Photography Dissertation

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“Laughter is part of the universal human vocabulary. Unlike English, Spanish or Swahili, we don’t have to learn to speak it. One of the remarkable things about laughter, is that it occurs unconsciously. While we can consciously inhibit it, we do not consciously produce laughter.

That’s why it’s very hard to laugh on command, or to fake laughter.

For the remainder of this dissertation when I refer to humour I am addressing a ‘common’ and ‘universal’ sense of humour that most people can relate to.

“DESPITE THE FACT THAT HUMOR PLAYS AN IMPORTANT PART in our lives, there isn’t a lot of literature on the psychology of comedy.

A single piece of humour can arouse a response in a lot of people rather than just a single person, and this is because most people have a common ‘sense of humour’.

A more generalised depiction of humour is probably more universal, a ‘Sense of humour’ is something we refer to that describes what kind of mood an individual requires evoking a particular set of emotions.

Being ‘funny’ is a difficult thing to achieve in your work as a photographer, “”[1] Most good photography that is in the public domain is ‘serious’ in concept, I want to approach the perspective of photography within my dissertation by looking at examples of photography that have content that provokes humour.

Photography covers numerous purposes ranging from justice, medical, scientific, historical, documentary, photo-journalism, topographies, criminal records, business, advertising, photo manipulation, photo art, photo montage, pictorial photography, fashion, television and an almost limitless, various other creative uses.

We can find humour in photography since the earlier days of photography; some of the work which was seen serious at the time is no longer severe and could be passed as humorous, respectively some of the photography that was seen as humorous at the time could be disregarded or frowned upon in our modern times “…it is helpful to remember that we are looking back to when ‘good taste’, ‘good manners’ and ‘good form’ were based on standards that were very different from today’s – to times when the rich and powerful employed fools, physical deformity was a legitimate source of amusement, and the social elite might entertain themselves by visiting insane asylums to taunt the inmates.

Even torture and executions were public events often conducted in a carnival atmosphere complete with snacks and refreshments.


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