Temporal Accounts |Documentary Photography

Term 2 | 2018

Download the faculty PDF of this task here

Download the mobile version of the task here

This project based task explores photographic practice as a means of conveying a story / narrative, documenting an event or sequence.

As identified on the task sheet for this project the aim of the course is to;

  • Introduce students to the practice and production of documentary photography.
  • Explore the taking of photographs at different times of the day and in different environments.
  • Explore the elasticity of time through various investigations of the world.
  • Explore the documentation of narrative accounts and the potential of photographic sequences.
  • Develop conceptual meanings through the construction of selected images.
  • Explore the critical and historical aspects of the documentary photograph.

Three core task components make up this project;

  • 1A-Research task: Storytelling
  • 1B-Practical task: The Documentary image
  • Coursework:
    • Pairs + Diptych
    • Photo Flipbook
    • Hand drawn stencils
    • Images as words
    • Phone a friend
    • Small worlds

Research Task :

1A – Storytelling

‘You are to explore the work of one photojournalist, documentary film maker or photographic artist whose images have influenced the way we view the world and history; and explain through interpretation, how their images can tell a story of significance’
The key thing here is to look at those photojournalists, documentary film makers and/or photographers whose work has had a significant impact on an audience.
Some photographers to consider; Lewis Hine, Dorothea Lang, Joel Meyerowitz, Steve McCurry, James Nachtwey, Jacob Riis, Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastiao Salgado, Nan Goldin, Robert Frank, William Klein, Erica McDonald and Garry Winogrand.
Refer to your task handout for presentation guidelines.

1B – The Documentary Image

‘ You are required to produce a series of photographic images that document and / or interpret; an event, journey or a narrative account of a time frame in your life’

For the submission of this task you will need:

  • A minimum of 15 images.
  • At least 3 of these images demonstrate an experimental approach to either camera work or post processing.
  • One ‘landmark’ image. i.e., an image that in your opinion captures the essence of your documentary.
  • One image montage.


  1. Pairs = any two of something
  • Diptych

2. Flipbook


3. Hand drawn stencils – graphic overlays


4. Images as words.


4. Instagram moments

Simply a series of mobile / smartphone images that documents life’s fleeting, quirky moments.

5. Small Worlds.

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