Being a photojournalist in a war zone is a dangerous job. In addition to the physical hazards of combat photography, there’s always the possibility that you will be kidnapped and taken hostage by insurgents.
Ohio University graduate student Sara Lewkowicz recently published a disturbing and extremely controversial photo essay on domestic violence as part of Time Magazine’s LightBox series. The essay, which began as an assignment to document the stigmas associated with being an ex-convict, turned physical when the couple she had been photographing for months got into a violent fight right before her eyes.
The photo essay that resulted has caused no small amount of controversy on the internet, receiving over 1,500 comments from readers, many of which voiced their anger at the fact that Lewkowicz took pictures instead of intervening. Several of the photos show 31-year-old Shane physically assaulting his 19-year-old girlfriend Maggie while her 2-year-old daughter watched — many commenters expressed the belief that, in that situation, her camera could have been better used as a weapon. Read more…
Even if you’ve never heard of Peter and David Turnley, you’ve likely seen at least one of their photographs at some point in your life. The identical twins are two of the most renowned photojournalists to have covered world events over the past few decades. The video above is a fascinating 13-minute-long feature titled “Double Exposure,” which aired on 60 Minutes back in 1996 (warning: there are some strong images of violence). Read more…
The 2012 election season is now over, and photojournalists who have been scrambling for many months on the campaign trail can now take a breather and reflect on their experiences. Reuters sent us the video above in which Reuters White House photographer Jason Reed offers a short 2-minute-long behind-the-scenes look at what it was like to photograph Barack Obama as he hustled around the nation, “from riding in motorcades through the streets of Manhattan to flying in Air Force One.” Read more…
This may be a rare case in which a $695 class might actually save your life: Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism is offering a safety course for journalists who cover war, conflict and disaster zones. Read more…
Here’s an interesting 20-minute-long documentary film titled Chimping in which Dan Perez de la Garza speaks to various photojournalists about their work and the state of their profession. Subjects include two Pulitzer Prize winners and an Emmy Award winner.
CNN created quite a stir yesterday after laying off a dozen photojournalists due to the rise of citizen journalism and the availability of cameras. Here’s a humorous response to the story by Stephen Colbert, who gives us a glimpse into the “uncompensated future of news”.
Roughly 50 staffers at CNN were given pink slips today, including nearly a dozen photojournalists. In an email to the staff, Senior VP Jack Womack cited the accessibility of cameras and the growth of citizen journalism as reasons for the terminations:
We also spent a great deal of time analyzing how we utilize and deploy photojournalists across all of our locations in the U.S. [...] We looked at the impact of user-generated content and social media, CNN iReporters and of course our affiliate contributions in breaking news. Consumer and pro-sumer technologies are simpler and more accessible. Small cameras are now high broadcast quality. More of this technology is in the hands of more people. After completing this analysis, CNN determined that some photojournalists will be departing the company.
CNN’s citizen journalism initiative, iReport, has proved extremely valuable as a source of imagery during things like disasters and protests. However, it has also received criticism for not paying for submitted photos — even those that are subsequently broadcast worldwide.
Having cameras passed from person to person around the world isn’t a new idea, but FOCUSED is a project that takes it a step further by using entire SLR camera kits. Five of the kits will be sent out in early November to photojournalists, with each kit containing a vintage 35mm SLR preloaded with ISO 200 film, a manual focus lens (24mm, 35mm, or 50mm), a small notebook, an emergency roll of film, and a camera strap.
The bags will be shipped across the world from one photojournalist to the next – one in a small town in the middle of the U.S., another among relief efforts in a natural disaster zone, or working the White House press pool. Each photojournalist will get only one click of the shutter. [#]
The photographers will also be asked to document their photos by adding journal entries to the notebooks. The kits will be sent home once the film is finished, and the resulting photographs will be published online, along with their notes.