Introduction to Photography
In this seminar we were encouraged to think of what the word ‘icon’ means, some members of the course referred to religious references to the word icon.
The word ‘icon’ to me instantly made me think of a notable thing or person, someone of recognised superior status within the world. We were then advised to think of what we thought of when faced with the words ‘iconic’ and ‘photograph’ and also these terms combined.
Iconic photographs, to me, represented specific images which have stood out within my memory above others. These tend to be avocative, controversial events within history which have been documented and captured with a camera strikingly. Photographs such as:
(Nick Ut. June 8, 1972)
Pulitzer Prize-winning pictureof Phan Thị Kim Phúc, who was photographed as a naked 9-year-old girl running toward the camera to flee a South Vietnamese napalm attack on invading North Vietnamese at the Trảng Bàng village during the Vietnam War.
A vulture watches a starving child 
“The prize-winning image: A vulture watches a starving child in southern Sudan, March 1, 1993.
Carter’s winning photo shows a heart-breaking scene of a starving child collapsed on the ground, struggling to get to a food center during a famine in the Sudan in 1993. In the background, a vulture stalks the emaciated child.
Carter was part of a group of four fearless photojournalists known as the “Bang Bang Club” who traveled throughout South Africa capturing the atrocities committed during apartheid.
Haunted by the horrific images from Sudan, Carter committed suicide in 1994 soon after receiving the award.”
After recognising what iconic imagery meant to each one of us, we then got into groups and were instructed to work on a task of recreating/acting out our own versions of chosen iconic photographs. We were told to look into the technical aspects of the photograph- the angle, set up, lighting etc and try to recreate our new impersonation. During the lecture we were encouraged to think if the photographs we were studying were either set-up or a fly on the wall origin. I believe this helped us to compose our shots correctly and set-up our shots in the correct ways whilst studying different aspects of the originals closely.
This task benefited us as a group as it made us understand the importance of working in a team collaboratively and effectively. It also benefited me personally as an individual as it gave me the opportunity to assert myself to a specific role in ensuring we got the right shots using the right people as our ‘models’ for each photograph.
As a group I think we worked well to get the best shots using limited resources and time, we also found the task quite amusing.
Here are both the original photographs along with our interpretations: