The Power of Photography

icône de pdf

Document 1 : Breathtaking beauty of Britain: a competition

Breathtaking beauty of Britain: Landscape photographs taken around the UK reveal the stunning wild countryside

The monument rises from a hill behind a shroud of mist. Before it, trees shed their coats into a placid body of water reflecting a cloud-flecked sky.

It could be the setting for a fantasy adventure, a game of thrones played out in murky1 history, whose heroes have long since been forgotten.

And indeed it probably was once, for this ethereal image is a photograph of Glastonbury Tor2, one of England’s most spiritual and historic locations.

The photo is just one of dozens of entries from last year’s Take A View Landscape Photographer of the Year Award competition. This year’s competition is now open for submissions from now until July 11.

The brainchild of renowned landscape photographer Charlie Waite [...] is one of the world’s most exciting photography com­petitions, but with an exclusive focus on the British landscape.

He said: “The power of a photograph can be key to conveying information what better way to encourage visitors to appreciate what Britain has to offer and to discover that there is joy to be had from our landscapes, whether they be large scale and dramatic or small and involving.”

Unlike many other photographic competitions, the Landscape Photographer of the Year Award celebrates the United Kingdom only, offering photographers worldwide the opportunity to showcase their images of this unique country.

From dramatic cityscapes to rolling countryside, misty tors in the West Country to the turquoise waters of the Hebrides, Britain’s remarkable landscape and volatile weather are showcased in all its beauty.

Last year an atmospheric shot of a misty autumn dawn at Crummock Water in Cumbria won the top spot when Derby photographer, Tony Bennett, became the seventh person to win the prestigious title.

His picture was chosen by the judges from the thousands of entries and appears in the book that accompanied last year’s award. [...]

The 2014 Awards are being held in association with VisitBritain and Countryside is GREAT.

Jasmine Teer, VisitBritain’s photography manager, said: “Capturing the breathtaking beauty of Britain’s landscapes through the lens is a skill that should be celebrated and shared, so we are very proud to support the Take A View Awards.

Britain’s natural scenery rivals that of many of our competitor destinations. Photographs that showcase the best of Britain play a vital role in VisitBritain’s mission: to raise our profile and inspire people all over the world to come and experience this beautiful country.”

Article from The Daily Mail website by Damien Gayle, May 30, 2014.

1. Murky: unclear, troubled.

2. Tor: a high, rocky hill.

Document 2 : A wonderful machine

The narrator is Amory Clay, a female photographer.

What drew me down there, I wonder, to the edge of the garden I remember the summer light – the trees, the bushes, the grass luminously green, basted by the bland, benevolent late afternoon sun. Was it the light But there was the laughter, also, coming from where a group of people had gathered by the pond. Someone must have been horsing around making everyone laugh. The light and the laughter, then.

I was in the house, in my bedroom, bored, with the window open wide so I could hear the chatter of conversation from the guests and then the sudden arpeggio of delighted laughter came that made me slip off my bed and go to the window to see gentlemen and ladies and the marquee1and the trestle tables laid out with canapés and punchbowls. I was curious – why were they all making their way towards the pond What was the source of this merriment So I hurried downstairs to join them. And then, halfway across the lawn, I turned and ran back to the house to fetch my camera. Why did I do that I think I have an idea, now, all these years later. I wanted to capture that moment, that benign congregation in the garden on a warm summer evening in England to capture it and imprison it forever. Somehow I sensed I could stop time’s relentless motion and hold that scene, that split second – with the ladies and the gentle­men in their finery, as they laughed, careless and untroubled. I would catch them fast, eternally, thanks to the properties of my wonderful machine. In my hands I had the power to stop time, or so I fancied.

William Boyd, Sweet Caress, 2015.

1. Marquee: a large tent for an outdoor event.

Document 3 : Past Present, Stonehenge


Elena Marimon Munoz, Past Present, Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England, 2015.

This photograph won the 2015 British Life Photography Award in the “Brits on Holiday” category.

compréhension 10 points

Document 1

Copy the numbers and find the corresponding information.


Name of the competition


Founder of the competition


Submission deadline for 2014


2013 winner


Location of the 2013 winning photograph


Season depicted in the 2013 winning photograph

2Say whether the following statements are true or false. Justify with one element from the text for each statement.

1. The competition only accepts photographs of British landscapes.

2. The competition is only open to British photographers.

3. The competition was first organized in 2013.

3Focus on lines 1 to 9. What adjectives best describe Glastonbury Tor (two different ideas) Use elements from the text to justify your answers.

4 Copy the right answer(s) and justify with elements from the text.

Charlie Waite says that photography can:

1. be informative.

2. be used to advertise Britain.

3. capture an ephemeral moment.

4. make people appreciate Britain’s beauty.

5 1.Name three types of landscapes found in the submitted photo­graphs and justify each of them by quoting from the text.

2. Explain in one sentence what this suggests about the British landscape.

61.Identify the two sponsors of the 2014 competition.

2.In your own words, give two reasons why one of the sponsors supports the competition. Justify with elements from the text.

Pour tous les candidat(e)s sauf ceux la série L composant au titre de la LVA.

7Say if this statement is true or false. Explain your choice in your own words and justify with two quotations from the text.

The article is critical of the competition.

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L composant au titre de la LVA.

8 Using elements from the text, explain the goals of the article regard­ing the competition.

Document 2

9 Pick out information about the scene (country, time of day, season).

10 Put the following sentences in chronological order.

1. The narrator hears noise outside.

2. The narrator goes back to get her camera.

3. The narrator is alone in her room.

4. The narrator decides to join the people in the garden.

11 1.Comment on the overall mood of the people outside. Justify with two elements from the text.

2.What event may be taking place outside

12 Focus on lines 16 to 25.

1.What are the narrator’s intentions in taking a photograph (two ideas) Justify each idea with one quotation from the text.

2.What does this passage show about the power of photography (two elements)

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L composant au titre de la LVA.

13 “What drew me down there, I wonder, to the edge of the garden ” (l. 1-2)

“Why did I do that I think I have an idea, now, all these years later.” (l. 16-17)

1.Comment on the narrator’s state of mind as illustrated by the above sentences.

2.How is this conveyed stylistically (two elements)

Document 3

14 Document 3 involves two types of photographers: the tourists and Elena Marimon Munoz.

1.Using elements from the picture, give two reasons why the tourists are taking photographs.

2.In what ways do Elena Marimon Munoz’s intentions differ from those of the tourists (three elements)

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L composant au titre de la LVA.

15 How is Elena Marimon Munoz’s message conveyed visually

Documents 1, 2 and 3

16 Comment on the power of photography as shown in the three documents. (three forms of power)

expression 10 points

 Les candidat(e)s des séries ES, S et L (hors LVA) traiteront au choix le sujet 1 ou le sujet 2.

1Elena Marimon Munoz gives an acceptance speech at the British Life Photography Award ceremony on the virtues and limits of photography. Write her speech. (300 mots)

2Discuss this statement from document 2: A camera can be a “wonderful machine” (l. 24). (300 mots)

 Les candidat(e)s de la série L option LVA traiteront le sujet 3 et le sujet 4.

3 The narrator of Document 2 arrives at the party with her camera. Continue the scene, imagining the reactions of the guests. (150 mots)

4Discuss this statement from Document 2: A camera can be a “wonderfulmachine” (l. 24). (300 mots)

Les clés du sujet

Document 1

La source

Le Daily Mail est un journal britannique fondé en 1896. Politiquement, sa ligne éditoriale est conservatrice et populaire.

Pour en savoir plus :

Résumé du texte

Cet article de presse présente un concours photographique consacré exclusivement aux paysages britanniques. Ce concours vise à renforcer la renommée du pays et à attirer les touristes étrangers.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

Breathtaking (titre) : à couper le souffle  shroud (l. 1) : (ici) voile  mist (l. 1) : brume  shed their coats (l. 2) : perdent leur feuillage  to be flecked (with) (l. 3) : être moucheté de  brainchild (l. 14) : création  scale (l. 20) : échelle  to showcase (l. 24-25) : mettre en valeur  dawn (l. 30) : aube.

Document 2


William Boyd (1952-) est un écrivain, scénariste et réalisateur britannique. Parmi ses romans, Sweet Caress (ou Les Vies multiples d’Amory Clay), raconte comment une jeune femme se voit offrir par son oncle un appareil photo du début du xxsiècle avec quelques conseils de base pour s’en servir. Or cet appareil va changer sa vie.

Pour en savoir plus :

Résumé du texte

Lors d’une fête en Angleterre, un après-midi d’été ensoleillé, une photographe observe depuis sa fenêtre une scène pittoresque où des gens se rassemblent autour d’une mare. Elle décide de les rejoindre et de prendre son appareil photo pour « capturer » l’événement.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

To draw down (l. 1) : faire descendre, attirer  to baste (l. 3) : badigeonner, (ici) illuminer  bland (l. 3) : terne  pond (l. 5) : mare  to horse around (l. 6) : faire le fou  to slip off (l. 11) : glisser de  trestle table (l. 12)  table sur tréteaux  laid out (l. 12) : recouvert  lawn (l. 15) : pelouse  benign (l. 18) : chaleureux  relentless (l. 20) : incessant  finery : (l. 22) : plus beaux atours.

Document 3

La source

Le British Life Photography Award existe depuis 2014. Ce prix a pour but de mettre en valeur les photographes professionnels et amateurs de tous âges, ainsi que de sensibiliser le public à l’art de la photographie.

Pour en savoir plus :

Les points de convergence

Ces trois documents soulignent l’importance et le pouvoir de l’image, plus précisément de la photographie, et évoquent les paysages britanniques.

Le sujet d’expression 1

Une direction possible

Le début d’un discours se doit d’accrocher immédiatement les auditeurs. Plusieurs points doivent ensuite être abordés : ici, en l’occurrence, les limites et les points forts de la photographie, en insistant bien sûr sur ces derniers.

La conclusion doit être positive et marquante, afin d’inciter amateurs et jeunes à persévérer dans cette voie artistique.

Le langage utilisé doit rester formel et une certaine rhétorique doit être présente.

Key ideas

What an honour to receive this prize today! I stand before you with pride. Photography may be considered as inferior to other art forms but should not be. It is limited only by the imagination: a photo is one moment in time immortalised forever. Nothing can replace personal experience but they do say a picture tells a thousand words.

Les sujets d’expression 2 4

Une direction possible

Attention à ne pas confondre camera et « caméra »  on parle bien ici d’un appareil photo. Insister sur l’idée qu’un appareil photo est un objet en perpétuelle évolution technologique, pouvant revêtir une grande importance dans la vie de tout un chacun. En effet, on peut se sentir puissant avec ce genre d’appareil, qui donne la capacité de « capturer » et d’immortaliser une scène.

Key ideas

A way to stop time and immortalise a moment forever. Something that is becoming more and more popular affordable. Gone are the days when we had to spend a lot of money to get a decent camera and pay for films and printing fees thanks to technology we can have thousands of photos at a fraction of the price.

Le sujet d’expression 3

Une direction possible

Imaginez comment différentes personnes réagissent face à un appareil photo : certaines vont jouer de leur apparence, d’autres vont rester plus timides, plus sensibles à leur image.

Pensez à équilibrer dialogue et narration afin de respecter le ton de l’extrait.

Key ideas

People react differently when confronted with a camera: some pose and smile, others hide away. How does a photographer react: hiding to capture a more natural shot Standing at a distance in order to remain detached from the scene or coming up close to the action and the subjects



Document 1

11. The competition is called the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year Award.

2.It was founded by Charlie Waite.

3.The submission deadline for 2014 was the 11th of July.

4.The 2013 winner was Tony Bennett.

5.The location of the winning photograph was Crummock Water in Cumbria.

6.Autumn was the season depicted in the winning photograph.

2 1.True: “an exclusive focus on the British landscape” (l. 16) or “the United Kingdom only” (l. 23-24)

2.False: “photographers worldwide” (l. 24)

3. False: “the seventh person to win the prestigious title” (l. 32-33)

3 Glastonbury Tor can be described both as mysterious or magical (l. 8-9) that is to say something other-worldly or “ethereal” (l. 7), as well as being impressive as if it was from another time “whose heroes have long since been forgotten” (l. 5-6). It is also beautiful (“trees shed their coats”, l. 2) and “peaceful” (“placid body of water”, l. 2).

4 Photography can: informative: “a photograph can be key to conveying information” (l. 17-18) used to advertise Britain: “what better way to encourage visitors to appreciate what Britain has to offer” (l. 18-19)

4.make people appreciate Britain’s beauty “there is joy to be had from our landscapes” (l. 19-20)

5 1. The different types of landscapes are cityscapes/urban: “dramatic city­scapes” (l. 26), countryside/rural: “rolling countryside” (l. 26) and seascapes/watery: “the turquoise waters of the Hebrides” (l. 27).

2. This suggests that the British landscape is varied and beautiful in different ways, but also mystical/legendary.

61.The two sponsors are “VisitBritain” and “Countryside is GREAT”.

2.The first sponsor, VisitBritain, supports the competition for two reasons: the first is quite simply because it “showcase[s] the best of Britain” (l. 44) to the rest of the world. Secondly, it “inspire[s] people all over the world” (l. 45-46) to visit the country, so it develops tourism.

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s des séries ES-S et L-LVO.

7 False: the article is on the contrary very positive about the competition and on the impact it has on the country. It is “one of the world’s most exciting photography competitions” (l. 15-16). It offers “photographers worldwide the opportunity to showcase their images of this unique country” (l. 24-25).

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L-LVA.

8 The aims of the article are firstly to make people more aware of this competition and to encourage them to participate perhaps (by giving the date when submissions close, l. 12-13). But mostly it seeks to celebrate the art of photography and the competition itself. What’s more, it celebrates the importance of the British landscape.

Document 2

9The scene takes place in England on a summer afternoon.

103.The narrator is alone in her room.

1.The narrator hears noise outside.

4.The narrator decides to join the people in the garden.

2. The narrator goes back to get her camera.

111.The people outside are obviously enjoying themselves around tables covered with food “laid out with canapés and punchbowls” (l. 12-13), they seem joyful: the narrator hears “delighted laughter” (l. 10) and “merriment” (l. 14) amongst the guests.

2. We could imagine there is perhaps a wedding or a garden party taking place.

121.The narrator wants to stop time, to prevent anything from changing. She wants to preserve the moment for eternity by capturing it on camera. “I wanted to capture that moment […] to capture it and imprison it forever” (l. 17-20), “I had the power to stop time” (l. 24).

2.This passage shows the power of photography through its ability to capture ephemeral moments and also at how spontaneous it can be. The scene was in no way planned or contracted by the photographer. Moreover, it can turn an ordinary event into something really special.

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L-LVA.

13 1.The narrator was in such a dream-like state when the scene took place that even now she feels unsure about what really happened. Now she looks back with nostalgia and greater understanding of the scene years later.

2.The narrator uses rhetorical questions in order to include the reader more closely in the situation. She also uses extensive punctuation, dividing her sentences into shorter sections to represent the natural thought process. She uses specific verbs to express her reflection (“wonder”, “think”).

Document 3

14 1.The first and most obvious reason the tourists are taking photos is because they are in front of one of the most famous monuments in Britain (Stonehenge) and they want to immortalise the moment. Perhaps they want to be able to share it with friends and family. The second reason is for the beauty of the scene with the sunset in the background. Finally, they may want to do the same thing as everyone else.

2. The photographer wants to encompass both the tourists and the tourist attraction in the same picture. Her idea is to contrast history and modernity: to show the striking contrast between an ancient monument and modern technology. There is also a distinct contrast between different things that man has been able to create over the years. Furthermore, her photo was taken in a professional context in order to participate in a competition. This contrast may aim at denouncing mass tourism, which somehow spoils the scene.

Uniquement pour les candidat(e)s de la série L-LVA.

15We can see the image of Stonehenge both in its full glory in the background but also multiple times in the foreground on the screens of people’s mobile phones. None of the tourists seem to be actually admiring the scene, but instead they want to capture it, immortalise it and no doubt share it on social media. As she is close to the tourists, we feel she is part of the crowd. Yet, the high-angle shot may imply that she looks down on the tourists, who are treated as a mass.

Documents 1, 2 and 3

16We can observe several forms of power through these documents: artistic power (by transforming an ephemeral scene into a work of art), informative power (when the photos convey a message or are used to criticise social behaviour) and also the power to keep track of one’s memories, that we may share with other people.



Un peu de vocabulaire

saying: proverbe

2 4 Guidelines

A picture tells a thousand words – we’ve all heard the saying and I must admit it is true.

I mean, you can describe a scene in as much detail as the most famous writer or poet but nothing can beat actually witnessing it yourself.

A camera is a wonderful machine in that it allows us to do just that. One click and the scene is immortalised for all eternity. In the past we needed to print in order to share those images with friends and family but today, thanks to advances in technology, one more click and we can share them with the rest of the world!

In fact, photography is something that is becoming more and more popular and more and more affordable. Gone are the days when we had to spend a lot of money to get a decent camera and to pay for films and printing fees for every photo: thanks to technology we can have thousands of photos at a fraction of the price.

The biggest change in modern times is perhaps that the camera is no longer a simple object used for one purpose: taking photos. Cameras are integrated into our smartphones or our tablets. Cameras themselves now have functions that allow the photographer to modify the images taken, to film scenes and to upload the photos at the click of a button.

But personally, I prefer old-fashioned cameras. The object itself is something of wonder: not only is it a beautiful object but you have to work to get your pictures, take some time over the shots and not just delete and start over. In this everchanging world I think it is important to record events and keep them in mind and also on paper: there’s nothing I enjoy more than taking photos before printing and organising them into a scrapbook to immortalise my experiences. None of this would be possible without a camera.