Tag Archives | Digital Photography

Exploring Digital-Visual Anthropological Research Methods: www.photoblogiran.com

[This is an invited post from a PhD student working at Oxford University, accompanied by a series of comments about visual methods from PhD students working at UCL]

Shireen Walton, PhD candidate in Anthropology, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford

shireen.walton@sant.ox.ac.uk

Oxford Digital Ethnography Group (OxDEG)/www.facebook.com/groups/OXDEG/

 

In June 2013, after nine months of ethnographic fieldwork researching Iranian popular photographic practices in Iran, the UK and online, my principal participants (Iranian photobloggers, based inside and outside of Iran) and I discussed the idea of co-curating a digital photography exhibition of their work. The idea of developing an innovative, site-specific methodology emerged during the research process, but seemed appropriate given that a) it reflected what photobloggers do – they create digital exhibition spaces in the form of photoblogs to share their photographs with viewers across the world – and b) it would establish a relevant digital environment in which to participate and observe their practices.…

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The Album People – digital photography and social research

Elad Ben Elul, UCL Digital Anthropology and the Album People, Tel Aviv

(An earlier version of this article was published in Interactions.)

Applied anthropology is becoming increasingly visible and the rise of digital anthropology means cultural research is employed for the development and marketing of technology. However, applied anthropology can also be used as an ongoing research tool for service design as an organic part of the work process. This post examines this option by looking at an enterprise called “The Album People”.

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The Album People is a London-based service specializing in digital archiving and the preservation of domestic memories. The service was designed as a direct result of a Masters thesis conducted in UCL’s Digital Anthropology department  about the future of the family photo album.

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“Colorizing” the Civil War

"Three Confederate prisoners, Gettysburg, 1863." Colourisation (by Photo Chopshop) from a black and white stereograph, wet collodion on glass substrate by Mathew Brady. June or July, 1863, Gettysburg, PA., USA

“Three Confederate prisoners, Gettysburg, 1863.” Colourisation (by Photo Chopshop) from a black and white stereograph, wet collodion on glass substrate by Mathew Brady. June or July, 1863, Gettysburg, PA., USA

A recent article in the Daily Mail drew my attention to a small group of professional colorists who have been using digital media to colorize photographs of the American Civil War — some iconic, and some quite pedestrian. Much of the online chatter about the pixel-pushers celebrates their ingenuity, patience, and skill in bringing history to life. Some of the images are truly remarkable in the way that the simulated color adds texture and depth and a sense of reality to scenes we’ve only experienced in grey-scale, but many of them look much like any well-hand-tinted photos of the past century.…

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Together Again: the link between transnational ties and photo archiving among Ghanaian families

Elad Ben Elul, Department of Anthropology, UCL

 

Photos from Ghanaian family reunions are distributed through Facebook. The elders are often recorded telling family tales.

Recent debates around the motivations for taking digital photos ask whether people document for memory or as tools for communication (Dijck 2008:58). However, this debate tends to dichotomise memory and communication while romanticising digitisation as a revolutionary force brought from beyond the cultural landscape. Moreover, digital archiving destabilizes traditional divides between storing and sharing and creates new forms of memory through ‘distributed storage’.

During my research with diasporic Ghanaian families living in London and their digital archives, it was essential to put photos and videos in their wider context of transnational communication and new media.…

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