support the statement that the art of persuasion did not begin at the same time as when photography was invented, but it began much earlier.

Lawrence Adam Beyer was an assistant professor of Law, Tulane Law school, J.D., Yale Law School. [1] the above source originated from a journal article, from 82 Northwestern University Law Review, the United States in 1988. [2]

Beyer, L. A., 1988. Legal Theory: Intentionalism, Art, and the Suppression of Innovation: Film Colorization and the Philosophy of Moral Rights., s.l.: s.n.

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17) The Guardian 

The Guardian is a popular British national daily newspaper and part of the Guardian Media Group, owned by The Scott Trust Limited. It is considered to be one of the quality papers and generally has a reputation for good journalism as compared to other newspapers. However, it is not considered to be a very credible source type because there is no peer review, and there are very few citations.

photography critic Sean O’Hagan writes about photography for the Guardian and the Observer and is also a general feature writer. He was named interviewer of the year in the British press awards in 2003 for his profiles of footballer Roy Keane and musician Brian Wilson, among others. He is the winner of the 2011 J Dudley Johnston award from the Royal Photographic Society “for major achievement in the field of photographic criticism” for his writing in the Observer and the Guardian.

Article source:

O’Hagan, S., 2011. The Guardian. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/aug/09/luc-delahaye-war-photography-art
[Accessed 28 March 2016].

18) Conscientious Extended

Conscientious is a website dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography. It offers daily profiles of photographers, in-depth interviews, exhibition and book reviews, and general articles about photography and related issues. More detailed contents – such as the interviews and longer articles, including contributions by guest writers – can be found in the “Extended” section. Contents from Conscientious has been re-published on numerous websites and print magazines nationally (Orion Magazine, Spot, etc.) and internationally (Yvi Magazine, Chinese Photography Magazine, etc.).

Founder and editor Jörg M. Colberg began publishing Conscientious in 2002. In addition to working on Conscientious, he has also written articles for international magazines (in Singapore, Spain, and elsewhere). Colberg has been a member of the review panels of Hey, Hot Shot! and Critical Mass, a jury member of the 2008 International Hyeres Festival for Fashion and Photography, and a portfolio reviewer at Atlanta Celebrates Photography, PhotoNOLA, the Griffin Museum’s review, and Fotofest.

This website is not considered to be a very credible source type because it appears to be outdated as it no longer publishes contents, there is no peer review, and there are very few citations. However, the fact that this particular article, an interview with Luc Delahaye was covered in 2007 and commissioned by American Photos, there is certainly some credibility to these conversations. Hence, I consider the context of these insights to his works with some relevance.

Colberg, J., 2007. A conversation with Luc Delahaye. [Online]
Available at: http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/extended/archives/a_conversation_with_luc_delahaye/
[Accessed 18 July 2016].

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Petapixel Articles

Established in May of 2009, PetaPixel is a leading blog covering the wonderful world of photography. Their goal is to inform, educate, and inspire in all things photography-related.

At this point, I would determine Petapixel as a news blog, a Trade/professional journal and therefore not a credible source for my an academic essay report in the sense. However, it is an important gateway to get photography-related news and learn about what other photographers are doing, as well as latest photographic technologies to date. Without these news articles, I would not otherwise have known important photographers works and their groundbreaking photographic experiments.

Source References:

19) Photographer who shoots life-size animal prints in destroyed habitat

Zhang, M., 2016. Petapixel. [Online]
Available at: http://petapixel.com/2016/03/14/photographer-shoots-life-size-animal-prints-destroyed-habitats/
[Accessed 16 March 2016].

20) The Story Behind Robert Capa’s Pictures of the D-Day Invasion that Almost Never Were

Burgett, G., 2014. The Story Behind Robert Capa’s Pictures of the D-Day Invasion that Almost Never Were. [Online]
Available at: http://petapixel.com/2014/06/02/story-behind-robert-capas-iconic-images-d-day-invasion-omaha-beach/
[Accessed 10 July 2016].

21) Interview with Nick Ut, the Photojournalist Who Shot the Iconic “Napalm Girl” Photo

Zhang, M., 2012. Interview with Nick Ut, the Photojournalist Who Shot the Iconic “Napalm Girl” Photo. [Online]
Available at: http://petapixel.com/2012/09/19/interview-with-nick-ut-the-photojournalist-who-shot-the-iconic-photo-napalm-girl/
[Accessed 04 August 2016].

22) Steve McCurry Says He Will ‘Rein in His Use of Photoshop’

Zhang, M., 2016. Steve McCurry Says He Will ‘Rein in His Use of Photoshop’. [Online]
Available at:http://petapixel.com/2016/05/30/steve-mccurry-says-will-rein-use-photoshop/
[Accessed 04 August 2016].

24) This Software Can Turn Any Single JPEG Into an Animated GIF.

Cade, D., 2016. This Software Can Turn Any Single JPEG Into an Animated GIF. [Online]
Available at: http://petapixel.com/2016/07/29/software-can-turn-single-jpeg-animated-gif/
[Accessed 29 July 2016].

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25) TIME

Time is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City, which has the world’s largest circulation for a weekly news magazine and has a readership of 26 million, 20 million of which are based in the United States.

The source article from this popular magazine, although not considered a very credible source type because it was written for a general audience at an easy reading level and is more of an opinion-based from one author than fact-checked. However, these articles usually do uphold journalistic standards of not publishing lies or slander that could result in litigation.

Peter van Agtmael, also a Magnum photographer and one of McCurry’s colleagues, reacts to the industry’s outrage in the following opinion piece. His views, he says, do not represent those of Magnum, “a place that often seems to have far more opinions than it does photographers.” He adds: “Although Steve and I are both Magnum photographers, we have only met in passing several times.”

Source Reference:

Agtmael, P. v., 2016. Why Facts Aren’t Always Truths in Photography. [Online]
Available at: http://time.com/4326791/fact-truth-photography-steve-mccurry/
[Accessed 03 August 2016].

26) By Design Conference

By Design Conference is an international multidisciplinary conference focused on design and design thinking, held in Bratislava, Slovakia. They bring together the world’s most successful designers to share their personal experience and pragmatic insights on how to put theory into action, helping to educate people on how good design is born and how powerful it can be.

Source Reference:

Design Magazine, 2016. Oliviero Toscani: controversy meets creativity. [Online]
Available at: http://magazine.bydesignconf.co/oliviero-toscani/
[Accessed 01 August 2016].

Artists/ Photographer works

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27) Paul Seawright

Paul Seawright is a Northern Irish artist. He lives in Northern Ireland and is a professor of photography and head of Belfast School of Art at the University of Ulster in Belfast.

Seawright’s works “Hidden” is relevant to my research because of his subtle and quiet approach in capturing the terrain suggests that where there lay a hidden malevolence of its landscapes and the spectacle of ruins which becomes aestheticized, an approach which contrasts against that of Luc Delahaye’s works.

Seawright, P., 2003. Hidden. [Online]
Available at: http://www.paulseawright.com/hidden/
[Accessed April 2016].

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28) Kelly Richardson

Kelly Richardson is a Canadian artist who is one of the leading representatives of a new generation of artists working with digital technologies to create hyper-real, highly charged landscapes.

Her works “Orion tide” is relevant to my research because Richardson had used projection animations with special effects and video footages of the wilderness, depicting the departure of rockets taking off simultaneously into the night sky. Thus blurring The line between truth and fiction as it challenges the viewer to consider the “evocative power of imagination” and assess the integrity of the visual.

Richardson, K., 2012. Orion Tide. [Online]
Available at: http://www.kellyrichardson.net/orion_all.htm
[Accessed 2016].

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, n.d. Kelly Richardson: ‘LEGION’. [Online]
Available at: http://www.ngca.co.uk/exhibs/default.asp?id=187&prnt=18
[Accessed 02 August 2016].

Ed Burtynsky

29) Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer and artist known for his large-format photographs of industrial landscapes. His work is housed in more than 50 museums around the world.

His works have been relevant to my research because his straight photography-representation images have provided a dialectic discussion, a starting point in persuading people to actively engage in a global conversation on how to re-strategize the movement towards sustainability. He has been a strong advocate for educating the younger generation, to influence and motivate them, to invest and invent ideas on sustainability through his funded competitions.

Edward Burtynsky, 2011. Edward Burtynsky Photography. [Online]
Available at: http://www.edwardburtynsky.com/site_contents/Photographs/Water.html
[Accessed 23 03 2016].

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30) Luc Delahaye

Luc Delahaye is a French photographer known for his large-scale colour works depicting conflicts, world events or social issues. His pictures are characterised by detachment, directness and rich details, a documentary approach which is however countered by the dramatic intensity and a narrative structure.

Luc Delahaye’s works are relevant to my research because he has demonstrated that aestheticizing conflict and death could be a means to provoke interest, an interest which spark controversial debates on whether it could be called as art.

External Source References:

Prixpictet, 2011. Portfolios. [Online]
Available at: http://www.prixpictet.com/portfolios/power-shortlist/luc-delahaye/
[Accessed 2016].

Colberg, J., 2007. A conversation with Luc Delahaye. [Online]
Available at: http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/extended/archives/a_conversation_with_luc_delahaye/
[Accessed 18 July 2016].

O’Hagan, S., 2011. The Guardian. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2011/aug/09/luc-delahaye-war-photography-art
[Accessed 28 March 2016].

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31) Robert Capa

Robert Capa was a Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist, arguably the greatest combat and adventure photographer in history. The ten photos selected from the eleven surviving negatives and published by LIFE on June 19, 1944. When soldiers of the 16th Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division landed at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, photographer Robert Capa, in the employ of LIFE magazine, was among them.

His D-day images are relevant to my research because these are examples of war and landscape photography, which portrays the situation at the time. Those graphic, confrontational, often excruciating imagery of the battlefront; it constitutes statements against war. it was also because he had represented Life Magazine, which gave people a sense of how things really looked.

External Source Reference:
Burgett, G., 2014. The Story Behind Robert Capa’s Pictures of the D-Day Invasion that Almost Never Were. [Online]
Available at: http://petapixel.com/2014/06/02/story-behind-robert-capas-iconic-images-d-day-invasion-omaha-beach/
[Accessed 10 July 2016].

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32) Nick Brandt

Nick Brandt is an English photographer who photographs exclusively in the African continent, one of his goals being to record the last testament to the wild animals and places there before they are destroyed by the hands of man.

English Photographer Nick Brandt’s photos offer a stark look at how humankind has impacted places where animals used to roam, but no longer do. By shooting giant panoramas of life-size animal prints in their former habitats, Nick Brant has highlighted the human destruction of animal habitats, thus using provocative imagery to raise awareness among the public. The choice of using in black and white format effectively puts the focus onto the animal prints.

His works “Bite the Dust” is relevant to my research because these captivating large-scale images had proved that by embracing digital technologies, thought-provoking statements can be created just as effectively as compared to Edward Burtynsky’s works.

Nick Brandt, 2016. Nick Brandt: Behind The Photo. [Online]
Available at: http://nickbrandtphotography.blogspot.co.uk/
[Accessed 07 July 2016].

External Source Reference:

Zhang, M., 2012. Interview with Nick Ut, the Photojournalist Who Shot the Iconic “Napalm Girl” Photo. [Online]
Available at: http://petapixel.com/2012/09/19/interview-with-nick-ut-the-photojournalist-who-shot-the-iconic-photo-napalm-girl/
[Accessed 04 August 2016].

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33) Nick Ut

Huỳnh Công Út, known professionally as Nick Ut, is a photographer for the Associated Press (AP). He won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for “The Terror of War”, depicting children in flight from a napalm bombing. In particular, his best-known photo features a naked 9-year-old girl, Phan Thị Kim Phúc, running toward the camera from a South Vietnamese napalm attack on North Vietnamese troops during the Vietnam War.

The story of Nick Ut’s iconic image, ‘The Napalm Girl’  is relevant in this essay because while the image itself had garnered much controversy, there were also other factors that contributed to its overwhelming responses. It provoked anti-war protests around the world shortly after its initial released on the front page newspapers, magazines and televisions, the main platforms in engaging the masses at the time. Forty years on, as both the photographer and victim reunite, their stories rekindled the trauma back then. This time, articles published through the internet and media coverage brought more attention to the original image, a testimony of the girl, now a mother, who survived the napalm attack. To-date, many activists continue to use these multimedia platforms as a stepping-stone to give a voice to those victims of war.

External Source Reference:

Zhang, M., 2012. Interview with Nick Ut, the Photojournalist Who Shot the Iconic “Napalm Girl” Photo. [Online]
Available at: http://petapixel.com/2012/09/19/interview-with-nick-ut-the-photojournalist-who-shot-the-iconic-photo-napalm-girl/
[Accessed 04 August 2016].

151021164911-toscani-nolita2007-super-169

34) Oliverio Toscani

Oliviero Toscani is an Italian photographer, best-known worldwide for designing controversial advertising campaigns for Italian brand Benetton.

Toscani’s works are relevant to my research, as an example of the impact of controversial imagery. Toscani realised the power of advertising in raising awareness on prominent social issues and deliver strong messages via mass media. Rather than being called a provocateur, Toscani simply emphasised on the deficiencies and faults of the society, putting them into the spotlight and making them visible worldwide. However, by using shock value to parlay tragedy into revenues for brands like Benetton, Toscani’s works has suffered drawbacks, often resulting in government bans and sparking public outrage for being too provocative and ethically on the edge.

External Source Reference:
Design Magazine, 2016. Oliviero Toscani: controversy meets creativity. [Online]
Available at: http://magazine.bydesignconf.co/oliviero-toscani/
[Accessed 15 July 2016].

Videos

tedtalkstop100

35) TedTalk Conference

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a non-profit media organisation which posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. TED’s early emphasis was technology and design, consistent with its Silicon Valley origins, but it has since broadened its focus to include talks on many scientific, cultural, and academic topics.

Source reference:

TedTalk , 2009. Edward Burtynsky: Photographing the landscape of oil. [Online]
Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/edward_burtynsky_photographs_the_landscape_of_oil
[Accessed 24 March 2016].

Burtynsky, E., 2006. My wish: Manufactured landscapes and green education. [Online]
Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/edward_burtynsky_on_manufactured_landscapes?language=en
[Accessed 01 May 2016].

Others

36) Michael E. Gordon

Michael E. Gordon, 2009. Metaphorical Landscapes. [Online]
Available at: http://www.michael-gordon.com/articles/Metaphorical_Landscapes.pdf
[Accessed 26 Feburary 2016].

Essay: The Provocative Landscape

Photography has changed the way we see images today. It has been employed in so many different aspects of our life, across a whole range of cultural and social uses that provocative imagery have become part of the norm in catching our attention and responses. However, the concepts of provocativeness in photography and its theoretical concerns have been a rarely discussed subject and thus cannot be ignored. Some topic highlights in my area of investigation include:

  • About Activism in photography
  • About Landscape in Activism photography
  • What does ‘Provocative Landscape’ means?
  • Establishing the varying degrees of ‘provocativeness’
  • Can there be synergy between authenticity and manipulation?
  • How can landscape images promote new thinking and make a difference in the world?

What provocative is, and what is it not? 

The definition of “provocative” is to call forth an emotion, usually anger or infuriate. It may also mean to act as a stimulus or incitement. In other words, there has to be a common subject that people can relate to or a catalyst that trigger such responses. In photography, the term “provocative” is usually associated with the human body, in realms of the sensual eroticism and nudity, as well as violent scenes of war and human death. However, these themes of the human body are not so relevant in the landscape context. What is relevant here, as this research explores, is how “provocative” can be applicable in the landscape genre and how landscape photographers and artists have created visuals that make people think or respond, be it positive or negative impact.

Theoretical Concerns

This field of research would give me a better understanding of how photographers can promote new ways of thinking by adopting different stances of provocative imagery to influence people. In defining what ‘Provocative landscapes’ means to me, some of the key issues in my research include concerns of activism photography from the historical perspective, establishing the varying degrees of ‘provocativeness’, as well as questioning the synergy between authenticity and manipulation. Though not exhaustive, this research aims to persuade “provocative landscape’ as a possible subgenre in the landscape photography.

 

Contextual Review

Some of the important references beneficial to my field of research include the works of photographers such as Thomas Annan, Lewis Hine, Ansel Adams, Sebastiao Saldago, Luc Delahaye, Paul Seawright, Edward Burtynsky, Nick Brandt, Kelly Richardson, Pedro Meyers and Michael Gordon. Other key figures include photography authors and critics Liz Wells, Michelle Bore, Fontacuberta, William Stott, Ken Light, Fred Ritchin and David Allan Mellor.

In addition, I have also considered online and video sources from various organisations that have promoted these photographers’ works: TedTalk, ffotogallery publication, The Guardian.

Relevancy of Citations

The interpretation of documentary photography is complicated, multi-layered and nuanced. In ‘Critical Photography’, Liz Wells examines the relationship between photojournalism and documentary photography, which can be related to as a form of investigation to address existing social or political situation. She objectively highlighted the issues of its authenticity in the documentary, noting the complex of the technical, socio-political and cultural changes affecting the whole visual culture in photography (Wells, 2000).

Similarly in ‘Photography as Activism’, Michelle Bogre explored the philosophical and historical aspects of the photography’s role in social reform and how it has influenced people (Bogre, 2012). For instance, during the Industrial Revolution, Scottish photographer Thomas Annan surveyed the living and working conditions of the poor from an architectural perspective, while American photographer Lewis Hine was concerned with child labour issues, often depicting his subjects in their environment. Ansel was committed to making social and political changes with the conservation of the western wilderness.

In ‘Documentary Expression and Thirties America’, having studied the wide-ranging view of documentary photography of America during the thirties, William Stott explains how documentary photographers of those times were able to influence people and the methods they use to persuade (Stott, 1986). However, in ‘Witness in our time’, through Sebastiao Saldago’s ideologies of activism photography, Ken Light argued that photographers have to constantly adopt new strategies to address the obstacles and opportunities created by the rapid media changes and cross-cultural contact as the times changed (Light, 2000).

This was evident when early war and conflicts came and propelled activism photography to new heights, where civilian viewers became de-sensitized to deaths and destruction in actual battlefields. Regardless of the landscapes being symbolically replicated, it presented a reality of the atrocities from the photographer’s perspective, as shown in the book ‘Conflict, time, photography’ (David Alan Mellor, n.d.), thus causing people to respond and take actions.

Found examples include French photojournalist Luc Delahaye who demonstrated aestheticizing conflict and death could be a means to provoke interest (O’Hagan, 2011), while Paul Seawright preferred a more subtle approach to his landscapes (ffotogallery, 2003). Edward Burtynsky believed that he could present a dialectic discussion of his environmental concerns through the use of the available visual elements in the landscape (TedTalk, 2009). In Nick Brandt’s “Inherit the Dust”, he presented a giant panorama of life-sized animals prints in a barren, human-dominated landscape without the dependence of digital manipulation (Zhang, 2016). However, Kelly Richardson proved that by embracing digital technologies, thought-provoking statements can be created just as effectively (Richardson, 2012).

Similarly, in Pedro Meyer’s ‘Truths and Fictions’, Fontacuberta defended the documentary photographer’s position of embracing digital manipulation in activism photography, stressing  that by avoiding the judgement of its negative connotations, the traditional rules does not warrant a stamp of authenticity while new tools should permit new approaches (Meyer, 1995).

In ‘Bending the Frame’, Fred Ritchin examines the evolving media and political landscapes in the paradigms of Photojournalism and documentary photography and explains how new and emerging contemporary visual media may use various strategies and innovative approaches to solving problems and impact the society (Ritchin, 2013).

Thus this paper concludes with American photographer Michael Gordon’s believes, that landscape photographs may not necessarily mean the need to represent any realities and truths; for as long as it has metaphorical meanings infused, it can capture the viewer’s attention for a longer time (Michael E. Gordon, 2009).

I have refined my essay down into five chapters, including the introduction. In each chapter, I have listed some topics I would touch upon, as well as photographers I would highlight in my essay.

The first part of this paper establishes the definition of provocative in the context of the landscape and further examines its philosophical concepts in relation to the art of persuasion from the cultural history, socio-political and personal perspectives.  Once this task has been satisfied, the text will proceed to examine the technological and the ethical aspects, the various strategies contemporary landscape photographers today have taken to created such provocative images.

Introduction

  • Establishing what “provocative” is and what is it not
    William Stott| Sebastiao Saldago 

History in Retrospective

  • Activism photography
  • Conflict photography
    Thomas Annan | Lewis Hine | Robert Capa 

The Provocative Image

  • The Archives & Technology
  • The Controversial
  • The Dialectical
  • The Rhetoric
    Oliviero Toscani | Chloe Dewe Mathews | Pedro Meyer

The Provocative Landscape

  • What does it mean?
  • Strategies in making landscapes provocative
    Luc Delahaye | Paul Seawright | Edward Burtynsky | Nick Brandt | Kelly Richardson

The Viral Factor

  • Ethics of publishing
  • Synergy of authenticity and manipulation
  • People and technology
  • Multimedia and beyond
    Nick Ut | Steve McCurry

Conclusion

  • Provocative images matter
  • What makes landscape provocative (A summary)

    Michael Gordon

Summary

By dissecting the complex visual culture, this paper attempts to unravel aspects of ‘provocativeness’ in photography and assert its relevance to the landscapes. Yet the aim of this paper is not simply to present a study of how such images are made. Instead, the objective is to investigate the role of the provocative landscape by analysing how such images have influenced and persuade people today. I hope this research would be useful not only in informing my third year but as well as my future photography works and practices.

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