thoughts on social landscape photography

Discussion in 'Landscape' started by Bryan Murray, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. Bryan Murray

    Bryan Murray Member

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    My latest photography assignment is to shoot a social landscape and present 10 photos to the teacher. I'm wondering what "social landscape" means to other photographers. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Spaces people use

    Ian
     
  3. Rlibersky

    Rlibersky Member

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    It could be just about anything. I would suspect that they are looking for some "social" significance in the picture. Whatever that is to you. Just have a story on why the print is important.
     
  4. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council

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    You can approach the "social" thingy in two ways.

    On the one hand, take a deadpan, apparently banal picture of something significant ("this is the tuft of grass over which so-and-so did something major"). That's the conceptual art school approach.

    On the other hand, you can look for graphic evidence of something. For instance, very old staircases made of stone have these impressive grooves in them because of time and usage. That's the more traditional approach.

    Finally, you might want to ask your teacher what the heck "social landscape" means.
     
  5. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    A perfect definition if you ask me...

    Cheers,
    Gavin
     
  6. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Well essentially reading as a landscape photographer is "Yi Fu Tuan - A Sense of Place, or preferably if you can find it Topophilia". Although a geographer his writings are about how we use the space around us. All my own landscape work is about man's impact on the landscape and Tuan's books are very useful helping contextualise my photography.

    Of course he writes heavily about the social landscape.

    Ian
     
  7. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    you know, party pictures
     
  8. jp80874

    jp80874 Subscriber

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    At the time I read this Mooseontheloose had just posted a very good example to the gallery. http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=35320

    A man who teaches it, has won a Fulbright to photograph it, is Andrew Borowiec.
    Look for his book "Along the Ohio" or the more recent one, “Industrial Perspective: Photographs of the Gulf Coast”. The later subject is the petrol chemical landscape of the LA and TX coast. It is shot in 6x17cm.

    John Powers
     
  9. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    No fair. What does it mean to you ?

    Better yet, where are the pictures ?
     
  10. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    btw, i was serious

    [​IMG]
    gursky

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    burtynsky

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    michael wolf

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    hcb

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    salgado

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    ansel adams
     
  11. coigach

    coigach Subscriber

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    A writer I've found helpful on social landscape (although perhaps in an oblique way) is Barry Lopez. There's a wonderful essay in 'About this life - journey's on the threshold of memory' about the relationship between place, and photographs.

    Cheers,
    Gavin
     
  12. phyllis72

    phyllis72 Member

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    umm with the examples given, what would be the difference between street, urban landscape, and social landscape?
     
  13. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    ****

    I have no idea.
     
  14. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Landscape photographs that reflect social conditions. The landscapes that people inhabit have some effect on their society, and their society also affects the landscape. That relationship is what it's about, I think.
     
  15. Andrew Horodysky

    Andrew Horodysky Member

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    In addition to some of the earlier suggestions, the above is a good place to start. This is a subject/genre that's been explored since the beginning of the medium. Check out the "New Topographics" photographers' works -- Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, among others (Steidl recently published a new book about the original exhibition. Also, you'll want to look at the "Dusseldorf School" photographers who've studied under the Bechers -- Struth, Gursky, Fuchs, et al.
     
  16. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Siriusly Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother
     

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  17. r1ma

    r1ma Member

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    I would think, if going with Lange, you'd pick something from her documenting the Japanese interment camps
    [​IMG]
    "Residents of Japanese Ancestry awaiting the bus..." 1942

    And ask yourself, what is the difference between social landscapes, the social landscape, social documentary, and social criticism.
     
  18. patois

    patois Member

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    In the segregated community in which I live people in up at welfare/food shelf the same way that people desperately line up at Starbucks. It is interesting to see how the two groups of people interact in different spaces but end up behaving the same.
     
  19. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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