About [ethics in photography]

Photography and film-making are increasingly integrated into many aspects of a student’s academic life. Even two decades ago, visual images of others were for private or small group viewing. This is no longer the case. We now have cell phone cameras, Facebook, blogging and other means of communicating images to a wide audience in a very short time. Many of these images find second lives, being shared in ever-widening networks or, even, picked up by news outlets. And this dramatic technical change raises questions that are not part of most students’ thinking. Now is the moment, when with the many service-learning projects and increased funding for undergraduate research at Duke and other schools, to examine what it means to take, own and share a photograph.

The workshop has a single objective: to get Duke and other students thinking about their responsibilities in taking a photograph when they are participating in a service-learning program or carrying out their own research.

We have brought to Duke a number of leading photographers and a photography editor to reflect on their ideas of responsibility when they take or use a photograph of another human being. The morning panel will be moderated and will allow for questions.

Following lunch, students who have registered will gather in their assigned small groups to think through issues raised by the morning’s panelists. A local photographer will help moderate each group. The groups are not expected to report out.

One week in advance a very brief case will be placed on the DUCIS website for the workshop. The panelists will receive the case and be asked to comment from their experiences.


While the morning program is free and open to the general community, lunch and the afternoon breakout sessions are limited to college students from Duke and other area colleges and universities.

For more information, contact Rob Sikorski [Email: r.sikorski #AT# duke.edu ].