Visual ethnography resources

Here are some links I put together for this past semester's course, especially to assist students with their visual ethnographic projects. The teaching is over, grading is in final stages, but why let a good set of resources go to waste, eh?

Camera techniques

How to get a photo correctly exposed by adjusting aperture and shutter speed

Basic aperture and shutter speed technical information

On street photography


Freeman, Michael. 2007. The photographer's eye. Oxford: The Ilex Press.

——. 2011. The photographer's mind: Creative thinking for better digital photos. Lewes: The Ilex Press.

Wright, Terence. 1999. The photography handbook. London: Routledge.

A few ethnographic films on youtube

The Newspaperman of Sentul

Trobriand cricket: An ingenious response to colonialism

Nanook of the North: A story of life and love in the actual Arctic

Les Maîtres Fous ("The mad masters"), a film by Jean Rouch

Witchcraft Among the Azande. “Evans-Pritchard's book Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande has become a classic of both ethnography and theories of witchcraft. Now, anthropologist John Ryle and film-maker André Singer, who was himself one of Evans-Pritchard's students and has published on the Azande, have teamed together to produce the film Witchcraft among the Azande for Granada Television's Disappearing World series. Singer wanted to learn for himself the accuracy of Evans-Pritchard's analysis and to note the changes since the original fieldwork carried out between 1926 and 1930.”

The Kayapo.

Not a film, but ...: Journal of Video Ethnography. Open access journal; free subscription

There's also a growing collection of visual documentaries at Kyoto University's Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, drawn from an annual competition. Most of the videos are available on youtube. . .or were, the last time I looked. The 2017 competition is open for entries now, on the theme "Urban Life in Southeast Asia."


  1. The how to get exposure etc link "not found"
    Classic stuff here. Must watch a couple videos I have not seen.
    Keep the stuff coming.

    1. Thanks, Bion. They changed their article — link fixed now.

  2. I love this. i needed this for myself let alone visual ethnography


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