Project Two: Photography in time

Project Description:

For this project you need to select two photographs of a similar type from two different decades, e.g. 1970s, 1980s, etc… For example, this might be paparazzi photos from the 1980s and 2000s or fan photos from the 1950s and 1990s or even fashion catalog images from the 1940s and 1960s. You need to write about how these images differ, thinking about such things as race, gender, and class. You should also consider how society and technological change are on display in the images themselves. Additionally, you should think about the intended audience, how each photo addresses this audience and what hegemonic characteristics it might carry.

In addition to these considerations, you should also discuss the compositional and technological aspects of the photographs. How is the subject framed? What is it’s relation to the background and foreground? And what is its relationship to the photographer? You might also discuss how the camera itself has influenced the image. For instance, how does a camera phone result in different compositional choices than a single lens reflex camera; or how is it influenced by digital post production techniques or photochemical processing.

Submission Details:

This will be submitted as a hard copy of 3-5 pages. This includes the two images and your discussion, comparing them, relating the technology to their content and form, and exploring your own personal experience of these images. In this way, you might discuss the very context where you were able to find and view your images. You might find images online, or you might find them in your own photography or even images from your parents and friends. Whatever the source, you are ultimately answering how photography has changed over time and sharing how you feel about these changes.


Lee, Dong-Hoo Women’s Creation of Camera Phone Culture. In Fibreculture Journal 2005 Issue 6 Mobility, New Social Intensities and the Coordinates of Digital Networks

Williamson, Judith. Family, Education, Photography in Culture, Power, History: A Reader in Contemporary Social Theory Dirks, Nicholas B, Eley, Geoff and Ortner, Sherry B. eds. Princeton University Press 1994.

Barthes, Roland. Camera Lucida. Hill and Wang New York 1980.