General information

Subject type: Optional

Coordinator: Rafael Suarez Gómez

Trimester: First term

Credits: 6

Teaching staff: 

Cristófol Casanovas Casanovas

Teaching languages


Cristòfol Casanovas and Maria Luna-Rassa

La impartició de l'assignatura pot ser en català o castellà. The notes, mostly in Catalan. Les lectures en català, castellà, i alguna en anglès.

Questions asked in either of the two co-official languages ​​will be accepted and answered in the same language as they were asked, in order to facilitate the student's comprehension.


Specific skills
  • E5_Design and make an audiovisual product (consisting of still or moving images), taking into account both its technical and artistic aspects, in all its components

  • E14_Acquire knowledge of the history, aesthetics, evolution and dynamics of cinema, television, radio, press, Internet and video games, how to recognize aesthetics through viewing and analysis

Transversal competences
  • T2_That students have the ability to work as members of an interdisciplinary team either as one more member, or performing management tasks in order to contribute to developing projects with pragmatism and a sense of responsibility, making commitments taking into account the available resources


The subject proposes to reflect on the use of the documentary photographic image in the representation of the social, political, economic and cultural problems of our society. 

Practical work is articulated from the individual (the self), the immediate and general environment, and the social environment. 


Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student must be able to: ¿· 

LO1-Present photography as a mediation tool that allows them to get closer to the reality of communities, people and social contexts. · (Competences G1, G3, E14) 

LO2-Reflect on the use of the documentary photographic image in the representation of the social, political, economic and cultural problems of our society. (Competences G4, G3, E14)

LO3-Understand in a basic way the historical evolution and the thought that has been generated by documentary photography. ¿(Competences G4, E14)

LO4- Plan, design and make a photographic documentary. (Competences E5, G14, G2)

Complementary results:

RAC1- Consolidate technical knowledge in photography. (Competences G3, G4, G4, E5)

RAC 2- To make visible the important presence of women in the world of Documentary Photography, from its origins. (Competences G3, G4, G4, E14)

Working methodology

The work in the classroom will consist of practical explanations based on text and photographs, which will show the essence of documentary photography through its authors and photographic technique.

The subject is articulated around two aspects:

  • Theoretical aspect: 
    • Study of texts by photographers and theorists.
    • History of photojournalism and documentary photography.
    • Analysis of authors, from the classics to the "street photo".
    • Importance of the photo editor. 
  • Practical slope:
    • Classes where the technique and photographic tools for each practice to be performed will be explained.
    • Different thematic practices: Portrait, macro photography, nature, objects, environment.
    • Personal research work.



The self-portrait and the portrait in painting and photography.

Documentary photography and its authors. Home. Science. Pictorialism. Wars.

- From direct photography to new objectivity.

- Birth of graphic journalism. Photo editors. Magnum Agency.

- Street photo and post photography.

Reflection and analysis

Reading of different texts by photographers, editors or philosophers, related to documentary photography. 

(Paul Strand, Cathy Newman, Minor White, Cartier Bresson, Eugene Smith, Regis Durand, Gisele Freund, Winston G. Morris, Joan Foncuberta).

- Watching documentaries showing the work of different photographers. Author analysis.

Photographic technique.  Practical outdoor and set photography exercises. Themes: portrait, environment, nature and macro photography. Using the study flash.

Delivery of works in typical format. User-level use of Photoshop.
Development of a documentary theme. 



Learning activities

Laboratory practices (20%):

Individual and group activities. Made in class (set and laboratory).

In the practice sessions, different activities are programmed aimed at the reflection and exercise by the students of the contents taught in the theory sessions, as well as their training for the realization of later exercises. 

Outdoor and outdoor activities:

- Make photographic sets, according to statements provided by the teacher.

Laboratory activities:

- Making leaflets related to the practical sessions that are being carried out. Basic use of Photoshop.

The internships are compulsory. A minimum attendance 80% of the time is required to qualify for an internship score.

Support Material:

- Plato, with study flashes and continuous light.

- Cameras.

- Laboratory: Statements of the activity. Photoshop and the Internet

Specific objectives:

- Consolidate knowledge in photographic technique.

- Build short documentary stories using photography and lighting. 

Related to learning outcomes: RA1, RA4, RAC1

Personal readings and research (25%):

- Realization of works from writings provided by the professor. Works destined to generate debate in class, moderated by the professor.

- Do small photographic exercises related to the self-portrait and the students' environment.

- Searches for authors. The student makes short presentations in class of his research.

- Carried out in the students' autonomous learning time.

- Visit to photographic exhibitions.

Support Material:

- Reading texts.

- Statement of the activity

Specific objectives:

- Research different texts related to art and documentary photography. 

- Relate authors and aspects or works of documentary photography.

- Use concepts seen in class.

Related to learning outcomes RA2, RA3, RAC2

Final Work (25%):

Individual work. Carried out in the students' autonomous learning time. With final presentation of the student.


Based on the theme proposed by the teachers, during the first class session, the student makes a photographic work that he presents at the end of the course, during class hours, along with a writing that complements his work in images.

Support Material:

- Statement of the activity.

Specific objectives:

- Recognize and apply content taught in class.

- Apply their technical knowledge and creative ability at work.

Related to learning outcomes: RA1, RA2, RA4, RAC1, RAC2

Examination (30%):

Individual work. Made in class according to calendar.

Exercise that may contain methodologically different tests (technical test, development of topics related to the subject and image analysis). Evaluates the assimilation of the contents taught and exercised in the subject, both in theory classes and in practices.

Support Material:

- Statement of the activity

Specific objectives:

- Show the degree of acquisition of the contents taught in the subject

Related to learning outcomes RA1, RA2, RA3, RA4, RAC1, RAC2

Evaluation system


Continuous assessment (70%):

  • Laboratory practices (mandatory) 20%
  • Personal readings and research (25%)
  • Final Work (25%)

Final Exam 30% 

To access this weighting it is essential to have achieved an average of 5 in both the continuous assessment and the final exam. If the student has a lower average in one of the parts, he / she does not access this weighting and fails with the grade of the suspended part.

The part of continuous assessment is not recoverable.

The exam part is recoverable in the Recovery Exam. To access the weighted calculation of the grade it is necessary to get a grade of 5 in the recovery.

The statements of the different exercises will be provided throughout the course. 
The detection of plagiarism in any of the exercises involves an automatic rating of zero, regardless of other processes or actions that may be undertaken.



· Freund, Gisèle. Photography as a social document. 10ª ed. Barcelona 2002. Gustavo Gili, 2002



· Women behind the camera. Cathy Newman. National Geographic. 2001

· John Szarowski. The photographer's eye. The Factory. 2007

· John G. Morris. Get this photo! A personal history of photojournalism. The Factory.2013

· Rodríguez, Francisco. What is photography. Ed Lunwerg. 2014

· VVAA Photographic Aesthetics. Ed Gustavo Gili 2003

· Henri Cartier Bresson. Photographing the natural. Ed Gustavo Gili.2003

· Joan Fontcuberta. The Pandora's Room.Ed. Gustavo Gili 2010

André Rouillé. Photography. Between document and contemporary art. Editorial Herder. 2017.

Wim Wenders and Joao Ribeiro Salgado. The salt of the earth. Documentary. 110 minutes. 2014

Sara Moon Divers and Roger Ikhlef. Contacts: The best photographers reveal the secrets of their profession. Original idea: William Klein. 33 chapters. DVD. Canal Arte, France. 2004.

Bouvereuse, Clara. (2020) Women Photographers. Thames and Hudson


· Robert Capa. Slightly out of focus. The Factory.2015

· Roland Barthes. The lucid camera. Ed Paidos Ibérica. 2009

· Steiner Otto. Art and photography. Ed Gustavo Gili 1981

Friedelad, Boris (2018). Women Photographers: from Julia Margaret Cameron to Cindy Sherman. loan