Photojournalism is, as the name suggests, photographic reportage. It is the visual reporting of current events for publication in newspapers, magazines and on the Internet. It is about telling a story with one image or a series of photographs, usually accompanied by text. The photographer’s brief: the photograph(s) must capture and reflect a person, place or event as presented. Photojournalists must take responsibility for conveying the subject matter of their images factually.
Topics: Latest Blogs
On a recent assignment in Asia I shot still images, produced video clips and recorded sound bites from the location to be used as a soundscape for a sequence of images.
Technology has rapidly changed the way we think and work as photojournalists. To continue working in this genre many photojournalists have diversified, added extra skills and become multimedia experts. They have learnt to shoot videos, acquired interview skills and been taught how to write articles. All of this helps the photographer to have more control over projects and offer extra value to a media organisation. After all, when you pitch for an assignment you need to offer something that sets you apart from your competitors.
A number of photojournalists and documentary photographers are struggling to earn a decent living and yet they are still not willing to embrace the changes happening around them.
The Chilean piper played patiently while we waited for the light to be in the right place. I had allowed an extra day on this assignment to research the location and determine the best time to make the image.
I arrived a lot earlier than I needed too, a habit I acquired early in my career from watching other photographers at work. As a young man I assisted a National Geographic Photographer on a project. He asked me to get to the location early in the morning and I thought I had but he was already at there when I arrived, planning and preparing. By the time the talent arrived and the sun was rising, the photographer had everything in place and was ready to shoot the image.
The smoke was slowly spiralling from the woman’s ear as the surgeon leaned over to complete her work.
The doctor was performing a middle ear operation for a patient on The Lifeline Express, a train that has been converted into a travelling hospital. The train journeys across India to poor, remote villages, and the medical staff from India and overseas donate their services for free. On this occasion, we were parked at the Wardha railway station in the state of Maharashtra while the medical staff performed surgery and provided treatment for polio, cleft palates, middle ear infections, cataracts and dental conditions.
Documentary photographers are often accused of focussing on the negative side of life, only taking pictures of dead bodies, conflict and misery. One critic claimed that some photographers climb over loving couples, cooing babies and contented grandparents in order to shoot the only negative aspect of an event. To a certain extent the critics are right but I don’t believe this is always the truth.
For instance, in my project about Village Life, I am trying to look not only for the challenges facing rural communities but also the joy, rewards and life enhancing moments that can be found in villages.
Recently, I was in Italy photographing Italo Mondovecchio, a farmer from Tuscany. “Can I get my chicken?” Italo asked. He returned from the shed tenderly holding a beautiful looking bird. I lifted the camera to take the portrait and immediately Italo burst into song serenading, with gusto, his best friend, the rooster.