Photographing People in the World. This page is under construction - and will hopefully expand to considerable size.
It is unclear what we might take ethno-photography to mean. At one level any photography of people out in the World, whether it is documentary, photojournalism or street photography is going to be ethnographic. But so too can family photography and formal portraiture be taken as ethnographic. Such a broad and inclusive definition would have more with the way we view sets of photographs. It is a reader's position, and from this angle Peter Marshall's bus and carnival photos provide ethnographic material as does the street work of Michael Carlebach, Julia Dawson, Richard Robinson and Bill Mattick. Puruse the Gallery to see what we mean. So too, of course, is Jay Ruby's book Secure the Shadow which is an entirely ethnographic reading of mortuary photography.
But what would be a photographer's position, the position of the "writer" of photographs rather than that of the reader? When does a photographer DO ethno-phography, beyond the use of the camera to provide brute visual documents? In general, and for the moment, we will take ethnographic photography to be an attempt to portray some aspect of a people's life. It will usually provide a mix of imagery and explanatory text. This would make ethno-photography a type of "photo-essay" that treats a human and humane topic. We will start with our own work which we hope to flesh out with appropriate supporting texts.
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