Tag: journalism

Singapore suggests

In January I spent three weeks in Asia, mostly in Singapore. As always it was a stimulating trip on many levels. The food was great, the company equally good and the workshops were a blast. I have been trying to put a bit of distance between myself and that experience. I want to figure out which parts were really important and blog-worthy (and which parts were fun when they happened but don’t have much long term meaning.) I do this because unlike some bloggers, if I write about something to soon after it happens, I usually emphasize the wrong thing. Read More

What makes a good photo editor

In late April, I had the honor of presenting my work to undergraduate and graduate students in the photojournalism program at the University of Texas at Austin. This PJ program is highly regarded and has produced some great photographers over the years. The last thing I did during my brief time there was an open portfolio review, primarily looking at the work of graduate students. Throughout my time in Austin (and during that portfolio review in particular) the question was repeatedly raised, “how do you make a living in this incredibly difficult photojournalism market?” Near the end, one student said something about where he might go in the future with his photography and I was all but dumbstruck by his brilliance (and my inability to respond.) Read More

Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part four)

Patient readers of this blog will know this is the fourth (and last) entry in a series exploring the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they photograph? I have been muddling through these four essays because it is not an easy question to answer. Similarly, there is no magic bullet or one size fits all solution. The one thing I can say with complete certainty is that anyone who claims to have such a simple, crystal clear answer is oversimplifying, has never worked in the real world, is delusional or all of the above. Read More

Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part three)

In between making a living and preparing for a big trip to India I have been mining my career (and my memory) as I consider the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they photograph? Answering that question has been (and will continue to be) a work in progress for me over my entire career. I can think of a few points where I got that balance closer to right and a couple where I am less sure that I did that. Read More

Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part two)

In the last (and the next) few blog posts, I am exploring the question, what is the photographer’s responsibility to the people they are photographing? On one level this is an intensely personal decision that is best answered after an equally intensely process of decision-making. On the other hand, it has to be guided by some larger philosophical framework. If that sounds like an ethical dilemma, I think it is. Because I am slightly closer to the end of that long process rather than the beginning, I can identify and share some of the milestones of my own journey. Read More

Exploring our responsibility to the people we photograph (part one)

A photographer/friend wrote me with an excellent question, one that I now realize that I have been struggling with over my entire career as a photographer/photojournalist. In order to answer him coherently I needed to do what I have been doing in so many recent blog entries. That is, taking the question, rolling it around in my head, mining my life’s experience, making some half-baked notes and then asking him (and myself) more questions. Although I have the outlines of an answer, I have no idea exactly where this series of blog entries will go by the time it is it is finished. The one thing I am sure of is that it will take me a few postings to both think through my answer and to make it coherent enough for others to understand. Read More

Does National Public Radio hate photography?

One of the many great things about listening regularly to National Public Radio (NPR) is their extensive coverage of the arts and culture. They carry numerous freestanding shows (and have numerous reporters/hosts) exploring different aspects of culture and the arts. They usually end each hour of their major daily broadcasts with a report on some aspect of arts and culture.  So why is their a yawning gap in their coverage when it comes to photography? Read More

The transformative power of my first grant

One of the first grants that I ever received was not a particularly big one, but it was an important one.  It taught me many lessons that I still follow to this day. It changed my life as a photographer.  That grant still exists today and I was surprised/pleased to get a recent update about it. Read More

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