(Lecture 6) Social Comment

(Mike Joslin)

Our 20 sheets of information from History of Photo Journalism will be very personal. There is no right and wrong way. End up as a basic form and structure of a magazine. Short explanation of what it is about.


End product alone- not sufficient.

Need to show step-by-step process.

Show evidence of everything

Our blog is to be easily accessed and viewed by all tutors.

Use it as a depositary of our work | thoughts.

‘Harvest scene’ idyllic view of peasants.

‘Sleuth and greed

Gauyer caught syphillis, went deaf and it eventually killed him.

Gilray- what the French eat.

Personality map of Europe

Napoleon and Wellington cutting ‘world pie’

HOGARTH- beer | gin street

gin- ‘mothers ruin’

women store alcohol in their organs | men flush it out

‘Harlots progres’


1920-1940 PETER MCADAM

Lots of social statements in photographs

A photo essay by John Harris ‘The Miners Strike’ 

Mike presented a series of photographs which touched upon and suggested specific events that went in on in that time such as political or cultural affects to society.

“Best ever spitting image”

(can’t sue a puppet, no puppets were named)

We then watched a clip of “Spitting image” a programme in the 80’s based on current issues in Britain and used politicians and their characteristics in order to portray them.


Research into an image | set of images which cover social structure. Discuss how effective comment was and technique used. How do you think it was distributed? What was the target audience? 

We then finished the lecture by watching a clip from ‘The Genius of Photography’ which showed images and videos, interviews from the Jews living in the ghetto, documented by Heinrich Rosse, who was employed as the photographer for the ghetto. It showed current war-based issues such as ‘hangings in the ghetto square’ and ‘Playing as a policeman 1943’

‘The family of man’ walking LIFE magazine- comes also as a book besides being a gallery. W. Eugene Smith showed his 2000 images he took , which were never published as it used too much imagery (much too large). These images show humanistic messages. He was a co-founder of LIFE magazine. He seemed to be obsessed with his work as a photographer.

From this lecture I have learnt a lot about the history of Photo Journalism, how some photographers have taken their works to the extremes, how some document purely what they believe they should and not hide it from the world, express the truth despite the government wanting to hide it from the rest of society.


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