This project is part of the Picturing the Social research.
This project involves an ethnographic study of social media photography, which will observe how people share and interact with images online. Focused around the theme of Sheffield, this study will analyse how images are used as part of both a social, and personal, production of space.
The field site is conceptualised in terms of three primary categories—namely the individual, the group, and the organisation—in order to ascertain the differences and similarities between different types of user. What, for instance, are the various motivations behind the sharing of photographs online? How does a photography enthusiast depict Sheffield in comparison to the local council’s marketing department? In what ways does the sharing and viewing of images of Sheffield contribute to a sense of location-specific identity? And how do photographs act as a catalyst for conversations that act to shape our experience of place?
Looking beyond the huge numbers of images shared online in order to understand individual stories and perspectives, this micro approach to the macro will explore how online image sharing is used and experienced, in order to consider how contemporary photographic practices are both personally and socially affective.