Final Images

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Turning Gaming into Landscapes

Out of the ideas I listed, I feel like I want to do landscapes. Not typical landscapes, landscapes of the empty playgrounds and fields where children should be playing, but are instead, at home glued to their controllers and televisions. Technology has emptied our streets. Instead of playing football, they’re playing fifa. Instead of playing hide and seek, they’re playing Call of Duty. Instead of playing knockadoor run, they’re playing Grand Theft Auto. So my aim is to go out into the streets and photograph the empty playgrounds, swing sets and fields.

Gaming Addiction

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Gaming is something I grew up with, from my first ever console which was a Sega Megadrive, up to my expensive gaming PC. I have been a gamer, pretty much my whole life. There is an overwhelming need to for me to be challenged on a regular basis and I have never found anything that challenges me more than gaming. This need to be challenged and the need to be rewarded has lead me to a dangerous gaming adiction. I would usually spend 12-14 hours a day playing computer games, the game that takes most of my time is Fantasy MMORPG World of Warcraft. The game offers me what I need.

Gaming addiction is very real and it is as dangerous and as toxic as an alcohol or drug addiction. Many people who play games for long periods of time develop a deep vein thrombosis and some even lose limbs or rarely, their lives. However, it can also be very rewarding in life. Many people also meet their life partners in games.

This being said, I feel that gaming took away my youth and I wish to do my project on this very topic.

 

Ethics

Due to the laws around photography it is with in my best interest to generate a code of ethics to work by professionally as a photographer.

  1. Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
  2. Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
  3. Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one’s own biases in the work.
  4. Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.
  5. While photographing subjects do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.
  6. Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images’ content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
  7. Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
  8. Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
  9. Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.

The code of ethics above belongs to the NPPA, it suggests that photographers must give the up most respect to peoples privacy. In order to come up with my own code of ethics, I must ask myself an important question. Is this ethical? In order to answer this question, I must answer these.

  1. In what way can I show respect for a person’s right to decline or consent to photography? How do I handle informed consent?
  2.  Am I creating and using photos in a manner that will do no harm to persons appearing in photos?
  3.  What is my intention or purpose for taking this photo? How can I use a photo to promote a good cause while ensuring that I do no harm to individuals in photos?
  4.  Am I using photos in a context that fairly represents the real situation, subject identity, or physical location of the image? What steps am I taking to properly credit the photographer?
  5.  Am I photographing people and communities with the same respect I would show to neighbors and strangers in my home country?

Asking these questions, this is what I came up with in terms of ethics. This is based off the NPPA code of ethics as a guideline.

  1. Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
  2. Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
  3. Respect the integrity of the photographic moment.
  4. Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects.
  5. Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups.
  6. Treat all subjects with respect and dignity.
  7. Be unobtrusive and humble in dealing with subjects.
  8. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy.
  9. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see it.
  10. Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
  11. Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
  12. Defend the rights of access for all photographers and journalists.
  13. Avoid political, civic and business involvements or other employment that compromise or give the appearance of compromising my own independence.
  14. Do not manipulate images in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
  15. Strive by example and influence to maintain the spirit and high standards expressed in this code.

 

 

 

Brain Storming

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I drew up a few ideas today in class, thinking about what it is I could do for this project. There are currently anti-austerity protests going on around the country which could be really interesting to shoot, but it would require a lot of traveling and due to work commitments and personal commitments I don’t think that this would be feasable.

Our education system has been blamed for the failures of children for as long as I can remember, and though I agree that we haven’t got a great education system, I feel the problems lie elsewhere. However, this could also make an interesting subject to shoot. I could shoot portraits of children in their school uniforms.

Poverty has always and always will be an issue in todays society, and it is in fact a direct cause of lack of consentration in schools, it’s linked to bullying etc. So I feel that this could be a great project to start and it also directly links to my next idea.

Since the 2010 election, the use of food banks is at an all time high. Children feeling embarrased and being bullied because they get their food donated can link to all sorts of problems in the future. Such as crime, drug abuse and depression.

Mental health will forever be a plague to many people. In fact one in four people are affected by a mental health problem. That’s a quater of the worlds population, making it close to two billion people. However, mental health isn’t taken as seriously as physical problems such as cancer or HIV, but mental health problems also kill.More people under the age of 25 commit suicide every year.

Addiction is something that I can personally relate to. I have been addicted to video games, more specifically World of Warcraft for as long as I can remember. And just like any other addiction, it can destroy your life. So I think a personal expolration would be quite a good idea.

Has Britain Stolen its Children?

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Given soaring youth unemployment, a rising national debt and crippling tuition fees, the question: ‘has Britain robbed its children?’ is unsurprising. Young people today are faced with poor short-term prospects and even more daunting long-term ones. To make matters worse, there is a crisis of political representation; can we seriously trust a predominantly middle-aged electorate and middle-class parliament to effectively empathise with, and work towards, resolving the issues facing our youth? One need only look at the present for an answer.

Youth unemployment for the last quarter stood at 960,000. The number of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) currently exceeds a million. Yes, we have just emerged from a recession, and yes, there may be a sustained recovery on the horizon, but the problem extends beyond mere employment figures. The downturn has, in-effect, deprived many of these young people of self-esteem and skills, something a low-paid job or indeed forced community service, Mr. Osborne, will do little to restore. Furthermore, those without skills may feel handicapped and lower their expectations accordingly. Their children may find themselves trapped in a cycle that is devoid of the opportunities available to the middle-classes and above. Class divisions that the Sixties along with Blairites tried so hard to blur and deny, respectively, will become entrenched, to the detriment of social mobility and overall prosperity.

Things aren’t particularly rosy for prospective students and graduates either. Much of my generation will leave university with a debt upwards of £40,000. Oh no, student loan, it’s more like tax I hear you say, a worthy investment. It could be for some, but for the vast majority it will be a financial drain. Sure, a degree may help the CV, but let’s not forget interest and the accumulative opportunity cost. Whilst the overall utility of such debt is contentious, we cannot ignore the fact that this is a burden only the present youth is carrying into the future. Long gone, dear elders, are the days of a free university education. Moreover, the current labour market isn’t at all conducive for graduates, lacking in skills and experience. Businesses are reluctant to hire when consumer confidence is weak and the Chancellor’s crusade against the public sector, sorry I mean, austerity, shows no signs of relenting.

Our housing market is cause for similar anxiety. Affordable first time homeownership is a fantastical thought for the young, many of whom consequentially form part of “Generation Rent.” This is hardly their fault when a typical deposit is £27,000, as it was during the first quarter of this year. Furthermore, the housing supply crisis continues and despite promises, the rate of house building is disappointingly low. If the past is anything to go by, Miliband’s promise to build 200,000 new homes each year isn’t much. History shows a great disparity between what politicians intend pre-election and what they actually achieve when in power. Remember your tuition fee pledge Cleggy?

More alarms are raised by the state of national finance. Our debt exceeds £1.1trillion and the budget deficit remains strong, meaning the debt jar will continue to fill for the foreseeable future. One could argue that this debt is benign and will continue along a manageable path. However, there is also the more serious possibility of it becoming a time bomb with the power to devastate or seriously constrain the economic fortunes of Britain for future generations. Facilitating a reduction in the volume of the debt will almost certainly be priority for my generation in future, as it is for government today. It is therefore likely that we will inherit a fiscally tight ship, barely buoyant on the sea of debt.

Another pressing concern is ageing, which won’t make the debt easy to service. The proportion of over-65s as a percentage of the population is set to rise from around 16% to 23% by 2035, whilst the number of over-85s is expected to double to 3.5m (5%) in the same time period. As a result, the Real Dependency Ratio should rise significantly. In simpler terms, it will be incredibly costly for future generations to support the aged. This of course, isn’t a bad thing. Our welfare-system is a proud and moral intergenerational model, envied by nations across the world. Though we must ask the question: how long can the public purse, alone, keep it afloat? The cracks are already starting to appear. Nurses are being overworked, A&E waiting times are increasing, and people are insecure about their pensions, which will cost a humbling £144bn in 2014. Higher taxation and increased borrowing, to finance welfare in years to come, is a bitter policy cocktail that the children of Britain may have to taste.

Generally, we are aware of the aforementioned concerns; yet not enough is being said or done to address them, due to the myopic sport that is party politics. Then again, when the median age of the British voter in 2010 was 46, it would make sense for politicians to target older cohorts, which possess greater power at the ballot box. This trend is set to continue. The median age will rise, and young people in Britain will have even less voting power than is currently the case. It’s perfectly rational to assume older generations will favour different policy priorities to younger ones, such as pension guarantees and higher interest rates, because self-interest is a powerful motivator. So if the young are to have their say, it is imperative their political participation is boosted.

All this is not to say that past generations haven’t faced challenges too. Prosperity in the Noughties came after mass unemployment in the Nineties. Thatcher’s Britain saw tough neoliberal reform and changes to fundamental structure of the economy. Britain struggled economically throughout the Sixties and Seventies, whilst the Fifties came after damaging, resource-guzzling war. Thus in some respects, and to quote Macmillan, the youth have “never had it so good”. Living standards and opportunities for today’s youth are greater than they have been at any time in the past. Life expectancy is higher, and the welfare state comprehensive rather than minimalist. Although things could take a turn for the worst down the line, the present offers sufficient grounds for optimism.

I would conclude, therefore, by arguing that the youth of today simply faces a new set of challenges. Britain has given with one hand and taken with another, and we must make the most of what we’re given, as past generations so often did. I also urge my generation to seize the moment and participate in politics. Not just for its sake, but for the sake of those yet to be born, for a better future and a greater Britain.

Source: http://www.lucidmag.co.uk/has-britain-robbed-its-children/