Tag: photojournalism

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

Critics and controversy

There is a new exhibition of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. I look forward to seeing it in person in the near future. I have long been a fan of Cartier-Bresson’s work. His was some of the first important work I saw when I was studying the history of photography. The work showed me how photography could be so much more than just a representation of the scene in front of the camera. Up to that point I had learned most of what I knew about photography from a commercial photographer turned photo teacher. Starting from that point, Cartier-Bresson’s work was a paradigm shift for me. In the recent review in the New York Times of the new Cartier-Bresson exhibition, the reviewer is attempting to similarly shift the paradigm of how we should consider the work of Cartier-Bresson. His approach struck me as almost absurd (and his review had factual errors.) Read More

What can the assistant bring to the photographer?

When I wrote the recent post on “Group questions versus individual questions,” I was obviously writing about that topic. But, I was also using the process of writing to clarify my own thinking on that subject. As I started to answer a query from a student in the Fotovision class that I just finished in California, I ended up similarly clarifying my own thinking on another topic. Read More

How photojournalists frame issues, for better or worse

I recently read an article by Steve Raymer, a former National Geographic photographer who now teaches at Indiana University. He was discussing how photojournalists “frame” issues. He was not talking about the literal framing of images or the composition, but rather how concepts and ideas are organized and presented by photojournalists. That got me thinking about my own work and how I had “framed” different issues that I had explored over the years. I also started to wonder if the way I framed things had helped or hurt my career. Read More

The New York Times Magazine drives a nail into its own coffin

I am not normally one to commend another photographer’s downfall, but this week, an unusual situation occurred. Doubly so, because I have, as politicians say, “a dog in this fight.” So, I am in fact going to pile on with all the others condemning the deception by Portuguese photographer Edgar Martins. Read More

Top ten keys to be a successful photojournalist (Part two)

I just wound up an interesting assignment in California. I wrote the first half of this two-part blog entry right after the first day of the project. Now that I have finished and I am writing the second half of the entry, certain points I wanted to share are even clearer to me than when I started. Read More

Top ten keys to be a successful photojournalist (Part one)

I am starting an interesting assignment in California. So far, it has been a lot of fun, but it has also been a great deal of hard work. To be honest, because I do not work on as many assignments as I once did, I was worried I would be rusty. In fact it has been quite the opposite. All the skills I developed over the decades that I was doing assignment work came back to me easily, a bit like riding a bicycle (or motorcycle.) Thinking about them led me to writing them down as a blog post. 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

Photo-essays, past, present and future

I have been producing photo-essays in one form or another for a couple decades. In that time, my approach to them has changed, as have the various ways that photo-essays are seen. After a long, slow decline in outlets, a new and exciting one has appeared. Read More

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What exactly is The Wells Point? It is podcasts and free information for aspiring and accomplished photographers. These materials have been designed to stimulate your creativity and improve your craftsmanship.

The phrase the Wells Point also refers to an important tool to better appreciate how light, time of day and the resulting light's direction can be utilized to immediately improve your photography.

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