Assignment 3: Critical essay

Write a critical essay in response to ONE of the following questions:

  • Using relevant case studies, discuss whether digital cameras and related technologies for the dissemination of digital imagery have affected our choice of subject matter or how we take photographs.
  • Has the ‘digital 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.
  • Discuss how the conditions of the ‘post-photographic era’ relate to a particular area or institution of photography.
  • What is your understanding of the ‘digital self’ and what is the effect of our everyday use of photography upon it? Discuss using relevant case studies and published research. Please adhere to the following guidelines:
  • Your essay should be 2,500 words, +/- 10% excluding quotes.
  • Include a cover page with the title and a word count, including and excluding quotations and any footnotes.
  • Include examples to illustrate your discussion and list your sources in a list of illustrations at the front of the essay.
  • Your essay should be fully referenced and include a bibliography at the end. Follow the guide to academic referencing on the student website. • Your essay should be in a standard font and 1.5 or double-line spaced.
  • You may include additional material (primary research, correspondence) within appendices at the end if you wish.

If you wish to write your own essay question you may do so, but please confirm your title with your tutor before you start writing.

Preparation and Planning
Once again, the preparation for this assignment was completely different from the previous ones. My starting point was reading Nonhuman-Photography by Joanna Zylinska, on the recommendation of my tutor. The book was exactly what I needed, and the thought of how to proceed was much clearer from that point on.

I started collecting thoughts and quotations that had a connection to what I wanted to write about, but I didn’t restrict myself only to reading, I also included the documentaries that I watched, the things I experienced on my own and whatever was around me (books and magazines that I had from previous courses). Whenever I thought of something, I wrote it down on my smartphone and sent it to my e-mail, that way by the end I had enough material to start drafting my essay.

Link to my Assignment 3

Checking my work against the assessment criteria
Demonstration of technical and visual skills:
Not applicable for this kind of work.

Quality of outcome:
We shall see what my tutor has to say about it. I think that I produced a good piece of writing, actually I surprised myself when I managed to finish it. When I started waiting it, I thought that I would be terrible at it. Finishing it gave me confidence that I could do it, but then again the tutor needs to give me her opinion.

Demonstration of creativity:
The only thing on my mind was that I shouldn’t write just about the facts, but also try to present information from a personal and hopefully interesting angle for the fellow students and of course my tutor.


The idea was to present how the digital (and also analog) imagery affects our choice of subject matter or how we take photographs and how that progress is never linear but varies, moves sideways, brakes barriers, while constantly producing new relations.

Tutor’s response

Corrections advised (minimal – as marked on the essay which I have copied in below). I enjoyed your approach Ivan – using the class of young people you are teaching as a kind of ‘case study/starting point’ to explore the ways in which photography is now used by a new generation. Your conclusion – that new generations are more in favour of ‘information’ than ‘materiality’, and that perception is creating a new way of dealing with photography is an interesting one. Perhaps it’s not that they favour it of course, but rather they have grown up in a world where that itself becomes their ‘natural’. They are second generation digital natives.

Let’s make a date for your next submission to discuss your next assignment and then we can take the discussion in your submitted essay further. I’ll be very interested to see how you integrate this research into your next practical assignment, which I’m sure you will do in an interesting way, Ivan.

My response to tutor’s feedback

I was very pleased to get such a nice response from my tutor and right after the summer brake I updated my Assignment 3.

Here it is…

Link to my Assignment 3 (updated)

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