Photography and photographic practice task 2


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  • Photography and photographic practice task 2

    1. 1. Photography and Photographic Practice Task 2 (Photojournalists) By Craig Cassidy
    2. 2. Past Photojournalist Phillip Jones Griffiths (1936-2008) Biography Phillip Jones was born in a small town of Rhuddlan in Wales on the 19 th February 1936. He went on to study pharmacy in Liverpool university, then he went on to work as night manager at a branch of Boots in Piccadilly, whilst he was at work at Boots he was also working as a part time photographer for the Manchester Guardian. The first ever photograph that he took, was a photograph of one of his friends on a rowboat, the photograph was taken with the family's, Brownie which was a very popular camera of the time period. His first job as a full-time photographer was as a freelance photographer working for the, Observer in which job he travelled to Algeria in 1962. In 1966 he was working for the a photography companied called Magnum, which are based in America. Magnum sent Griffiths to Vietnam in 1966, which was at the time of Americans fighting with the Vietnamese people, this is were Griffiths really gained his reputation and his fame, because the photographs that he took all focused on the suffering of the Vietnamese people, Magnum found it extremely difficult to sell his photos to the American magazine because they basically showed all the suffering the Americans were putting the Vietnamese people through. His career didn’t seem to be going so well as his photographs weren't getting published and he didn’t have funds for his photographic mission in Vietnam. However he eventually got his photograph published and this photo unsurprisingly wasn’t of Vietnamese people suffering it was Jackie Kennedy vacationing with a male friend, the proceedings from this photo enabled him to continue his coverage of Vietnam and eventually publish his book Vietnam Inc. in 1977. The book had a huge influence on the Americans publics perceptions of the current war . After the war in Vietnam had finished he went on to cover the Yom Kippur War and eventually went on to become the President of Magnum. One of his other notable achievements was starting the Foundation for the Study of War. "I never met a foreigner who cared as wisely for the Vietnamese, or about ordinary people everywhere under the heel of great power, as Philip Jones Griffiths. He was the greatest photographer and one of the finest journalists of my lifetime, and a humanitarian to match…. His photographs of ordinary people, from his beloved Wales to Vietnam and the shadows of Cambodia, make you realise who the true heroes are. He was one of them.“- John Pilger
    3. 3. The first of the photos which I’m going to analyse by Griffiths. It’s a documentary photograph, with the intention of putting across the fact that the children of places which are torn apart by war & conflict suffer just as much as the adults do, he does this with the content of the actual photograph which just shows the “unhappy looking” children sat in what looks like a prison. I would like to say that the conditions of the photo were candid as well because I cant imagine that Griffiths told the children to pose because he would want to capture how the children would look naturally. Visual Elements The main focus of the photo seems to be the children in this photo as they appear to be clearest thing that you can make out in the photograph I’d say another focus of the photograph is potentially the bars above them as they appear to clear as well I think that they have been made a focus of the photograph to maybe suggest that the children are trapped in Vietnam because the pars remind me of a prison. The room seems to be quite dimly lit but I wouldn’t like to say weather it was low key or high key photograph because its not light enough to be a high key photograph but I think that there is too much light for it low key , the photographer will of used the lighting in the photo to put across the misery and the suffering of the children. Another visual element of photographs are lines in this photo the only really obvious lines which I can see are the lines of the bars on window/hole above the children, in this case I don’t think they show any movement or energy. It is definitely a Monochrome photograph as there is no light present at all. There seems to be plenty of depth to the photograph as the children seem to be quite far away and there seems to be plenty of space. There is slight form of dynamic range in the photograph as towards the roof and definitely the right hand side of the photograph there is darkness and then as you get closer to children it gets lighter and lighter and the area the children are in is the lightest area of the photo. It’s not a passive photograph because it still conveys enough visual information but its not quite a busy photo because there are a lot of blank areas with nothing much going on in them. Composition The central focus of the photograph are the children and the bars on the window this would be keep the thoughts of the audience centred around the children and the bars on the window, he has made these the central focus of the photo by making sure the light is centrally on the focus points. There is no really any really obvious contrast in this photo whether in the form of light, varying in textures or sizes its just quite simple in the terms of contrast.
    4. 4. The second photo of Griffiths which I'm going to analyse is a photograph taken in 1962 when Algeria was struck by war. The pictures shows a regroupment camp and just shows the conditions that people had to live in and just generally the path of destruction left by the war, it puts across this message well by just its general content as you can see with the barbed wire, and the condition of the buildings in which people lived in. Visual Elements I would say that the main focus of the image is the whole village in the photograph especially for some reason the guard tower is one of the focus’s as well, the areas which aren't the main focus are the hills behind the camp as you can tell by the lack of quality and focus on that area. The use of light in the photograph stress’s which part of the photograph are the focus as well. As you can see by the village appearing to be lit up and the surroundings areas appear darker, the use of light still doesn’t really show and clues to the time of day it was shot at though as it could have been early morning or late in the afternoon. The image is definitely not high key as its not very bright in general and there is no strong light source but I wouldn’t say it was low key either as there isn't a lot of shadow present. In this photograph I wouldn’t say there was a clear use of lines, but I would say that the edge of the hill acts as a kind of line to try and lead your attention to the military looking guard tower at the top of the hill. The object which is repeated throughout the image is the barbed wire which appears out of focus but still noticeable in the image, the barbed wire which seems to run over the photo throughout would be to maybe suggest that the people are trapped in this state of war & conflict. There is also a vast amount of space in the image which adds some depth to the image, this depth is added by having the barbed wire at the front the camp in the middle and then the mountainous looking area in the background. The image is quite busy as well as there is a lot going on in terms of content in the focus points of the image. Composition The background of the photograph is the mountains, I think that they have kept the backgrounds in the image to suggest that the people are in poor living conditions because living near what looks like very mountainous areas just suggests that general everyday life might be quite rough for you. The image is very asymmetrical from what I can see. The central focus of the image is the guards tower and how it appears to be watching over the village, this says that the village might be under village control, or the military watch your every move. There is some form of contrast in the image as the areas in the background are darker and less notable again this is done so you don’t concentrate on the darker too much. The setting for the photograph is a real setting and has definitely not been shot in a studio. The photograph might have been taken from some form of vantage point because the hill seems to be lower than the photographer.
    5. 5. The third and final photo of which I’m going to analyse is a another photo from the war in Vietnam. I think that photo’s main point is about the sorrow and loss of war in general and suggesting that if you take part in war it has consequences for yourself (this is suggested by the man kneeling by his wife maybe?). Visual Elements I would say that the main focus of the image is the woman lying dead on the ground on a stretcher and the man kneeling by her, with a look a sorrow. I wouldn’t really say that any main areas of the image have been highlighted by the use of light as the light obvious light source is the light of the sky in background which is broken by the smoke, the light can tell you that this was taken at day time and is definitely all natural light. With all of Griffiths’ photos which I have looked at they have all been a kind of low key light this is because with Griffiths trying to put across the sorrow and suffering of the Vietnamese people he needs to use a low key lighting because a high key light is often associated with family photos and happiness and it would just be innapproiate for these type of photo’s. The colour in this photo as in basically all of Griffiths photo’s is monochrome. The photo is also quite passive, I think that Griffiths will have chose for the photo to be quite passive so you can concentrate on the message of the soldier sitting by a dead women, in my opinion it would also have been a very powerful photo if it was quite busy with lots of people walking by in the background because this would of suggested that they are use to the war and its basically a “free for all” with everybody helping themselves. Composition The angle which this photo was taken from was likely to be on level with the ground and also quite close to the people aswel. The background of this image is of two people walking by, I think that the background is just as a powerful image as the foreground because it’s just two people walking by and the two people don’t appear to care that much and this suggests that maybe the people are Vietnam are so used to the suffering and that its become such a common occurrence everybody, also there appears to be some smoke in the background which you would associate with bombings or mortars also the smoke appears to be close what appears to be a village this emphasis’s the suffering of the Vietnamese people because it tells you that the front line is close to a village. The central focus of this image appears to be the woman lying dead on the ground as in my opinion that is the clearest part of the image. There isn’t really that much contrast in terms of light and dark in this photo. The setting for the photo is definitely a real setting as in photojournalism it is basically all the time a real setting because it would be kind of misleading of you had an article about a war and then the photo’s weren’t actually “real”.
    6. 6. Current Photojournalist Lynsey Addario (1973-Present) Biography Lynsey Addario was born in Norwalk, Connecticut in 1973 and is an American photojournalist. She studied an B.A. in International Relations and Italian in 1955. Her first work was in photography was in Argentina at the Buenos Aires Herald, after this job she began to work as a freelance photographer for the Associated Press, while she worked for them she focused mainly on Cuba. In 2000 she photographed places under Taliban control in Afghanistan, she has also covered other places which have suffered from war and conflict such as, Iraq, Darfur, the Congo and Haiti She has been through some harsh times while she has been out as a photojournalist whilst she was in Pakistan in 2009 she was involved in a car crash whilst she was returning from an assignment, she broke her collar bone, another journalist was injured and the driver was killed. Her luck didn’t improve from then onwards, because she was one of the four journalists who all went missing from Libya from the 16th of March to the 21st, they were reportedly captured by the Libyan government during the time she was captured she reported that she was threatened with death repeatedly and groped during her captivity. She has received multiple awards, she received the MacArthur Fellowship award, her work that she did in Waziristan in September 2008 she was part of a team which received the Pulitzer prize for international reporting. She also won the Getty Images Grant for editorial photography in 2008
    7. 7. The first of Addario’s photo which I’m going to look at is taken from her photo’s she collected when photographing the Syrian’s refugees. The content of this photograph is intended to just show you the horrible conditions that the refugee’s live in. Visual Elements The first of the visual elements which I’m going to look at are the focus of the photo, in this photo I wouldn’t say that focus has been used, because if Addario would have focused on one thing such as the child, the rest of the image would basically be not as powerful as it is now because all the camp would be blurred out. The photo is quite light in general, with not that many shadows present the sky is basically completely grey with the clouds maybe this is to further the idea that the camps aren’t very nice to live in. I wouldn’t like to say that the photo was low key, I know it’s defiantly not high key though. It’s a colour photo even though in the photo in general there isn’t a vast arrange of colours in the actual image, but I don’t think the image would have been as effective if it was taken in monochrome because you wouldn’t get the light shining through the clouds as clearly in a monochrome photo. In general I would say that the photo was quite busy not really so much in the foreground but as you get further into the background you start getting all the tents and then you have the city right far back in the image. Composition I think that the background in this image has as much of a meaning as the foreground does, I think this because you can see the light penetrating through the clouds and shining down onto the city, this gives you the impression that the city might have some sunlight on it, which builds up a more positive picture of the city and then you compare it to the foreground were there appears to be no sunlight, basically I think that this is saying that the city is so close and a better place to live with buildings and these people are reduced to living in make-shift tents. I think that the central focus of the image is definitely the child in the front of the photo, Addario will have made her the central focus so you will look at the child and then look at the surroundings what the child appears to live and it will provoke a feeling of empathy. There is some contrast in the image but it is only present in the sky with the clouds contrasting in colour because some are letting more light through than others. The setting of this photo is definitely real and has probably not been shot from a vantage point as there is no threat present so they is no reason that Addario will not have been able to get up close and personal.
    8. 8. The second photo of which I’m going to analyse is a photo that she took whilst in Libyia and the content of the photo shows a child playing around a burning car in a neighbourhood area. Visual Elements The first part of the visual elements which I’m going to look at is the focus of the photo and the area which appears to be the focus, from what I can see I would say that the focus of the photo is the car one area which I would say was unusually out of focus is the image of the child right at the front, but this cleverly done by Addario because even though the child is out of focus its still very easily noticed, the child being blurred could also be playing upon the fact that Libya is a but if a grey area when it comes to media coverage so maybe the child being blurred is a reference to basically the “forgotten war”. The areas which have been most highlighted by the light is everything in the foreground, but that is because of the light from the burning car and then the areas which are least effected by the light are the city in the background, even though the sky suggests that the time of day is actually day time and obviously all the light is natural. I would say that the photo is quite a low key photo in terms of light aswel and you have the main highlighted area at the front by the light and the background has a lot more evident shadow. The photo is in colour but the colours are quite restrained in the fact that there aren’t really aren’t bright colours, the brightest colour is the pink on the boys shirt. Restrained colours have been used to create a feeling of sorrow. In terms of dynamic range there isn’t much dynamic range other than the one which I have already talked about and that is the background being considerably darker than the foreground. The photo is very passive aswel, this has been done because the photographer will have wanted it to feel like a “wasteland” and if it had been busy with lots of people/objects present then the message will not have been quite the same. Composition The background of the photo is quite important in this photo as from what I can see it looks like a city and immediately you wouldn't; associate the city in chaos, so its quite a shock to the viewer of this photograph to see a car on fire basically at the city’s “front gates”. The objects which I would consider as the central focus because they appear most prominently focused are the car on fire and then even though the child isn’t focused as clearly as the car I would still class him as a central focus. There isn’t any symmetrical balance so I would definitely say that all the visual elements are asymmetrical. There is some contrast and that is used well to show the difference between were the car has been set on fire. The settings of this photo is definitely real as it’s a photojournalism photo and people aren’t interested in photojournalism photo’s taken in a studio or being heavily staged.
    9. 9. The third photo which I'm going to analyse is a photograph taken of a group of women is Selea in west Dafur. Visual Elements The first part of the photo which I’m going to analyse is the area of highest focus in the photograph, its quite clear what the focus of the photograph is and that it is the women who is at the front of the photo because she is perfectly in focus and the rest of the background such as all the other women and the try are out of focus. The photo is very well lit aswel as there only appears to be a few dark areas and that is of the shadows of a few of the women in the background. The lighting and the blue sky tells you that the photograph was quite clearly taken in the day time and the light sources are all direct. When talking about the different styles of lighting you have high key and low key, low key is usually a photograph which features a lot of deep shadows and high key is a very bright photo with very few shadows, I would classify this photo as a high key photo because it is quite bright and doesn’t really feature any shadows at all. Its also a colour photo which I find surprising in some aspect because when showing a scene of depression and sorrow the photographer will usually make the photo monochrome to give the photo a more depressing feeling. The photo is also very busy because even though basically the entire background is blurred out there us still a lot going on in it, such as all the people which are gathered in the background. Composition I think that the background of this scene is very important even though it is out of focus, because with it being blurred out you seem to recognize the actual people in the background and start to see it more as a “sea of colours” with their being a huge range of different colours, it sends a message that even though these women have been through so much they are all still staying very happy and positive about everything. The central focus of the photograph is the women at the front of the photo, I think that this women has been made the central focus because she has a look a sad look on here face and the shadow caused by her clothing on here forehead also just seems to give the women a more depressed feeling. There a lot of contrast in the terms of the differences between light and dark but if you see the contrast as the contrast between all the different colours present in the women's clothing you could say that they is a huge contrast in the photo. The setting is definitely a real setting and I don’t think that the photo will have been shot from any form of vantage point as there is no present threat so the photographer will not have needed to be that far away.