Travel, culture and communication

Archive for March, 2012

Student Work – visual methods

“Visual images imbue modern society with potent and persuasive means to convey information, evoke mood or sell products. Rarely do we get what we see, so much so that, as viewers, we approach visual imagery with something of a jaundiced eye. Are we seeing a fair representation of reality in the visual image….? We know that photographers can be highly selective in constructing their subject and so as sociologists, as consumers, as viewers we rarely respond to images as simple truth. We are used to visual material being shot through with a hidden or not-so-hidden agenda – having an ulterior purpose.”

Picture This: Reseaching Child Workers. A Bolton, C Pole and P Mizen. Sociology. Vol 35, No 2. p 504


“To photograph is to confer importance.”

“The camera makes reality atomic, manageable, and opaque. It is a view of the world which denies interconnectedness, continuity, but which confers on each moment the character of a mystery. Any photography has multiple meanings… The ultimate wisdom of a photograph is to say: “There is the surface. Now think – or rather feel, intuit – what is beyond it, what the reality must be like if it looks this way.”

Sontag, S. (1977). On Photography. London:Penguin


“The intelligibility of a photograph is no simple thing; photographs are texts inscribed in terms of what we may call “photographic discourse”, but this discourse, like any other, engages discourses beyond itself, the “photographic text”, like any other, is the site of a complex “intertextuality”, an overlapping series of previous texts “taken for granted” at a particular cultural and historical juncture.”

V. Burgin (ed) (1982). Thinking Photography. Palgrave MacMillan