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DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY:

An introduction to the world

NEPAD Fisheries Documentary - Gabon

What is Documentary photography?

Documentary photography is a style or direction of photography that aims to carry a message to the viewer and creates a connection with the public. It is commonly used to promote the study of pressing matters but should not necessarily be classified as photojournalism as it is more significant than what any old Kardashian is on about. Documentary photography creates an opportunity for the user to be filled with truth, caring, basic human kindness and respect. To create a documentary that really prickles the mind of the average being there must be something to relate with and to aspire towards so as to change the general opinion or viewpoint which in turn could change the world.


How can it be used to make a difference?

Photography is a way of telling a story - visually. By using the camera as a tool, just as a pen or a sickle, you have the narrative in your hands. If you have a cause or a story to tell this powerful tool can be used to translate anything to anyone who views the visual narrative. In seeing gorillas, for example, as they are being poached or their natural habitats being destroyed in a visual narrative form, as documentary photography does, it becomes easier to create awareness and promote involvement: to inspire change in the everyday human. This form of photography doesn’t just address large-scale issues, it can be just as relevant for creating a documentary about your neighbourhood or other local issues - to change the minds of and relate to your community. The ultimate necessities for Documentary photography would be empathy, problem solving and a drive to reinforce change and compassion in the world, even on a small scale.

 

‘The least I can do is speak out for those

who cannot speak for themselves.’

-Jane Goodall


Design-thinking and problem-solving go hand in hand

Design solves and simplifies problems as is apparent in any form of visual communication. Through the use of design elements such as typography, photography, layout structures and illustration - to name a few - information is more easily understood and comprehended by the viewer/consumer. Design-thinking is an intelligent mental process aimed at solving problems.

To truly solve or simplify a problem, whatever it may be, you must first understand the problem you face. Then, once the problem is identified, deconstruction can take place to create room for the solution. By defining the problem, it becomes easier to solve, especially in the creative process. By using your creative capabilities in combination with your problem-solving skills you have endless possibilities. The next step would be to define the problem again, this time according to your target market to understand the context of the issue at hand.


Differences between Documentary Photography and Photojournalism

Documentary photography, one can say, is one of the earliest uses of photography. The entire purpose of a photograph is to document the state of things in culture and society. There is an extremely thin line between documentary photography and photojournalism, one which people tend to oversee - especially non-photographers - the difference is time itself. Photojournalism is much more fast-paced as its purpose is to inform the public on current affairs as truthfully and as quickly as possible. Whereas in documentary photography, things are slowed down to focus on studying and researching the topic presented.

 

Despite the differences in style and purpose of photography, the similarities are clear: that the photographer is to stay unobtrusive no matter what is being photographed so that the scene is as honest as possible. In both cases the photographs should have a common thread that narrates the facts and comply with ethics.

 

 

Oliver Karstel is a professional photographer, videographer, designer and creative consultant. I specialise in custom content creation, brand development and marketing | info@oliverkarstel.co.za www.oliverkarstel.co.za | FB.com/oliver.karstel.media | IG.com/oliverkarstel

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Copyright © 2017 Oliver Karstel Photography. All rights reserved



OLIVER KARSTEL

PHOTOGRAPHER AND CREATIVE CONSULTANT

Oliver Karstel is a Pretoria-based South African photographer and creative consultant. As an award-winning photographer and videographer, Oliver has worked with multiple multi-national corporations and organisations including the United Nations (U.N.), NEPAD (African Union), Kal Tire (CA) Thermo King (US), GEA (DE) and PERI (DE and UAE) . Oliver has received accolades from international photography awards including the Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA), and his work has appeared in publications including INSPADES Magazine and Construction World Magazine. He has worked across the breadth of Southern Africa, West Africa, extending to Northern Europe and the Middle East.

PHOTOGRAPHY



Architecture Photography

Architectural photography is a specialised art form focused on the built environment. Architectural photography succinctly captures the majesty of the subject.
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Construction Photography

Construction photography is similar to architectural photography, in its focus on the built environment; however, the emphasis is placed on beautifying a chaotic construction site.
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Industrial Photography

Industrial photography as an art form focuses on showcasing the magnitude, dynamism, technological innovation and scope of an industrial project or location.
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Interior Photography

Interior photography is a form of architectural photography. Though similar to real estate photography, the difference lies in the primary focus. Interior photography aims to showcase the beauty and detail of a constructed space.
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Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is an established and versatile photographic medium. Portrait photography encompasses fine art portrait photography, corporate portrait photography and more.
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Detail

"Detail" is an ongoing artistic project consisting of works spanning a variety of photographic genres. This project allows me artistic freedom and expression.
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Product Photography

Industrial photography as an art form focuses on showcasing the magnitude, dynamism, technological innovation and scope of an industrial project or location.
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Documentary Photography

Interior photography is a form of architectural photography. Though similar to real estate photography, the difference lies in the primary focus. Interior photography aims to showcase the beauty and detail of a constructed space.
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VIDEOGRAPHY



Marketing Videos

Marketing videos are created with the sole purpose of simply and effectively informing your customers about your product.
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Showcase Videos

A company showcase video, quite simply put, showcases the best aspects of one's business. I have produced company showcase videos for Thermo King and PERI
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Documentary Videos

Documentaries can be used as a tool to showcase or highlight current events, issues or stories. In the right hands, documentaries are potentially powerful and interesting educational tools.
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Event Videos

Events videos capture events, celebrations, momentous occasions. Events videography is more complex as it requires the use of multiple cameras and excellent lighting abilities.
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Health & Safety Videos

Health and safety videos are used as an educational tool to inform staff and visitors to a company of potential hazards that may be encountered while at work or while visiting certain locations.
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Induction Videos

Induction videos have multiple uses: First and foremost, an induction video introduces and welcomes new employees to a company. Additionally, an induction video may be produced to introduce your company to a new client.
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SPECIALIST PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO



Aerial/Drone Photography

Aerial photography offers a unique omniscient perspective that is often unattainable with a standard camera. Hiring an experience drone operator can ensure that your project, site or product is photographed from an all-encompassing and interesting angle.

AERIAL / DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY


Aerial/Drone Videography

Similar to drone photography aerial or drone video creates a beautiful landscape to set the scene for your video, it works great for introductions and chapter breaks it can also be used to showcase the size of your premises, product or fleet in an epic and dramatic way.

AERIAL / DRONE VIDEOGRAPHY


360 & VR Video

360 degree and Virtual Reality Video technology is on a skywards trajectory and it's important for anyone working in this field to stay on top of the latest offering.




360° & VR Video


360° Panoramas & Virtual Tours

360 degree panoramas have opened up a whole new user content experience - with the use of a headset of simply by swivling your phone the photographs captured offer a unique all encompessing experience - these are fantastic to show case large areas like factories, stores or landmarks.


360° Panoramas

360 degree and Virtual Reality Video technology is on a skywards trajectary and it's important for anyone working in this field to stay on top of the latest offering.

FEATURED PROJECT

CLIENTS

united_nations_un_women
nepad_african_union
anglo_american
soundidea_digital_agency
gea_africa_client
thermo_king_truck_refrigeration
kaltire_tyres
peri_formwork_scaffolding_engineering
serco_truck_bodies_trailer
surtee_group_power_of_trading
hugo_boss
crh_africa
world_net_logistics
redefine_property_group
china_telecom
khanda_seating
maksal_copper
braviz_fine_foods
solar_mining_services
wispeco_aluminium
fedics
african_global_funds