OCA Photography Two: Documentary barry511915. Assi one Exercise Three. What Makes a Document?’

Exercise Three

Read the post ‘What Makes a Document?’ on WeAreOCA, including all the replies to it, and
write your own comment both on the blog page and in your own blog. Make sure that you
visit all the links on the blog post.

My thoughts on the Vidio clip see above.

We start off by taking a picture for whatever reason, we could like the look of a billboard that is weathering so much that its original appearance has changed.  We take a picture we now have a record of that billboard we like it so much that we print and frame it, but first, we change the colours in PS and make it our own.

Is this a document of the original billboard, no it’s not it is now art the representation of the original document has been lost? If we keep an original copy, then this is a record documenting the starting point of the finished product. That’s not to say the original image was not art in its own right.

You have only to look at the old Marlborough billboards to realise that It is the art that is used to attract the attention of the public, but it is the context that the art is used that changes it meaning. A branch is a branch until you hit someone over the head now the branch is also a weapon it has become something else, it’s the same with an image it is the context that it is used in at the time that determines what it is.

I have come back to this exercise to reflect on what I have written, and on reflection, I think I have taken the original statement out of context a little and read into the statement. What I now think is that a picture is a picture to one person and at the same time can be a document to another. That is to say, a picture of a long lost relative is a prized possession to someone not related to the image it is now a document and could become a historical document, as in the case of an old picture recently found of Jessy James that sold for millions of Dollars.

OCA Photography Two: Documentary barry511915. Assi one Exercise Two. Transparent Pictures:

Exercise Two

Read the first three sections (pp.1–8) of the essay ‘Transparent Pictures: On the Nature of Photographic Realism’ by Kendall L Walton.


At the time of writing the essay, most cameras used film this as we know was used to make representations of things and people. If we were looking at an image of a long-dead relative, we would know that it was an accurate representation of that family member because we knew him/her. But on the other if we were looking at an image of a relative that we didn’t know and was only told it was a relative, would the image hold the same weight as the first, It all comes down to trust in the information we have at the time of viewing.

The transparency of the image depends on the trust we placed in the information being represented. The transparency is only in the imagination of the viewer if it were a wax dummy of the relative not distinguishable from the real thing It would still be a representation of the relative but unknown to the audience it would be fictional.

Again, it all comes down to correct information. Does it matter if it is fictional are not as long as we have the information to realise the Image’s limitations? The picture of the lock ness monster was a picture of the monster until we learned it was fictional by gaining the correct information.

The wax dummy mentioned earlier representing the relative is not the relative the same way the picture is not the relative. In the digital age, the picture is a lot of square pixels arranged to represent the family member, in the same way, a painter puts paint on a canvas we now put dots on the canvas, but now we have a way of doing it very well and fast electronically.

The transparency of a picture is only a truly transparent if the source of the Image can be verified and even then we are not sure what has been left out that could have had a bearing on the information being portrayed.

OCA Photography Two: Documentary barry511915 Assi one Exercise one. Listen to Miranda Gavin

Exercise One

Critical review

Miranda Gavin talking about documentary photography at


Gavin, starting off by asking the question. Do we need more or different words to describe Documentary photography, ” Photojournalism, Documentary, Reportage, are these still relevant”?

Don McCullin, is known as a Documentary war photographer, but he sells and shows his photography in art galleries his work is the art used in documentary format and vice versa.

The availability of photography and easy access to the masses to be able to express themselves in or with photography on social media and other formats doesn’t change what Documentary photography is. It’s the platform and how well it is presented that makes the difference,  a boring story told on an inferior platform will not be seen by many. On the other hand, the same person could show his/her work in a gallery and be given credit for his/her artistic vision.

Photography morphs depending on the platform being used. The growing amount of woman now coming into photography will change the topics, but it can’t change what Documentary photography is, there are a lot of front line soldiers that are now women, but war is still war. The colour pallet of a picture as nothing to do with what documentary photography is, colour is a detail that could be negotiated if it is a feature that will impact the story for some reason, i.e. colour picture or black and white.


The video clip seemed to be put together in a slipshod way, the editing of the clip didn’t do any favours for Gavin and I think made her look or sound as if she didn’t know what to say,  Also it seemed to be out of context with the Title of the clip.