Digital Image and Culture Assignment 3 : Critical Essay

The brief of the essay was to respond to one of four questions.  I chose to answer

Has the ‘digitial revolution’ created more problems than opportunities for today’s professional photographers? Discuss this question using relevant case studies and/or specific aspects of modern professional photography.

by asking the question

How has the digital revolution affected the role of photojournalists?

Attached is a PDF of the essay

Assignment 3- Digital Image and Culture




  1. Thoughtful essay – image making is more democratic than it once was but the advantages of digital technology brings with it all sorts of conundrums too. I love how Rosler mixes up the images we are bombarded with. She expresses our obsession with celebrity and kitchens, while all around us these awful images of war flicker away in the background. I read an article today about the use of torture in so called black sites by the US. Absolutely horrifying. Just shocking. Even though one knows it went (goes) on, to see it written about in such detail… Well done for getting this far despite the various issues you’ve faced. The female gaze is so flipping interesting though – what a shame you didn’t feel able to pursue it. I hope you find way – we can compare notes as it’s certainly something I will be exploring despite it’s vastness!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah-Jane, It’s interesting to see how Martha Rosler keeps the same style and approach. A shame that the issues remain the same unfortunately. Susie Linfield’s thought on needing to look at images in a different way is very interesting. As you say though digital technology does have these conundrums as well, plus false news, which side to believe.

      If I can find the time I will write on the female gaze. You commented on ‘Girl on Girl’ to Holly (I think) a while ago. I thought the same and it’s difficult to work out where it’s all going.


  2. … now read this, Catherine… really interesting and covering considerable ground. Really enjoyed how you started to situate it and raise the critique of compassion fatigue and what that would actually mean in a contemporary context (perhaps that footnote could go into the main body? … I find that argument significant); I wonder if the title and question could be a bit more specific: it is the display and circulation and engagement with violence on images and what that means when citizen journalists become involved and the level of control and authorship of photojournalists is modified/altered in that process. Also: is your summary not really a conclusion or findings? it seems to me that it does more than just summarising but it arrives a point, a new questions…


  3. Thanks for the feedback Gesa. My intention was to angle the piece towards how photojournalists can engage the people they photograph in a more meaningful way so that they become more partners than subjects. Projects like ‘Everyday Africa’ and the others that have sprung into life do incline more towards that – with the photojournalists being facilitators in the process. One thing I didn’t write was that I do think there’s a fine line on these projects between the usual ‘here I am and I’m doing this today’ and using the photographs submitted to achieve meaningful change. I hope that these photojournalists are ‘patrolling the boundary’ as it were and continuing to carry out the educational work.

    Re summary/conclusion/findings – I did ponder on the title of the heading. Will be speaking with my tutor in a few days so there’ll be more to come I’m sure.


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