The module introduction lecture taught me about 2 different types of observing that we would need to think about during the course of this project.
Non – participant observing is to observe a group of people without taking an active part. Martin Parr for example uses this technique by taking images of the public without them realising what he is doing. These types of photographs feel ‘truthful’ as they are a document of a real moment in time.
Participant observers take time to gain knowledge on their subjects by acquiring a close familiarity with them. Trish Morrissey was a participant observer in her ‘Front’ series. She swapped places (including clothes) with one of her subjects, doing so it was important that she understood their perception so the final photograph looked conventional.
In this project i want be a participant observer as I believe this will create a much stronger message behind the final images. I want to take into account the reasons why these people have joined a certain club, how it or if it has changed them and over all get involved in these peoples feelings so I’m able to reflect the answers in the photographs.
UPDATE – 22/12/12
Looking back on my initial thoughts, i have changed my idea quite a lot. I have been more of a participant than a non participant observer but still kept my distance. I chose to keep my distance from the soldiers as i felt the more persistent i was the more they wouldn’t be keen on being present at the final shoot. I had to be quite careful as if i put these guys off at any point i could have missed my chances completely on creating a photographic series of them. I still got involved slightly by speaking to them during the shoot and interviewing 1 person so my images have their say to contextualise them but other than this everything was done with distance.