A colour vision

Most of the theory books we are pointed to reading contain essays or information steeped in the history of the B&W image however, with the advancement of modern technologies, more and more photographers and publications are embracing the colour image; ‘influential’ photography festivals within the UK such as Brighton Photo Biennial, Hereford Photography Festival and Format International Photography Festival pave the way for future developments. The coursework points particularly at the years 2010 & 2011 as these festivals showing ‘an eclectic collection of contemporary documentary photography’ which answer Rosler’s question as to the direction of Documentary photography, they revealed a ‘robust health’ within the genre and that colour bodies of work were beginning to dominate documentary practice. Sadly, the Hereford Photography Festival no longer seems to be funded or operating.

The plan for part three is to examine the British tradition of colour documentary looking closely at the work of Paul Graham, Martin Parr and Richard Billingham considered to be at the ‘forefront of contemporary practice.’ Whilst examining contemporary work I need to reflect upon the issue of authenticity, objectivity, re-enactment and reality. In this respect it was really handy to attend the Magnum: New Blood talk at the Barbican Centre and the OCA study day with Edmund Clerk  (write-ups to follow). Research suggested by Russell on Gregory Crewdson also touches upon this discussion.

A healthy debate was undertaken on the WeAreOca forum which I have had a good read of and taken note of some of the photographers mentioned within these posts:


A new name for me was Dhruv Malhotra and I found an interview with Time online speaking about his body of work Sleepers which drew quite a bit of praise. Others mentioned Susanne Opton and her portraits of soldiers. Keith commented on sensitive portraits by Molly Landreth – Queer Brighton at the Lighthouse and Mexican taxi driver, Oscar Fernando Gomez’s, photographs through the window of his cab. William Christenberry is a name I know but never looked at so all there photographers are people I feel I should look into.

Several things stuck out for me on this thread, firstly the comments by Jose that documentary is hard to pigeonhole due to the variety of approaches coming under the documentary umbrella and the fact the someone thought if you put your work on show that it should not be criticized, or rather that some of the comments made were harsh. Sadly, as pointed out, work will attract a mix of both praise and vilification in equal measure.


This thread I had already found due to an earlier exercise looking at the Time & Motion Studies: New Documentary Photography exhibition but some things to look into perhaps are Adrian Arbib’s image’s of Solsbury Hill the work of the PhotoVoice collective which showed work by visually-impaired photographers from the Sensory Photography collective.


provided another list of names to research  Maciej Dakowicz, Peter Dench, Alex Webb, Constantine Manos, Melanie Einzig , Michael Wolf,  Amani Willett, Frederic Lezmi, Lise Sarfati, Zhang Xiao and Hin Chua and Katrin Koenning’s Thirteen:Twenty Lacuna. If I research all of these in one sitting I may be gone sometime…..


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