Assignment 1 – initial thoughts

Create at least two sets of photographs telling different versions of the same story. The aim of the assignment is to help you explore the convincing nature of documentary, even though what the viewer thinks they see may not in fact be true. Try to make both sets equally convincing so that it’s impossible to tell which version of the images is ‘true’.

As with many of the assignments I find it difficult to think of a subject that appeals to me, that could be visually engaging and meets the criteria set out in the brief. My initial thoughts are to look at developing one of the following three options: the death of the high-street, homelessness or Brexit.

The idea for looking at what is happening to the traditional high street came after going Christmas shopping on a Saturday in December and being surprised by the absence of a queue for the car park in the centre of Cambridge and by the lack of shoppers. This was reinforced when shopping post Christmas which, although was busier, was still subdued. I think the challenges here are how to communicate the growth and impact of online shopping in a meaningful way and also to avoid lots of shots of empty shops in the set showing traditional retail.

The second idea is to look at homelessness and comparing it with the growth in student accommodation in Cambridge. In my mind this is a less well developed idea, I’m not entirely sure what point I am trying to convey, and I think it is something that would be quite repetitive in terms of images, although this is not necessarily a disadvantage.

My final idea was to revisit Brexit which I used as a theme in assignment four in EYV. As things stand, tomorrow it will be three months until Britain leaves the European Union. Although this is a subject that very definitely has two sides I’m not sure what I want to convey and how to move the idea on from that in EYV. From previous experience I know it is difficult to find leave voters in Cambridge so I would have to go elsewhere for a leave perspective, but the real challenge remains developing an idea that I can communicate visually not using the format I used previously.

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