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Thread: Journalism and Photography

  1. #1

    Default Journalism and Photography

    I've been thinking recently about the role of photography and journalism and how they can contribute to each other.

    Beyond the traditional newspaper journalism and

    Investigative journalism is not really a Singaporean tradition but in cases where journalists execute investigative articles there have been significant breakthroughs like in the case of the NKF and the recent illegal gambling den at the Senegal consul.

    Also, as photographers since many of us are looking to tell a story, is there room for more collaboration between photographers and journalists, through traditional media and beyond? Such as self-published reports.

    Also, is there room to look beyond traditional photojournalistic approaches technically? There is a certain style to photojournalism and I was wondering if a different aesthetic approach might shed new light on a subject.
    I quite fancy the work of Sebastio Salgado, who sometimes approaches his subjects through a slightly dreamy ambiguous eye
    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...55C0A967958260
    http://www.democracynow.org/2001/5/2..._and_uruguayan

    Not sure if there are any writers/journalists in here but your views would be interesting to hear from too...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Journalism and Photography

    Regarding photojournalism aesthetic I do think there are room to explore beyond traditional approaches.

    For instance, I remember in a previous World Press Photo competition a Magnum photojournalist made a series of images of a catwalk at Olympus Fashion Week, and I remembered them more for the capture of light, form and faces.

    Then there was another series which were essentially just unposed portraits of faces of people at a Pope's vigil. These were taken for Newsweek.

    If I remembered correctly, recently Life! featured three international photographers, one of whom who shots in the documentary style but digitally add elements such as angels to the photos afterwards.

    Certainly photojournalism students have been taught things like taking the general backgrounder wide-shot, narrowing down to details, captioning, and writing the story to accompany photos in a photo-essay ala Kobre. Some would say it's still necessary to be around your subjects, getting really intimate and familiar with them to make a good essay. But I suppose there's room beyond that.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Journalism and Photography

    In the recent SIPF exhibition at Old School, there seems to be much photojournalism and sociojournalism. I don't see any aesthetics (I mean works which purely aim to entice the higher taste and senses of beauty) at all. Is selection of submissions therefore discriminatory or is there really no single soul working on aesthetics other than our Uncle Tung here?

    In my opinion, a good photojournalistic shot is more powerful than a journalist's pen. Media is a combination of video, photo, and text. If a fourth parameter called 'art' is added, it should be more interesting for the next generation of media. However at the end of the day, photojournalism cannot exclude the essence of truth and the feel of reality. If you have these two and you can really chuck in something for the mood, then it's a 'powderful' piece.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Journalism and Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by f1to128 View Post
    Regarding photojournalism aesthetic I do think there are room to explore beyond traditional approaches.

    For instance, I remember in a previous World Press Photo competition a Magnum photojournalist made a series of images of a catwalk at Olympus Fashion Week, and I remembered them more for the capture of light, form and faces.

    Then there was another series which were essentially just unposed portraits of faces of people at a Pope's vigil. These were taken for Newsweek.

    If I remembered correctly, recently Life! featured three international photographers, one of whom who shots in the documentary style but digitally add elements such as angels to the photos afterwards.

    Certainly photojournalism students have been taught things like taking the general backgrounder wide-shot, narrowing down to details, captioning, and writing the story to accompany photos in a photo-essay ala Kobre. Some would say it's still necessary to be around your subjects, getting really intimate and familiar with them to make a good essay. But I suppose there's room beyond that.
    I believe you are talking about this
    http://nymag.com/fashion/look/2008/spring/documentary/
    This shoot got very positive press in the photo community in new york

  5. #5

    Default Re: Journalism and Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by leejay View Post
    In the recent SIPF exhibition at Old School, there seems to be much photojournalism and sociojournalism. I don't see any aesthetics (I mean works which purely aim to entice the higher taste and senses of beauty) at all. Is selection of submissions therefore discriminatory or is there really no single soul working on aesthetics other than our Uncle Tung here?

    In my opinion, a good photojournalistic shot is more powerful than a journalist's pen. Media is a combination of video, photo, and text. If a fourth parameter called 'art' is added, it should be more interesting for the next generation of media. However at the end of the day, photojournalism cannot exclude the essence of truth and the feel of reality. If you have these two and you can really chuck in something for the mood, then it's a 'powderful' piece.
    I'm thinking whether a different aesthetic approach can offer a different sense of "truth" and "reality"

    in the same way that a wide-angled lens is almost a photojournalistic cliche that creates a certain aesthetic look that one associates with a "reality"

    I'm also wondering what the role of photography is nowadays in society. I think that a combination of journalism and photography (text and image working together) still produce the strongest impact that has some logic behind it.

    Also, how can photographic stories reach an audience?
    I think some of these questions were raised by James Natchwey's recent TED prize and his slideshow...which was beautiful of course but I was wondering what impact it had on people?

    There used to be a time when images affected people to action but nowadays the impact is much harder to achieve

    In a Singaporean context I think one striking image was the Hougang rally during the elections..

  6. #6

    Default Re: Journalism and Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by mattlock View Post
    I believe you are talking about this
    http://nymag.com/fashion/look/2008/spring/documentary/
    This shoot got very positive press in the photo community in new york
    The set I saw was different, but I believe the set you linked has been shot by the same photographer. Thanks for linking. I do not know how to describe my feelings towards this set but I like it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Journalism and Photography

    The hougang rally image is a good example specific to Singapore to start discussion I feel. I am sure the mainstream media had made similar shots of the crowd though I only remember the shots disseminated through an independent blogger. Certainly citizen journalists have a role in offering independent and alternative reporting.

    While not entirely related to photojournalism, the recent event of a group of students setting up an independent paper is to me another sign that alternatives to the mainstream opening up. If the censoring happened say a few years back, I imagine that the students would have just shrugged their shoulders.

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