Main Assignment Evaluation

Overall I am satisfied with my final project and believe it portrays a message of the responsibilities the workers must do to look after these marine mammals. I also believe that these photographs would help raise public awareness on seal rescues if published for the National Geographic Publication.
The photographs I did come out with gave an overall feel of what takes place behind the scenes of the sea life sanctuary, along with the roles the animal care workers do for there seals. I also successfully showed the seals interactions with the visitors who seemed to enjoy the experience.
However, on the occasion I was unable to capture photographs of the workers interacting with the seals, like the one Peter Dejong captured of the workers feeding and nursing seal pups in the Netherlands. If I came out with an image like this it would have been the perfect photograph that sums up the documentary, unfortunately this wasn’t to be.


Final Assignment Appraisal

My final project required me to produce a documentary feature that would be suitable for publication in a magazine, newspaper or website. In the world of documentary photography it’s essential to negotiate into somewhere in order to acquire the best outcomes, therefore this was the route I decided to take. The idea for my main assignment came to mind when watching television one day; I came across an advert about adopting a seal and how threatened they had become. This gave me the idea of producing a documentary on seal rescue. I remembered once visiting Scarborough’s Sea Life Sanctuary and their programme involving the rescue, treatment and rehabilitation of seals back into their natural habitat.
The Sea life sanctuary is home to a vast number of sea creatures including sharks, turtles, jellyfish, otters, penguins and seals.
In order to carry out a detailed documentary I researched into other photographers work, as this would aid me in my approach and the structuring of my project.
Photographer Peter Dejong was commissioned by Associated Press to capture photographs of baby seals that are kept in a seal-rehabilitation centre in the Netherlands. These seals were washed up along countries northern coastlines after torrential storms across Europe. The photographs captivated my interest and enhanced my idea further.
My chosen publication for my feature is the ‘National Geographic’ as this is a magazine that covers all aspects of the planet and inspires its readers into caring for the world we live in. The magazine is packed full of insightful and thought provoking photography and infographics, including proficiently written articles and features on wildlife, culture, geography, history and current events. The National Geographic institution cover just about anything of importance to our world, and I believe awareness on wildlife rescues is a very important to the conservation of the worlds animal species.
I contacted the sanctuary at Scarborough and spoke to a member of the animal care team giving a brief description of my proposal and asked for permission to take some behind the scene photographs of seal rescue operations. The sanctuary worker approved and said she would be happy to give me a tour of the facility.
The photographs taken are presented in black and white, as this theme is stereotypically more common in documentary photography, this sets the mood or feeling of the importance of what is taking place. I have chosen to approach my documentary feature in a way that will allow me to capture ‘behind the scenes’ activities supported with descriptions on the things that are happening within the photograph. I also intend to describe the codes and signs used in the pictures.


This is the establishing photograph I shot for my seal rescue documentary, the image shows two of the care workers behind the scenes of the sanctuary. The signifiers on this photograph are the workers and the equipment that surrounds them. They signify the workers responsibilities as the woman looks to be engaged on what essentials are contained in the box her hands are in, she looks as if she could be preparing for food prep or tidying away. The man in the photograph is glancing towards the whiteboard in concentration, perhaps reading the text that has been penned. All the tools such as the knives indicate that this is the kitchen where the workers prepare the food for the animals.


This photograph was taken behind the scenes of the sea sanctuary showing one of the animal care workers preparing the food. In this image demonstrates how the worker sets out the fish that will be fed to the seals within the food preparation area. The main signifiers in this photograph are the fish; they are the main focal point of the image and show the viewer that this is food prep. The fish, knife and table signify that this is the kitchen area and I imagine that the workers must follow strict procedures and policies when using the premises. The writing on the whiteboard looks coded, which I believe will make the viewer curious and ask questions as to what the message portrays.


This photograph is one of the captivity rooms within the Seal Rescue Centre. Seals that are sick or being rehabilitated are housed in this area. The signifier of this photograph is the room itself, and through the window is a picture of a seal, which identifies the area. The window in the image is where the visitors would view the rescued seals. Evidently there were no seals in captivity on this occasion but it certainly gives a feel of isolation however it’s important any seal being treated is kept incubated in this room to prevent further spread of disease.


The picture above also taken at the Seal Rescue Hospital shows a care worker providing multivitamin and iron tablets for the seals, which is the signifier. The carer carefully places the tablets on some tissue in order to separate the multivitamin tablets from the iron tablets. The carer also counts out the tablets before carefully placing them on the tissue, this is very important to ensure the seals receive the required dosage.
The seals are given these tablets twice a day and the young pups once a day in order to keep their bodies healthy. The tablets are administered by placing them inside the dead fish’s gills so they go unnoticed when the seals feed.


This photograph was captured on my tour with the paying visitors around the sea life centre. The intention when taking this picture was to capture the visitors interactions with the seals. The signifiers in this photograph are the seal and the visitors. They signify a communication between the people and the seal. The seal looks curious as his eyes are fixated on the mans finger. The little girl from the side angle looks to be entertained by the seal’s expression and looks like she is enjoying the whole experience.

The photographs shown depict a wide range of social codes demonstrated by the body language of the subjects. Hopefully this gets a message across to the viewer regarding the importance of the work being carried out at the sanctuary and the responsibilities of the workers involved.

Research Into Main Assignment Publication

As a photojournalist it is crucial to have an audience in mind when tailoring some images for a publication. A photojournalist must be aware of the publications readership and the demands of the consumer.
For my main assignment based on seal rescue I believe a suitable publication for these photographs would be the National Geographic publication.
The National Geographic covers every corner of the world packed full of insightful and thought provoking photography and infographics, including proficiently written articles and features on wildlife, culture, geography, history and current events. Photographs based on seal rescue should be something that people must be aware of worldwide and the National Geographic has a diverse audience, with people from all over the world reading the features.
For Many years the National Geographic society’s mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. The main purpose was to raise public awareness for the important things in our world, such as, natural places, the plants and wildlife that inhabit them and the environmental problems that threaten them.
I believe my documentary on seal rescue fits the publications mission seen as seals are one of many endangered marine mammals that are often stranded upon the shores and need our help. Images of these mammals will help raise public awareness because if the seals are not giving help they will surely not survive, which could lead onto their extinction
According to the demographics, the National Geographic’s target audience is more leaned towards females than males and more common for the younger generation around the age of 25.





Research References:





Visual Research for the Main Assignment

For the main assignment, I am required to produce a documentary feature suitable for publication in a magazine, newspaper or website.
This feature must be a documentary feature that is suitable for an existing editorial publication.
To get the best documentary images it’s crucial for a photojournalist to negotiate his/her way into somewhere, therefore this is the pathway I will take for this assignment.
After successfully capturing images behind the scenes of pub life for my Hidden Assignment, I have decided to take inspiration from this task for the main assignment.
I have managed to negotiate my way into Scarborough’s sea life sanctuary, where I aspire to put together a documentary on ‘seal rescue’ and how the workers take care of them. This will include some behind the scene images of the animal care team workers preparing food for the seals, checking water temperatures and taking care of the seal’s health.
The set of images will be tailored towards the National Geographic publication, as I believe photographs on animal rescues should be informed worldwide. The National Geographic covers every corner of the world packed full of insightful and thought provoking photography and infographics, including proficiently written articles and features on wildlife, culture, geography, history and current events.
It’s important to have an idea of what to document before the big day arrives. Below are a set of images photographers have covered based on animal rescues that will give me an idea of how to approach the assignment.

Peter Dejong

Peter Dejong is a photojournalist who has worked for the Associated Press for the last 25 years, based in Amsterdam and a member of the Supervisory Board World Press Photo Foundation (2001-2009)
Peter’s work is diverse, he has covered images in Moscow focusing on shelter for homeless children, India on the Muslim and Hindu riots, Sevastopol Russia 1992 Black Sea Fleet, Macedonia’s refuges crisis and many more.
However, Peter has also captured photographs on baby seals that were rescued from European Storms published in the National Geographic. The images show feedings and nursing for the pups.

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Eddie Howland

Eddie has photographed a variety of events that also include weddings and your standard portraits.
Eddie has photographed some images of animal rescue, the images below show a three photographs of a dog that was rescued from a badger set

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Here are a set of photographs that I also aspire to for my assignment, the photographers for these pictures are anonymous.

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Ethics Essay Plan

A photojournalist has to get the picture. Does the end justify the means? Write 2000 words

Essay Checklist:

Case Study

1. Introduction – set out what your essay will cover.
2. Define what you understand by the phrase ‘The Ends Justifies the Means’. Include some quotes from your reading.
3. Introduce the photographer that you have chosen and say why you have chosen them. If you have read anything about their ethical approach include some quotes.
4. Analyse their working practices and photographs within the framework of the ideas you have set out in 2.
5. Form a conclusion about whether the ends justifies the means.


1. Introduction – set out what your essay will cover
2. Define what you understand by the phrase “The End Justifies the Means”. Use theory quotes for this section and the following section…
3. Introduce the theory system that you will use to consider this idea.
4. Analyse the concept of the End Justifies the Means in the light of this theory and apply your ideas to photojournalism. Again use quotes to back up your ideas.
5. Form a conclusion about whether the ends justifies the means.

General Essay Advice

1. Set out your point of view at the beginning and stick to it, do not go off at a tangent.
2. Only one idea per paragraph
3. Keep it simple and straightforward
4. Use Harvard referencing for quotes (see the library website for exact instructions).
5. Include a bibliography and a list of websites you have used for your essay.

The Ends Justify The Means?

In the Classic Utilitarianism (written by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill) Bentham’s best-known claim implies ‘an act is morally right if that act causes the greatest happiness for the greatest number’. In the utilitarian point of view, it can be strongly considered ethical to harm or damage the reputation of someone if it’s beneficial to the wider community. The ends justify the means because the actions taken have succeeded in achieving an end that benefits the majority of people therefore the actions are considered to be ethical.

‘The Means’ = is the process the photojournalist takes in order to get what he/she needs.
‘The Ends’ = is the outcome of the process, which for the photojournalist is the final image that they desire.

In the world of photojournalism, competition is vast so it’s crucial to capture the best shots, even if risks are involved. The photojournalist has to put every effort into getting the right image, it can be debatable as to weather the process one takes to getting this image is ethical or immoral. Photojournalists must do whatever it takes to come out with the picture that they need. This can be done in so many ways, some in which people perceive as been wicked but its what the job is all about. The requirements within this completive field of journalism involve many risks, some of which are life threatening if it involves capturing war images. However, this is what gets you the money, and a colossal sum of that.
The module guide states that I can approach this essay with a case study of a documentary photographers work or as a pure theory essay. For the essay I will be studying the work of photojournalist James Nachtwey, who is considered to be one of the greatest war photographers of the recent decades. James is dedicated to documenting wars, social, critical and conflict issues. After studying some of his images I believe his work can be good examples the type of pictures photojournalists have to get, that show the some of the most shocking and distressing issues. In todays era people don’t really believe what is happening until they see graphical images. Without the ‘pain of seeing’ these tragic truths, people wouldn’t really know the real truth and the harsh reality of this word. It would be based on imagination from what they is read in the newspapers or social media stories.
Studying James Nachtwey and the images he has taken, my case study will be based on war photographs and add theory from my readings into utilitarianism that will show that the images taken could hurt the subjects or people they love but will benefit the general welfare.

Street Photographs

Following the trips to Beeston and Shipley I decided to go on further trips by myself for further practice in the build up to my main assignment and also out of my own interest.
Street/Documentary photography is my strongest area, I like to capture images that show drama and the subjects are caught off guard when the images have been taken.
These wide range of images were taken on my smartphone seen as they were taken on the spot from my travels. My mobile device goes everywhere with me and if I see anything that catches my eye then I will simply take the image from my phone. I will then use some applications like Idarkroom and Snapseed to tweak my photos.
In my opinion, smartphone devices come in great use for photographers, especially shooting street images. The mobile device can be seen as a ‘fly on the wall’ they are hardly noticed unlike your Canon or Nikon cameras.
Although mobile photographs don’t show as much quality as your camera, they are useful for capturing unexpected drama. You can be surprised what you see when walking around the streets. Below are a set of photographs that I have taken using my mobile phone from different places I have visited.

Morley Life:
These set of images really captivated me from my walk around Morley. Morley is a place I know fairly well, I went to secondary school in this small historical market town. To me these images give an insight of the types of people who live in the area and portray the personality of each individual.
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Bradford City Centre:
Some images below I captured whilst making my way through Bradford for work. One day I showed up early, so to keep myself occupied I walked through the city with my mobile to take some photographs. These images below I believe showed drama and a story as to what was happening. Bradford is a huge city in the heart of West Yorkshire so I wish I could have captured some more images on the day, unfortunately my spare time was up.
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Leeds United Football Club:
As I was born and live in Leeds I have a big interest in the football team, Leeds United. From a very young age supporting Leeds United has being a huge part of me. I have visited football stadiums all over the Uk when Leeds United have played them.
One day I would like to document football rivalry and study the behaviour of the football fans, the good and the not so good ones. Below are a set of photographs taken from Elland Road just before a match day kick off on your regular Saturday afternoon.
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Leeds United Fans on Their Outings
Below shows a set of images of Leeds fans in the pubs before the game. The images show in detail the crazy antics fans get up to and the fun banter fans have with each other. The black and white theme suits the story well, it documents the fans having a laugh, chanting, singing, messing around and most of all, supporting the team.
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ITV at Vicarage Road, Watford
on Tuesday 8th April seemed a regular outing as a Leeds fan to go watch the team play Watford. We arrived at Watfords ground ‘Vicarage Road’ 45 minutes early so I decided to take a walk round with my mobile and take some images. It came a surprise to me when I spotted two people; a woman with a microphone and notepad and a man with a video cam. I presumed they were reporters and that they were when I saw the woman asking some fans questions, which will of been about Massimo Cellino’s recent takeover of Leeds United. I grasped the opportunity to take some images of what they were doing as it showed great drama of the event. After I had finished taking photographs I approached them and asked them who they worked for. The woman replied saying they are from ITV Calendar.
This was a great experience for me as I got to study professional reporters in action before the match, it gave me an idea of how it feels and was really inspiring. Below are the photographs I captured of the ITV reporters.
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These photographs show my enthusiasm for documentary/street photography and I will continue to develop my skills within this field of photography. I know that my camera will need to be used in the long run so my images are to the best quality standard.
I feel my confidence with a camera and big lens can alert the subjects for photographing and they may give me strange looks, however, by simply asking somebody for their permission it will make it less difficult, which is something I need to work on with people.

Week Nine: The Philosophy Of Ethics Part 2


‘An act is morally right if that act causes the greatest happiness for the greatest number’

An action is judged pragmatically by its effects. The results of an action determine is rightness.

Ethical Egoism

We have the duties to anyone but ourselves

Deontological Ethics

According to deontological (or ‘duty’) ethics it is the nature of the act that decides moral status…deontological ethics invites us to consider the act without pondering it’s consequences.

According to deontological ethics, some types of actions are prohibited, or obligatory, irrespective of their consequences.

The best known representative of deontological ethics is Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804).

The morally important thing is not consequences but what choosers think when they make choices

Only one kind of thing is inherently good and that is good will.

Good Will

• Is not a material thing
• Is our power of rational moral choice
• Its presence gives humans their inherent dignity
• The will is good when it acts out of duty, not out of inclination
• Acting out of inclination: to do something because it makes you feel good or because you hope to gain something from it
• Acting of duty is to act from respect for the moral law. To know moral law, we use the, ‘categorical imperative’

Categorical Imperative

Categorical imperative: a rule stating what ought to be done based upon pure reason alone and not contingent upon sensible desires. ‘I am never to act otherwise than to will that my maxim should become universal law’.

•Before you act, consider the maxim or principle on which you are acting
•Generalise that principle
•Test One: If once generalised it makes no sense because it contradicts itself, then it is wrong to use that maxim as a basis for action
•If necessary perform Test Two (Reversibility) – if the generalised version makes no sense, ask whether you would choose to live in a world where everyone followed it. If not, do not act on that maxim.

Interpretation of Kant’s Categorical Imperative

Even if Kant has not arrived at absolute duties in any impeccable way, he may have hit on a crucial moral truth. He may be right in his insistence that, in addition to a class of less strict, ‘imperfect’ duties (such as the duty to help each other), there exists a class of absolute moral duties (such as the duty never to kill an innocent human being).
Is he right? Are there absolute duties? Are there certain kinds of actions that we can clearly define such that we ought to perform, irrespective of their consequences in the individual case?
– Understanding Ethics: An introduction to moral theory Torbjorn Tannjo 2008

The Means Justifies the Ends

How does this affect the work of Journalists and Photojournalists?
If our ethics are based on our actions what should those actions be in accordance with moral duties?
What actions should we not take?
1. Don’t use people to obtain your goals to seek an edge or unfair advantage
2. People have rights which supersede the tyranny of the majority in utilitarianism
3. How far should respect for persons proceed?