Research Point: Contemporary Awareness

This exercise will give you the opportunity to make connections between the traditional practice and values of the social documentary genre and the contemporary or current values of photographers producing top quality cutting edge work today.

Below is a list of photographers recommended for you to look at but is by no means exhaustive, feel free to add any photographers you’ve come across to this list.  Look briefly at each website to get an overall feel for the range of work that’s out there. Pick five or six photographers whose work appeals to you (more if you have the time) and analyse their approach.

  • What is the main strength of their practice?
  • What makes them different to other photographers working in a similar genre?
  • Where do your chosen photographers fall in the social documentary-photojournalism spectrum?  Does this matter?

Enter your findings, along with reference images into your learning log or blog.

  • Richard Billingham
  • Briony Campbell
  • Luc Delahaye
  • Melanie Dornier
  • David Gillanders
  • Nadav Kandar
  • Steve McCurry
  • Mimi Mollica
  • Zanelle Muholi
  • Nicholas Nixon
  • Ingrid Pollard
  • Brent Stirton
  • Medford Taylor
  • Ed Thomson
  • Albrecht Tübke
  • Donovan Wylie

I have to admit my ignorance to a great number of the names on this list but found looking at their work fascinating.  I had to choose five or six at most, if I’d had an eternity to do this I’d have chosen them all, and I also wanted to add two of my own, Zarina Bhimji and Dana Popa, making it difficult to get just three or four from the list.  In the end I chose to take five from the list and my own two as well, making seven artists to write about for this exercise.

The final list is: –

  1. Melanie Dornier
  2. Mimi Mollica
  3. Brent Stirton
  4. Albrecht Tübke
  5. Donovan Wylie
  6. Zarina Bhimji
  7. Dana Popa

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