Ethical Issues In Documentary Photography

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Introduction My biggest concern with documentary photography is that there exists the notion that documentary photography should be truthful. During my studies I’ve learned allot about narratives and photographic strategies, but little has been mentioned about ethics. Documentary photography has been described as a form, a tradition and a style however there is not one single definition of the word. I’m interested in the line between the photograph as a document of something and the photograph as an artistic expression. When is the manipulation of a photograph tolerated when the photographer is working within documentary photography traditions and what are the exact boundaries that photographers are allowed to work within? 
 The term documentary now contains a more diverse set of approaches than ever before. While the interchange of “document” and “art” is not a new phenomenon, and has often taken place at moments of social, political and economic crisis, a slippage between these fields has become evident during the past two decades. 
 During my internship in New York City with Stefan Ruiz I attended the opening of James Mollison’s exhibition ‘Playground’ held at the Aperture Foundation. ‘Playground’ is…show more content…
They much more resemble stills for a movie that is written only in the mind of the viewer (somewhat like a novel) who has a cultural knowledge of iconic film images. It is interesting to note that Crewdson’s “cinema-like” imagery requires more from the audience than a movie would in its case. Crewdson relies upon the audience’s knowledge of iconic film images to piece together clues. In the case of a movie, we don’t have to do much other than pay attention, we are much more passive when watching a movie than when viewing Crewdson’s

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