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photojournalism as art

What are people’s thoughts on photojournalism as art? Is the aesthetic element of our documentation an essential function of what we do? Perhaps being a journalist overrides this purpose. Whichever takes preference or precedence, the question still lies whether this kind of photography can even be considered an artform.

by [a former member] at 2006-02-04 19:25:50 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Montreal , Canada | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I believe if a person feels my work is art so be it, but to me personally I don’t consider myself an artist.

by Oscar Hidalgo | 04 Feb 2006 20:02 | | Report spam→
There have  been a number of different takes on this: (1) the two are separate things, an example of which is when Capa counseled Bresson to leave his diddling with surrealism behind and take up photojournalism; (2) the two are intertwined, as instanced by Dorothea Lange’s statement: "There is no real warfare between the artist and the documentary photographer.  He has to be both."  (3) or the rather more subtle if not coy position taken by Salgado, which simultaneously separates and unifies the two: "I can be an artist a posteriori, not a priori."

This debate still rages at Magnum meetings, if what one hears is true.  The agency appears to be divided between those who are in the artist camp and those in the journalist camp, and the difference of opinion has led to some rows.

If I review the members of either of those camps, I would have to count myself among the journalists, because it is their work that moves me most, but if you were to ask me what I think is behind photojournalism then I would honestly have to classify it as an art:  it is an expressive form, not an algorithm or a formula or even a statement;  it deals in moral truths, not in axioms or mathematically precise equations; it is in its very essence a "representation" with the same set of narrative qualities that govern other arts (and not just the visual ones) — that is, we tell stories, and stories are "fictions"  (nonetheless, a fiction can be true, the highest truth, if not real or objective); and it shares all the same esthetic ideas of other visual arts.

Partly the problem stems from the modern idea of art.  Art was not always "Art": the gradual secularization, reification,and fetishization of art as an isolated practice with specific ideological values, market values, and cultural trappings has turned it into something that is decorative rather than "useful," a luxury rather than a common object.   The idea of "art for art’s sake" would have been ludicrous in Michelangelo’s time or in Homer’s time.  But let us take a more commonplace example to put this into perspective.  Look at a tribal oriental rug made, let’s say, by a poor baluch woman in the northeastern provinces of Iran.  Today, 19th century examples of such rugs — which back then were made simply for home use as floor coverings, walls, and beds — are collected as art and cost a pretty penny.  In my mind there is no question that in fact they are great art, they meet every criteria; but when that rug was made its owner would not have thought of it in those terms because it was considered not just one thing but many: a domestic product with obvious utilitarian value; an art object that delighted the senses; and a religious/metaphysical object as well, not just because some were made specifically as prayer rugs, but also because every, and I mean every tribal rug from Turkey to Afghanistan carries with it the centuries-old emblems of a consistent metaphysical or cosmological scheme (the forms are not so random as they might appear at first glance).

I think that when photojournalists object to the idea of photojournalism as art, what they are really objecting to is its commodification as a marketable "art object" which threatens to drain it of its inherent "use" value as revelation or hard-hitting truth, as reportage intended to create change, and instead attaches to it a false market value as "art" that is intended for rarefied viewing in a museum or on the wall of some rich collector.  From this dilemma stems other moral quandaries, such as can photojournalism be considered beautiful, or is there something wrong with photojournalism when it presents ugly truths with such beauty (a frequent point made against Salgado).  This seems a bit of a canard to me, really, because after all the history of art is full of ugly truths presented beautifully — just look at Goya’s "Disasters of War."  (It could be argued that Goya was the first pictorial journalist.)  Still, it is certainly understandable that many photojournalists hesitate to call what they do "art," since the purpose would appear to be so utterly different and the manner by which the image is created would also appear to be quite different — unlike the studio photographer or art photographer, the journalist presumably does not manipulate the image unduly or simply "create" something that wasnt there.  The journalist is said to "record" truth.  Here is a great quote, found by Alex Reshuan, that makes the point nicely: "A photograph is not created by a photographer. What he does is just to open a little window and capture it. The world writes itself on his film. And the act of the photographer is closer to reading than it is to writing. He is the reader of the world" (Ferdinando Scianna).  And yet, reading is also an art form, or so Proust would have it.

So I guess what I am arguing is that photojournalism as art only becomes a problem when we focus exclusively on its marketing or distribution — the consumption end of things.  This is what Salgado in his sly way was hinting at (unsurprisingly, since he was trained as an economist).  But if we talk about the art inherent in its practice or creation — the production end of things — then I think we have to agree that it is art, so long as the idea of art we are entertaining is not a narrow one and does not imply some kind of "illicit"manipulation or factitiousness on the part of the creator.  And this is what Lange was getting at, I am sure.  

by Jon Anderson | 04 Feb 2006 21:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
If you consider art as an aesthetic form of communication, yes, I see myself as an artist. For me art is "good" when it tells me something, when it forces me to think and not when it is art just for the sake of art. From my point of view,  there’s one crucial constraint for photojournalists, you are bound to telling about the world as it is and not only about metaphysical concepts of the world.
If you consider art as something rare and expensive intended for rich collectors or museums, I second Salgado’s quote "I can be an artist a posteriori, not a priori." (Very theoretically because nobody thinks that my photos are worth collecting.)

by Daniel Etter | 05 Feb 2006 04:02 | Cologne, Germany | | Report spam→
Every individual has such a different idea of what is considered “art” and what is “good art” that I think it’s hard to say if ALL photojournalism is art or not. one photojournlists photos might be art to one, and just journalism to another. What one person would buy to hang on their walls at home might be totally ugly to another person.

For me, personally, I think that the greatest photojournalists are the ones that can tell a story, and be artists while they do it. The ability to see and capture life with a camera in ways that I would have never thought to, is the best kind of art I can think of. but again, that’s just one persons view of “art”.

Jon – very nicely put:)

by Ana Pimsler | 05 Feb 2006 08:02 | Alexandria, VA, United States | | Report spam→
Ana, I like your final definition, not bad at all!  And I also heartily agree that it is hard to say if all photojournalism is art, in the sense that it achieves a level of expressive force and beauty that it can be said to rise above the mere communication of a news event and become something more enduring.  Again, a lot of the problem comes down to how we define "art":  many trades for example are not exactly "art" but must be classified as one of the arts in the broad sense of the term.  So in a sense any given example of photojournalism can be part of a practice that we define as "an art," but for lack of good artistry is not itself "art".  So now we are introducting the element of artistic execution as a criterion.

And as far as personal taste goes, well that brings in another dimension: Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup cans still dont qualify as art in the eyes of many people.  I myself never cared for Warhol either, though I understand why he most definitely belongs to one trajectory of the history of 2oth century art.  But this implies the conclusion that taste is not a criterion, ultimately, because Warhol, though you or I might not like it, is definitely Art:  it is commodified as such, sold as such, exhibited as such, analysed as such. 

Personal taste is a tricky thing anyway, and I mistrust the concept of subjectivity whenever it appears in these kinds of argument.  It is a very weak concept that doesnt hold up to analysis for many reasons, one of which is the fact that there is no such thing as pure subjectivity or individuality or taste.  What most people think of as "subjectivity" is actually better thought of as "intersubjectivity."  These are social constructs, and although one person’s view may differ from another, the views to which each adheres are already structured and set up for each of them, and of course their personal opinions matter not a whit for the material status of the thing as it is socially received — in other words, I may not think much of Warhol’s cans as art, but art it is, and art it will remain even if in the future that form of art goes out of favor.  Now why this is, in fact, is a very complicated matter.

But  I would certainly wish to distinguish between Photojournalism and  what is generally called Art Photography, most of which personally I cannot abide simply because it seems so much like a one-trick pony.  Compared with the best Photojournalism, which I guess is so good because it  manages to convey many stories rather than a simple message, the Art Photography of today seems rather pallid and weak and — worst sin of all in my eyes — contrived.  But then how does one distinguish between the two, it is not at all easy.

One final twist: is photography itself an art at all, or a sham art?  The 19th century, faced with this technology for the first time, tended to think not, and that led photographers to experiment with pictorialism, until the new modernism exemplifed by Weston et al. replaced it.  I remember once leaving an exhibit of Alex Webb’s recent work at the Leica gallery in NYC, and in the elevator some people were discussing what they thought.  One fellow scoffed, "ha, Instant Art."  In other words, in this guy’s view, photos — all photos not just Webb’s (which I suspect were far too subtle for his limited imagination, to be honest) — were pretenders to the throne of Art because all it took was to push a button and voila Instant Art.  It lacked what he considered to be a fundamental criterion of Art, that it be a product of tactile labor, that it be worked over by the hands of the artist.  Course, you and I know that it is not so, but why this fellow is wrong and we are right is another very hard thing to explain.

by Jon Anderson | 05 Feb 2006 09:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
In todays world, everything and everyone is an artist – with that comes both the question of quality and scholarship. This open ended decline began on both sides of the Atlantic over forty years ago and has in fact evolved into this conversation. Is a photograph by Lou Reed or John Szarkowski art or celebrity driven art, art now belongs to the masses and scholarship and critical thinking are not in vogue. There is a term that some photo editors use called: “Acceptable Quality”, this term and those that practice it are the end of photography as I know it. Back to your question: “Is Photojournalism Art”, no. It’s photojournalism, there’s nothing wrong with that, I don’t subscribe to the idea that everything and everyone is an artist, that a photographer is an artist, he or she is not, they are photographers and again, there is nothing wrong with that. JPN

by John Patrick Naughton | 05 Feb 2006 10:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
I refer again to the Chinese proverb I mentioned earlier….why is it that westerners are always preparing to live…seems, to me, this question, is an example of this kind of mindset…

to me, the question is akin to this: peanut butter or jelly? (frankly, i cant live without either ;)) so, something for now, as I have to run …

so quickly

I find artists who separate themselves from photojournalists (in terms of qualitative difference) to be pompous bores. And I find photojournalists who view their calling/work as something more "authentic" to be equally boorish….we’re all tripping over the same lilacs in doorway’d bloom…..

It is always interesting to me to read how persistantly "photojournalism" defines itself by its separation from "artists"….as if one picture were an objective manifestation of truth (as opposed to "art" which, apparently, is a "subjective" manifestation of a point of view). Photojournalists delude themselves if they believe that they are NOT waving their cameras from a specific point of view (they’ve chosen a specific place/person/moment/frame to document something which is much more organic and transitory). The photograph is the try in the attempt hope of shedding (shredding) a curtain of truth upon something. Artists delude themselves with the idea that what they are engaged in is an deeply, shredding born of a particular point of view (subjective). I’ll leave more comments later, but this duality (to me) has always been humorous at best (drunken arguments late at night) or cloyingly pretentious (Magnum’s on-going House of Atreus earthquakes).

Show me one photograph from either camp (photojournalist/artist) that is NOT consummed by the same fiery orgin: the human ache to document, to witness, to uncover, to attempt to explain, to bandage that which has been scratched wide open: our wonded, searching endlessly selves.

Photography (like all human forms of questioning and documenting) is born from the same rich soil: we are acrcheologists and witnesses. To me, some of the richest "truth" ive seen have come from artists and some of the most breathtakingly beautiful (artistic) photographs which have haunted my life have come from photojournalists.

To me, it is simply a distinction between "occupations" photojournalist/artist. I have never separated either camp by some qualitative measure. Maybe photojournalists wish for the societal/historic weight that is often accrued to artists (bullshit weight) and artists wish they often had the steady income ( ;)))) ) of most photojournalist.

I break it down to this: who’s work has biten into me, with whom have I enjoyed the most rich conversations, from whom have the questions come: both.

Stop this silly categorization and pour yourselves a drink (this  ones on Sion :))) )….

Let the holed-up folks long after we have departed squabble over these unimportant and irrelevant distinctions…

What is the quality of a photograph? Does it, for me, feed me questions….and remind me how little I know, how much I continue to want to see (understand)….

family calling.b

by [former member] | 05 Feb 2006 11:02 (ed. Feb 5 2006) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
JPN, if photojournalism is not art, then what is the difference between Capa’s Death of a Soldier and Goya’s "Y no Hay Remedio" (take your pick of any of his mordant scenes from Disasters of War)?  I am not baiting you,it is an honest question.  Why is Goya’s Disasters of War considered art (Great Art) and not photojournalism?  (Let us assume that we are comparing Goya with a fully achieved and gifted photojournalist, not just any hack.)  Take a look and you will see why I ask this question.  It is not for nothing that I called him above the first Pictorial Journalist.  If he had had a camera, he would have shot those scenes.  So what is the difference, the medium?  The execution? the means of distribution (museums and patrons vs magazines and editors)?  The purpose of the communicative act?  What you are calling "quality and scholarship" (I presume you mean Criticism and Connoiseurship and all the accoutrements of Art history and consumption) — is this what separates the two, defines them and rates them, anoints one and damns the other?

I am not sure that all art belongs to the masses - I agree with you, there is a degraded form of mass culture, but what about genuine popular culture, popular art?  A vodun flag from an illiterate guy in Bel Air is not art? 

Certainly not everyone is an artist, nor is everything art; but having rejected that rather shallow statement for what it is, we are still left with some interesting issues regarding how photojournalism is defined artistically, and I for one simply dont buy an outright "No"
- that is just too final, too simple.  It is an assertion without valid reasons given for its truth value.

Actually I am tempted to agree with Bob,  not just that it is a matter of semantics and categories that ultimately dont mean much and really just show the limits of words and rational thought -which as photographers we shouldnt rely on too much anyway - but also that we are talking about something like "occupations" and not the core of meaning that the photograph represents and is the important thing ultimately.  The things that have bitten into me, as Bob puts it, are the things that count, regardless of the conventional definition attributed to the object.  And it so happens that for me a picture by Eugene Richards is as poetic, artistic — biting — as any so called Art I have ever seen and studied. 

I say I am tempted to agree — because I am not wholly convinced: that occupational difference is significant, and at least in terms of consumption of the image, there are significant consequences involved there.  I am waiting for Sion to set us straight here – . . . . meanwhile I am reaching for a beer.

by Jon Anderson | 05 Feb 2006 11:02 (ed. Feb 5 2006) | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
If you look at Guy Tillums work you can see a photojounalist who is an artist as well. 
Some are, some are not.



by Leonard Neumann | 05 Feb 2006 11:02 | Dallas, United States | | Report spam→
Here is another thought: Bresson (one of  the godfather, yes?, of photojournalism) suspended a bowler-wearing man-shadow behind the Saint-Lazare station in Paris, in 1932, and allowed him (by his choice of shutter-speed stop) walk upon water: a feat of unnatural apotheosis…a photojournalist allowed a man, in 1932, to walk upon water and his own shadow….and then there is, for example, Arbus, whose last untitled work speaks more honestly and more heart-breakingly about mental illness and loneliness than (for me) Nachtwey (a photographer i often admire) work on a similar theme. Anyone whose read Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and coupled it with Evan’s images understands that this kind of bifurcation is completely irrlevant….there are only interesting photographs (stories) and uninteresting….

and this anecdote: last year, my son started using his first "real" 35 mm camera (an old Pentax my wife had given him). He went to Moscow for the summer, and I asked him to take alot of photographs of Moscow and his grandparents dacha (summer cottage) so that I could see what it was like, what he saw….some of the photographs were strange, beautiful delerium of dream flowers, close up of wood walls, flower seeds, my wife’s parents…some out of focus, some flur, some precise…they were a country of strange hypnotic beautiful….i ask him what he did, what he thought about; he said "to show you what is there and what i see"…

this year i saw the garden, the dacha…he was right….i had been given the opportunity to see it before, even though it probably looked like nothing i would have recongized originally….

in photography (a photograph), there are only 2 distinctions: interesting stories and uninteresting stories…for photography is comprised of this river-country of stories and sometimes the camera and photographer get it, get some part of it and it transcends and other times it does not….

an artist is a photojournalist is a photographer is a person is a loss…..

shoot, that is all which should matter…
running to take a walk with my son and wife…

by [former member] | 05 Feb 2006 11:02 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
There is lot of very good commentary in this thread.

All photo making is an aesthetic event. All photos operate based on their aesthetic components, and what distinguishes the great photographers is how clearly they are able to articulate their aesthetic position. The more conscious we are as journalists about how our pictures operate the more we are able to control of influence that vision in the pictures. It doesn’t matter if this is at a press conference or at a breaking news event or at a birthday party. The pictures are engaging and interesting according to how they operate and how they perform on the media stage, and that is all about the aesthetics.

Hmmm, back to the Super Bowl…

by A. Mayer | 05 Feb 2006 17:02 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
It seems, on very quick reading, that there’s virtually no discussion on moral issues on this thread… whether it’s okay for photographers to frame the ‘inhumanity of man against man’ or others’ suffering and feel at home with holding it up as ’art’….

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 05 Feb 2006 18:02 (ed. Feb 5 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
perhaps there is something inherent in creating an aesthetic piece out of reality, or placing an order (by means of composition and form (naturally including the form of light and shadow).. maybe even beauty) on top of a world with disorder (‘inhumanity of man against man’ or others’ suffering) that we are somehow able to elevate the way things are seen in front of us.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the role art plays in photojournalism… perhaps it is by means of the art (aesthetic form that can be so numbingly but also evocatively inspirationally beautiful) that we are able to somehow teach and be visionaries of a better way to see the world, even when what we are depicting is grotesque. a will to elevate the grotesque, if you will.

by [former member] | 05 Feb 2006 20:02 | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
Hmmm . . .  good points Jenny and Kitra.  But again, if you think about what is implied in my analogy between Goya and Capa, then you will see that the moral issues are there, though not spelled out.  So let us spell them out a bit more clearly.

First, let me respond to Kitra: while it is a safe bet that most photojournalism is motivated by a will to change things for the better, I wonder if that is all there is to it.  I know I work hard to change things for the better here in relation to the problem of Haitian migrant workers in the cane fields — but that is only one part of what I do here, and there are some themes I investigate where I really dont work to make things better because I dont believe that change in that sense is possible, nor that it is even relevant (though in other small ways I do in fact seek to call attention to problems that can be resolved, so it is a bit mixed).  Or let me give an example from yet another theme: cockfighting.  While many would argue that cockfighting is a brutal sport and a pure form of cruelty to animals, I certainly do not intend my cockfighting pix to serve as fodder for that argument and I have absolutely no desire to put an end to the practice (quite the contrary).  What others see as depraved blood sport, I see as an important cultural practice as well as an example of what St Augustine called "beautiful and in harmony with nature’s laws."  Ok, that may not be a great example of photojournalism, documentary is more like it, but close enough.  What Kitra has just described is very close to an argument I have heard Salgado making when he has been accused of beautifying the pain and suffering he documents — that it is through his power as an artist he can make that suffering so palpable, the beauty of the image making an impact that a poorly done image wouldnt manage to do.  I can buy that, but I am not certain that I would want anyone to place any kind of moral limits on what I can do as a photojournalist, or the range of feelings I elicit, or the tone I use.  If you look at Goya’s Disasters of War, he clearly is motivated by a fierce anger over the depravity and stupidity of war, and he clearly would like to see war eradicated, but I dont think he is working to elevate the grotesque or even working for a change for the better — the situation as he depicts it does not admit of change: human beings are seen as vicious, depraved beasts.  The indictment is savage, it is a savage book, the tone is deeply deeply ironic, and it just doesnt fit your usual "war is bad, let’s work for a better world" kind of thing.  So my question is, why cannot photojournalism be just as savage, just as ironic, just as morally ambivalent? 

I like the idea of teaching, but I am more interested in teaching truth than in promoting change, ultimately, and truth is not a comfortable thing, it is often grotesque, and just as often has nothing to do with bettering our lives.

Now to Jenny, and bear with me, I am not making any definitive statements, i am just exploring matters here that I constantly mull over without complete success, but by writing them down here, I find that sometimes I approach something like clarity, or at least shed a little more light.  How can one square the two realms of photojournalism and art? That is, how can one take the misery that one has captured on film and hold that up as art?   I assume that what you mean is something like the following:  I once went to a small gallery that was selling some of Eugene Richards’ prints as art — that is, these 16 by 20 prints were going, I dunno, for maybe a thousand bucks at some small experimental gallery in Tribeca (a thousand bucks back then, now they would sell for more).  Among the pix were some shots from Dorchester Days, but also some more hardcore images from Cocaine Blue (the headshot of the man and woman, with tears streaming from their eyes).  My companion, not a photographer, turned to me and expressed her disgust, basically giving me the same argument that Jenny has just iterated.  How dare this guy sell this image of these suffering people as art.   And indeed, it does bring you up short — but why? that is the basic question I want to pose.  why is this considered an outrageous moral transgression?  Is it OK for Goya to display his etchings and sell them, though they are even much worse, much crueler, but not OK for the photojournalist to do so?  Why is that?  Because Goya represents human types and Richards an individual? Is it the invasion of privacy here?  But there are Goya paintings that display quite clearly the identity of the sufferer, and yet no one would think to criticize Goya in this manner — why?  And in the cases where identity is not so much an issue, is it OK then, or is there something morally suspect in the crossing of the line, and if so, just what line is it we are crossing here?  is it the marketing of the image that somehow offends?  The fact that it ends up on a wall to be looked at as "art"? Why is it ok to print and sell the images in a book or an magazine,  but not print and hang them on the wall?  Or is it that when we invoke the word "art" and put it in quotes, the quotes signify a kind of sneer because the art world is a frivolous marketplace of corrupt attention seekers who just want to make a quick buck by shocking people, so we degrade ourselves by participating in that marketplace?  I’d love to hear some answers, because it seems to me that the argument has always been a very vague thing, or something that is always a problem for photojournalists but never for other visual forms or for writers.

by Jon Anderson | 05 Feb 2006 21:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Photojournalism is art in the same way as a Tarantino movie is art. To some they are hard hitting, shocking, offensive – to others they are pure art. Different people’s views on the same item.
Isn’t art meant to drag some reaction out of it’s viewer?

by Vic Joubert | 05 Feb 2006 23:02 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | | Report spam→
Hi, to clarify, my concern relates to protecting the ‘rights’ of the subject. We are in a highly privileged position to travel the world with a camera, to shoot a ‘subject’ who is suffering for whatever reason, and to ‘use’ that image for our purposes, so the purpose for which the image is to be used is extremely important, i believe. I very much doubt that the subject would have given permission for the image to have been shot if it were known that the image was for creating ‘art’ – and if they are in a situation of suffering, even less so. So in order to protect the rights of the subject, the purpose in the mind of the photographer is extremely important, and if it is for creating ‘artwork’, I begin to question whether it is more the ego or the interest of the photographer that is being satisfied over the interest of the subject. In so many cases, the person before the camera has neither the same level of freedom nor the same freedoms of expression due to their situation, so those of us in the more privileged position (in terms of having the freedom of expression, the opportunity, and all that is required to put us in a position that permits us to ‘create’ – take that picture) we are walking a path bordering on exploitation, IF the intention in our mind is not straight. This is the way I interpret Salgado.

By the way, if we are documenting human rights issues, doesn’t it raise a question over our own integrity if we are not able even to protect the basic rights of the ‘subject’ at the moment we press the shutter – by virtue of the intention we have in our mind of the use we are to put that image to? Of course, the issue under scrutiny, or the subject area being documented, may be considered ‘bigger’ than the individual, but the question still remains.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 06 Feb 2006 02:02 (ed. Apr 12 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Sometimes the situation that the photographer and the subject are in, whether agreed or not – could be landscapes or general out door stuff or situations where privacy of the subect is of utmost importance, or not as the case may be – can transcend any intention the photographer had when placing the camera to his/her eye. What a shock that can be, the slow realisation that it’s not really you that is doing the talking. When that occurs it can reach what some may call art, as thet image may take on a universal aspect, the fact that the picture can speak to many cultures and backgrounds and remain timeless.

It’s amazing what some artists – self proclaimed – get away with when they pick up an easel, camera or chisel…

by Sean Dwyer | 06 Feb 2006 02:02 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
I love what you just said Sean about the universal speaking through us – i think Bresson would have agreed with you… can you tell me what you mean by that last sentence? I may be reading it wrong because i’m not sure how it fits in with previous line….

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 06 Feb 2006 03:02 (ed. Feb 10 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
It is reductive to ever attempt to decide who acts morally within the context of photography. This is a profound question and it is not up to us to deside this for others. I think it is an eggregious idea to consider what constitutes "moral" work in the decision makers of others. Its bombast and something only individuals, who are working terribly hard to resolve such questions individually, to decide. Ironically, i most those who often speak the most about "moral" responsibilit those who’ve done the least arround them, morally speaking. The artworld and the photojournalism world are possessed equally of the good and the bad. I would ask each photographer to ask themselves this question, but I believe it is a profound failing to decide what constitutes a moral photographer of another…..if that, we should put all the cameras away and doing more concrete: something most of us fail continually to do…

the wrestling with conscience needs to be done, as Pascal reminds, in the corner of the rooms of our honest, unlit selves…..

by [former member] | 06 Feb 2006 10:02 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
I agree with you totally Bob that it is for each of us to decide where we stand on any issue and allow others to do the same.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 06 Feb 2006 10:02 (ed. Feb 6 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
o, my god, my grammar really sucks (as does my typing)! :))))…its called typing with one hand and then answering students questions the next: forgive my sloppy writing everyone :)))…cheers, bob

by [former member] | 06 Feb 2006 11:02 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Two interesting anecdotes to consider: In the documentary War Photographer (a biography on Nachtwey), Nachtwey recounts (as does his partner, a camera man) a moment in an Asian country (I think either Indonesia or The Phillipines) when he was following and photographing a band men carrying machetes and chasing a man down the street. At some point, the man fell to the ground and in a moment, Nachtwey had to decide: should I shoot or help the man? He choose to photograph the moment (his explanation is complicated and his uncertainty and moral convictions are eloquently defended in the film) instead of putting down his camera. What would you do, what should WE do in such a moment? And I know, personally, a photographer who was confronted by a similar dilemma, during the Chetnian War who was photographing when a Chetnian soldier was wounded and he put his camera down and helped the man (an enemy of his nation). He choose to help instead of photographing. I would argue that both moments are acts of moral action, because both men make a choice, based on their moral conviction to do something: shoot or aide. It is not my place to decide whether one or the other was a moral person, that designation can only be wrestled hauntingly by the individual. The case of "selling" a photograph, to me, falls within the same circumstance. I cannot honestly condemn another photographer, because I know that I HAVE SHOT MOMENTS that later I thought, fuck why have I done that: why am I photographing them and what about my arrogance to make a print and to sell it? 

I continually struggle with this and try to balm the anquish with something simple: am i trying to do something reasonable. Have a used subjects: probably yes, because not everyone that I have focused has known Im shooting. Have  my subjects, full aware of my action and what I m doing, always known what my prints would look like: no. I still struggle with this.

In the end, for me, the moral quandry comes not from Goya vs. Salgado (i’ll take Goya ;)) ), but from each person’s rhyme. There is not almost one day as a photographer that doesnt pass when I ask myself: why the fuck am I doing this. I’ve tried to answer this with: in this constantly failing life, how is it that I can best plant inside this life in order to strive for awareness of that which surrounds me. Can my work help someone else: I doubt it. But, I try, away from being a photographer, to do good around me and my life. That is my moral quandry…

drinks on me ;)))

by [former member] | 06 Feb 2006 12:02 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Wrong, Nachtwey pleaded for this man’s life. JPN

by John Patrick Naughton | 06 Feb 2006 12:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
photojournalism IS art when says truth…

by vittorio zunino celotto | 06 Feb 2006 13:02 | Genoa, Italy | | Report spam→
‘can you tell me what you mean by that last sentence? ’
Hi there Jenny, what I meant was sometimes you arrive at something that purports it’self to be art but it isn’t, it’s incredibly good marketing or PR. I remember walking into the first day of an exhibition at a gallery where my younger brother was working. We both showed up for the free wine, don’t you know, but we had been intrigued as to what was going to be installed in the gallery space. What we came upon were 10 huge canvas, of different sizes with slightly different shades of … brown… WOW for £5000 or more each… Even more WOW. We both found it difficult to get our heads arond the ‘Art.’ I should have qualified that last sentence in my previous post!

by Sean Dwyer | 06 Feb 2006 13:02 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
JPN:  Nachtwey pleaded and took the shots. He recounts this vividly and painfully in the documentary I sited and makes a strong and compelling argument for his decision of why he did not intervene physically and why he did make the photographs. I would, absolutely, defend him for his decision for many reasons. I used this famous incident as an illustration that it is impossible to, given the ambiguous moments which occur in the profession, to judge on "moral" grounds another photographer, especially considering how murky this life is. I trust that it was understood that I was defending Nachtwey and using his experience with the experience of my friend in Chetneya as an illustration of how important it is to not bandy around categorical statements about the morality of photographers. I always, trust, first the intent of fellow humans…above all else, even though we dont always act very well and often selfishly.  Pleading for a life and continuing to take photographs in the midst of a slaughter is a horrible moral dilemma in which I hope never to be caught in: for that reason alone I cannot condemn or judge Nachtwey or any other photographer. My argument was this: it is too easy to cast judgements against others while typing at on a photography screen at a forum site. I, absolutely, in no way meant to judge what happened. I hope that was clear. -Bob

by [former member] | 06 Feb 2006 13:02 (ed. Feb 6 2006) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
“…what is the difference between Capa’s Death of a Soldier and Goya’s “Y no Hay Remedio”.

Mr. Jon Anderson, yes they are both images – how they were achieved, and under what type ( historical )of circumstances, although somewhat similar are also vastly different. Contemporary journalism as we know it has existed for about 60 years, painting however: from dyes, egg tempra, oil to acrylic, is another story, a story that has passed on from generation to generation of craftsman and not through the internet. Is it the same amount of time as 125th of a second vs the amount of time to do a limited edition of prints by Goya? A larger question from me is: “Why do some Journalist have the need to be called Artist or even valued as Artist” what is drive at the base of this need. To be a talented journalist, is quite a gift, so why is there this nagging need to be something that you are not. John Patrick Naughton

by John Patrick Naughton | 06 Feb 2006 14:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→

photojournalism has been around before the internet. certainly robert capa didnt know what the internet is. what the ef does the internet have to do with this argument.? zilch.

by Kenneth Dickerman | 06 Feb 2006 14:02 | Chicago, IL, United States | | Report spam→
recently wrote this essay, thought u might find it of interest.

Susan Meiselas: Nicaraguan revolt. Susan Meiselas’s photographic account of the Nicaraguan revolution is presented in book format, consisting of colour prints, photographic captions, texts and chronology. Her interest was the Sandinistas contest over a seventeen year struggle, in which they successfully march into the Managua’s central plaza in July 1979. Founded in humanist politics the ‘book project’ grew out of Meiselas aggravation over the lack of control presented to her by international news agencies in which individual images published led to cultural and political misunderstandings. In essence, Meiselas sought an established meaning or a greater ‘truth’, “it was necessary to create a book that would link otherwise isolated images together to make them understandable to an American audience” (Meiselas, 1987). Nevertheless, photographs dictated by their contextual use will by no means establish a true sense of realism as photographs will always seem different in magazine, gallery or book. Can we account, then, for the controversial workings of photographer Susan Meiselas? Understood by means of extreme subjectivity fraught with contradictions? Is it art-a work of literary creativity-or as an act of witness? What aesthetic principal, as a consequence, will guide the reading of it? “Imagine” Meiselas begins in a conversation with Fred Ritchin, “this very small room where there are no windows and it’s precisely the correct proportion so that when people enter they feel an intimacy. And, if there are eleven portraits on the walls of the Nicaraguans who had limbs amputated because of one land mine and they look back at the people who walk past and each hears the others voices, would it become merely fashionable art-a concept piece?” (Ritchin 32).The disclosure of the photographic document then, changes, according to its context, as Wittgenstein explains the meaning is the use; contributing only to its political weakness and erosion of truths. Ritchin comments further, distinguishing that Meiselas’s “image-making was originally productive in Nicaragua because it brought something important to peoples attention, not just to satisfy their curiosity but in a helpful, tactful, political way”. Public appropriation of such work, as a result, has changed their values “soon you’ve lost control and even lost the ability to stay in the discussion because it has been taken over” (33). A rueful response is appropriated, Meiselas noting “It’s not that there haven’t been images made, but the larger sense of an ‘image’ has been defined elsewhere-in Washington, and in the press, by the powers that be. I can’t somehow reframe it.”(33). How believable is this? The foremost problem being, Waugh notes, is “what is a frame?” (28).There is in the ideology of Meiselas’s profession, a conscious sense of wanting to capture the humanism of history with this genre of photographs. This snapshot remains problematic, however, as a result of lavish aesthetical images dominating Nicaragua. Slowly asserting its discourse with art, Meiselas’s Sympathetic portrayal of the Sandinista cause would more effectively reach the reader were visual and written materials brought together rather than being grouped and distanced from one another. Found in the last section of the book, letters, testimonials and poems and other writings many of them affecting in their own right deserve a place in the central montage, consequently, the misplacement of ‘meaning’, in securing the truth leaves the photograph “physically mute” (Godard & Gorin) failing to “rescue it from the ravages of modishness and confer upon it a revolutionary use value”, (Walter Benjamin). In contrast, Wolfflin understood best, that stylistic development acts as an historical record of a periods changing consciousness. Formal composition, balance and colour all add to the interplay between Meiselas’s style and subjectivity of the political message. Captioned “Country club” (Meiselas Nicaragua: 6) a young, light skinned girl is attended by her ‘obedient’ dark skinned mestizo maid, while a boy in the foreground chews on an adults sun glasses. In the background to the right we see an older man lounging about in a deck chair. Thus our subjective response is one of race and class. Likewise “Motorcycle brigade” again enforces the political message by expressing the symbolic vivid contrast of blurred motorcycles and flag waving riders, conveying the intensity of enthusiasm for the cause. The appearance of ‘being’ though is not equivalent to ‘truth’. As a result Meiselas’s construction of reality makes such observations less than objective. In part a “symbolic process where by reality is produced, maintained, repaired and transformed” (Carey, 1989:p.23). However the aesthetic response witnessed establishes our relationship with a shared community of feeling, due to the fact that ideology permits classification of the world in terms of shared values and morals beliefs as equal subjects. If however Meiselas’s photographs fail to represent the political reality of Nicaragua, then it does not fail to portray the visual and emotional realism of war. As Kozloff (1987:167) explains, Nicaragua, “should not be treated as any kind of historical analysis”; as it “does not attempt to fill in the gaps between occurrences, though it does impart their flavour and mood.” Such contrasts, however abstract, embrace the pictorial range in which photographic ideas are conveyed through the minds eye. Both Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ and Goya’s ‘Disasters of war’ instead of defining a person or place seek only to communicate colours and shapes, attributing instead an idea or imitation of truth to their work. Ruskin writes, “Whatever can excite in the mind the conception of certain facts, can give ideas of truth, though it is in no degree the imitation or resemblance of those facts…An idea of truth exists in the statement of one attribute of anything, but an idea of imitation requires the resemblance of as many attributes as we are usually cognizant of in its real presence”. Non-objective works however leave the dynamics of repression and resistance abstract, despite the fact that sites of conflict such as Nicaragua, Palestine, Chechnya etc are immensely complex. In Diriamba, Meiselas’s photograph (p.19) of a funeral procession depicts an FSLN banner draped over an open coffin. Touched by state violence the group has now been intergraded into the Sandinista movement. Though difficult to sustain ignorance and innocence in the face of pain and suffering, the meaning as a result is left inexplicit and subject to determination on the basis of the received politics of the viewer. This proves dangerous where aesthetic touches prove politically troubling. Meiselas prints the national guardsmen in her photo of a ‘guard patrol in Masaya beginning a house to house search for Sandinistas’ as darkened silhouettes, individually indistinguishable. Perhaps this was intended from the point of view of the victims but it’s easy to interpret the guard’s man as the same dehumanizing propaganda the National Guard employed to define opposition figures in justifying their brutal oppression. It is important to note that Meiselas’s account of the revolution is not the making of, but, instead the military conflicts and its aftermaths. Civil wars are not defined by fire fights and bombings; civil wars send shock waves throughout society, affecting material and nonmaterial relationships at every level, although not everyone experiences them in the same manner or with the same gravity. Its documentary value is therefore limited to the “Shoot-em-up, gun-em-down” (Binford, 1996). Meiselas’s horrific depiction, contrasted with an aesthetically pleasing foreground, portrays (p.14) the headless and armless remains of a death squad victim overlooking a beautiful green valley at Lake Managua. Yet when we show the audience a dead body what can we hope to interpret from this image except that these bodies are other, they are not us?, Bronfen suggests that the “corpse in the picture stands for something somewhere else and so what is literally represented is not fully seen at all: it’s only a picture”. Any form of moral education is therefore limited by our fascination with death. Yet what we understand from the Meiselas’s images is understood only by the political consciousness that surrounds Nicaragua, developed by our attitude towards the photograph. As Sontag explains while the photograph “cannot create a moral position”, it can “reinforce one-and help build a nascent one” (1977). Also any aesthetic appeal concerning suffering and death helps us the viewer to engage the political, into recognising such horrors instead of turning the page in disgust and disbelief. If however this engaging wonders in the delights of death “has this appeal then it can quite easily move from a pictures editor’s desk to a national art collection”, (John Taylor: Body Horror, 133). But aesthetic effects cannot contain the spectacle of blackened bodies burning in the middle of the pavement or corpses wrapped in sacking and being rolled ‘casually’ down a cobblestone street on a wheeled cart like a freshly butchered animal being taken to market. Furthermore Meiselas stated that “the American public could not relate their reality to this image. They simply could not account for what they saw”. Preceding that image by a sequence of photos of national Guardsmen in training and on patrol is her way of assigning attribution to the victim and making sense of this horrific and atrocious act. But I find this representation is politically problematic. As Lewinski notes photojournalists “Serve as important mediators between a geographical-distant reality and its intended audience”. Yet Meiselas locates the violence elsewhere-“down there” in Nicaragua, (Anderson, 1989:102), and can easily be read in ways in which, conditions that produce and sustain violence are underwritten enforcing a sense of hiearachy among a majority of inhabitants in the western hemisphere. As Jonathan Garlock noted on the publication of El Salvador: Work of thirty photographers, which Meiselas edited along with Fae Rubenstein and Harry Mattison, “mutilation inflicted by one person directly upon the body of another can…be read as pathological, as if it were somehow worse than comparable injury inflicted by pushing a button thousands of feet in the air” (1984:6). A greater danger is perhaps seen in the fact “We see and live in colour” (Kozloff, 1987: 168), yet by no means do we imagine in colour. Colour photography shrinks the pictorial range of ideas, and by virtue of fact strengthens the cameras ‘truth effect’. In contrast Meiselas’s prints produced from colour slide film create an ideological-based reality due to its similarities with watercolour paintings. Reality and revolution therefore takes place in another time and place, of dream like proportion serving only to locate the violence elsewhere. Meiselas informed humanist ethic in understanding and tolerance, casts the western public aside as no more than a bystander in Latin American civil wars. The photographs seek to represent the consequence of the deep class divides in Nicaragua, sustained and supported in causing conflict by both repressive state apparatuses and the U.S government. The political context in which humanism is delivered and its relative simplicity exploits photography’s inability to convey the truth, as Sontag explains “the cameras ability to transform reality into something beautiful derives from its relative weakness as a means of conveying truth” (Sontag, 1977:112). Thus the beatification-humanism of the revolutionaries portrays them as regular people and underdogs, where pistols and hunting rifles confront planes, tanks and automatic weapons. With moral rights and the people on their side Meiselas fails to represent that “the revolution is not a social dinner, a literary event, drawing or embroidery, it cannot be done with elegance and courtesy. The revolution is an act of violence”, (Mao Tse-tung). Though explicit in violence, Meiselas’s Nicaragua, fails to address a balanced argument of the brutalities enacted on both sides of the conflict. The simplicity of the message between the goodies and the baddies is again put to shame in Oliver Stones critically acclaimed film ‘Salvador’, where the gritty and horrific message of war in El Salvador is witnessed by photographer Richard Boyle, depicting events of both National Guard and rebel carrying out atrocity. In her assumption of a common human essence, the viewer is invited to imagine his/her response to situations similar or comparable to those portrayed in the photos and discussed in the accompanying texts. Meiselas therefore assumes that all humans share a common essence, that people everywhere “are pretty much the same” despite their distinct historical and cultural backgrounds. In conclusion, photographs such as these do not tend to let us forget, but the “moral defectiveness” inherent within the ideology of humanism will allow us to forget, if the narrative continues to lack the appropriate complexity of the political consciousness. There archive nature, will be become no more than prized tokens of aesthetics, void of all vital function. David Plummer _________________________________________________________________
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by [former member] | 06 Feb 2006 15:02 | Newport, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
What we do is photography. Nothing more. Nothing less. We are photographers. A photograph may hang on a wall. It may be published in a magazine. It’s a photograph. If somebody asks if I’m an “artist” I bristle at the mention of the “a” word. I am a photographer. What I do is photography. I make photographs. Nothing more. Nothing less.

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 06 Feb 2006 15:02 | Fort Worth, TX., United States | | Report spam→
Mr. Jon Anderson?  JPN, you are so formal!  call me Jon.  I see what you are getting at, but I cant agree with you either on the facts, which you fudge a bit, or on the criteria you use to make the distinction between the two media.

First of all, the differences in how the two images were achieved  and the historical circumstances are not "vastly" different, though differences prevail certainly.  Moreover, I dont see how that necessarily changes anything.  We are talking about the content and form here.

Let us move to your basic criteria.  As Kenneth points out, photojournalism has been around way before the internet or digital, and in fact there are instances of this going back to the American Civil War.  But if by "(photo)journalism as we know it" you mean the basic 35mm or small format style shooting that is linked to a magazine or other media source that quickly turns that image around to bring us spot news and breaking events, then fine let us assume that photojournalism is a very recent medium.   And let us also admit  the fact that painting or etching is a very old medium.  The relative age of the medium, however, has nothing to do with its ontological or even putative status as Art.  There is no connection whatsoever.  Moreover, many of the same skills that go into making a great painting are used to make a great picture.

The second criterion gives me pause as well.  Salman Rushdie once said, "A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second"  It is just as clearly an estethic decision too.  You seem to think, like the guy in the elevator at the Alex Webb exhibition I cited above, that the instantaneity of the shutter somehow denies to photography the status of art, that something which is "effortless" to produce cannot achieve the status of art.  I am not so sure.  Let us look at the analogy: the time it took Capa to shoot his image and the time it took Goya to produce his set of etchings.  Both depend on a mechanical process when it comes to reproduction — the etchings, once cut into wood or metalplate by the artist, are then printed out in a numbered set.  The process of cutting the plate is time consuming but the rest is relatively simple and quick.  Moreover, I dont see how the time involved in cutting the plate has any bearing; it is just a slower technology.  The artistry lies not in the time it takes but in the thought that goes into it.  Same goes for applying paint to canvas.  Now some argue that the skill in the carving or application is the important thing, and I too believe that skill is important to defining art; but again, this cannot serve to distinguish photography from etching in relation to our argument, because there are skills involved in the former as well.  Skill is a problematic criterion, becuase there are plenty of examples of achieved artists whose skills are minimal; and one can argue that skill itself is merely the artisanal element in art, but not the essence of art. 

So is it the hand of the artist that makes the difference, the cutting of the original print plate, the application of the paint by the hand of the master?  This is rather problematic, then, because many of the great Old Masters did not in fact paint their own works or cut their own plates — they designed them and set their students to work filling in the color or carving out the design.  Of course, they worked on it with them, but my point still holds.  So is the difference then in the design?  but a photographer designs just as surely and as intently as the painter, though the process whereby that design is realized is quite a different matter I grant you.  Just because a great image surfaces according to a process that is different and new does not mean that the process is any less rigorous or creative or valid.  The experience and skill and imagination that go into great photography — the photographer’s vision — is at work both prior to the instant in which the shutter falls and for a long time after as well when the photographer makes a second set of decisions in the editorial process that leads to the culmination of his vision.  The decision making behind the photgraph seems to me every bit the same kind of decision making behind other visual media.  No less valid, no less artistic, no less the ultimate source of the artistic value in the work.   so again I ask, where is the essential difference, and again it seems to me that there is no essential difference.  The matter is really in the end a matter of quality: some photojournalism is so well achieved it is equal in power to the best art.  So ultimately we are talking about the execution of the work and the ideas found there, the content, not about inherent formal characteristics.

Dont get me wrong, this is not about a "need to be called an artist."  Not at all.  You seem to have some exalted idea of the artist, and I dont.  I am not trying to exalt the status of photojournalism.  I am just interested how we make certain distinctions and cling to them doggedly when they wont wash logically and appear in the end to have only a strategic purpose, as a means of mapping out one’s intellectual and moral territory, or organizing things hierarchically in order to shore up some implicit value system. All well and good.  But if it doesnt stand up to analysis, then I feel no need to acquiesce in it, and I certainly dont have to stand for it when someone levels half-baked moral and esthetic criticisms at me, as they have in the past, frequently, at Salgado and others.

I am not trying to browbeat anyone, nor am I Professor Dryasdust endlessly parsing some absolutely meaningless conundrum.  But in all the writing about photography I am constantly coming across the leaden nuggets of pop wisdom about the esthetics of the image, the moral responsibilities of the photojournalist, and so on, and I have never, ever found a rigorous defense of any of it.  It is all sheer cant.  I notice that no one can answer any of the questions I have posed — why is that?  (maybe I am just boring you!) These are no easy matters to define or decide.  And simple assertions are useless, as are opinions or personal beliefs.  I just think it is important to keep an open mind, entertain the idea that what one "instinctively" feels is right may in fact not be instinctive or right at all and be willing to question the whole hierarchy by which we sort out matters of esthetic quality and moral rectitude.

Well there are so many posts on this thread that it will take me some time to digest some of the newer points made.  Luego.

by Jon Anderson | 06 Feb 2006 15:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Bravo! It took a long time before someone said this.JPN

by John Patrick Naughton | 06 Feb 2006 15:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Photography is maybe the most efficient of the arts, but every carefully thought out frame (made in a fraction of a second) that actually tells a story is the product of experience, research, knowledge, wonderment and respect. Liam

by Liam Maloney | 06 Feb 2006 21:02 (ed. Feb 7 2006) | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
Art is in the eye of the beholder. Simple and strait forward. A painter makes an image, as a photogrpher makes an image…so who can say for sure that one is art and the other is not. Opinion thats all it is.

by [former member] | 06 Feb 2006 23:02 (ed. Feb 7 2006) | toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
It saddens me that there are so few photojournalists with a ‘holistic’ outlook such as Henri Cartier-Bresson alive – a brilliant photojournalist, and a true ‘artist’.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 07 Feb 2006 04:02 (ed. Feb 12 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hi Jenny, don’t worry, be happy…
Henri Cartier-Bresson is not died for us

by vittorio zunino celotto | 07 Feb 2006 05:02 | Genoa, Italy | | Report spam→
Ah Jenny, there are others out there too, and your LS friends here.  We may not all understand you, but we are having fun trying, and that is friendship after all!  Besides, I always like a bit of mystery in my relationships, so I wouldnt want to understand it all.

Chris, of course you can say that it is all just opinion or taste.  One person likes Warhol, another doesnt.  but Warhol is "codified" as a major artist, and that whole machinery, the social apparatus of art, or the Star Making Machinery, or whatever you want to call it, carries a lot more weight than mere opinion.  There is more to it.  Course, all of this is a problem only because the secularization and fetishization of modern Art has given it a peculiar status in our culture, and as JPN noted above these days everyone is an artist.

I find it very interesting that the terms Art and Artist bring out such strong feelings, and that so many people balk at using the term.   Myself, perhaps because I dont really esteem artists so highly, feel that the word artist is innocent enough when applied to a photographer, so long as it is not an act of adulation or celebrity worship.  Or a license for prima donna behavior!  (John Robert Fulton, am I right in guessing that you have had more than a few prima donna selfstyled Artists walk through your offices?)  It seems safe enough to say that Salgado or HCB is an artist, even if we adhere to Salgado’s admonition and do so only "a posteriori."

Partly it is a matter of semantics.  Art is such a broad term, with an unclear denotation and a host of connotations that many in our biz may not cotton to.  And Photojournalist is a term with a much stricter application, denoting a very specific practice.  Culturally, though, these words — art and artist — seem to vary in their power to elicit comment.  It occurred to me in the process of reading over this thread that down here the word Artist does not seem so menacing.  I remembered that at the exhibition I am having here in St Domingo, on cane cutters and Haitian migrant labor — a strictly photoj topic if there ever was one — the brochure that the NGOs cooked up and all the press material, as well as the speakers at the roundtable all referred to me not as a "photojournalist" or "photographer" (the latter of which I myself would have preferred), but as "the artist" — artist with a small "a" not a capital "A".  For them it was not a PR move to aggrandize my activity, it was simply an accepted fact that  a photographer, regardless of the actual themes of his or her work, would be considered an artist, and while that tag carries with it a certain amount of social status or cultural cachet, it was nothing out of the ordinary, it  was really just a way of describing a certain kind of creative activity, must as you would describe a trade.

Frankly when I think of my photographic activity in terms of what it means to me personally, I generally think of it as one of several trades I practice, and that is why I refer to myself as a Roustabout on my profile.  But just yesterday as I was out in the Colonial city here taking pix for a Travel essay with my Holga (how artsy!) to be honest, as I went about  selecting things to shoot and selecting the perspective from which to shoot them and so on, I can honestly characterize that activity only as artistic, as a creative activity in which a whole bunch of aesthetic decisions come into play.  This doesnt mean that I consider myself an "Artist" in any sententious manner, nor that I consider the results to be "Great Art," but I have to recognize that I share all the same characteristics as the Baluch rug maker I mentioned way up above, or a painter or a sketcher, insofar as we are all practitioners of an artistic activity that results in the creation of an aesthetic object.

by Jon Anderson | 07 Feb 2006 06:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star…." @….F.N.

by [former member] | 07 Feb 2006 06:02 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
This seems to be more of a group therapy session than a Q & A over “..is photojournalism art” or “…why do journalist need to be artist”. To be honest, it’s far more interesting to read of chaos, loss of sleep over Bresson, or art is in the eye of the beholder and last but not least, Liams entry “…research,knowledge”. The crowd pleaser was without a doubt the manifesto by Plummer. If this were a classroom, or a panel, how could anyone respond to the above. Jenny has long been my favorite LS, but really doll, you need to walk on your hands for a while-let things move into the other sphere, and Mr. Anderson, my second favorite LS “…Myself, perhaps because I don’t really esteem artists so highly” a man without history, is a man without. I think at this point, it would be only fair to answer the question put simply by Miss Cahana, make it a ye or ne vote. John Patrick Naughton

by John Patrick Naughton | 07 Feb 2006 07:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
‘it is impossible to, given the ambiguous moments which occur in the profession, to judge on “moral” grounds another photographer…’

I don’t think the morality of depressing a shutter button is in the act. Sometimes situations can be construed, in the north of Ireland during the seventies there could be more television and photographers at a riot than rioters. The question sometimes is, ‘who is using who?’ Sometimes the big picture is the sum total of the whole, images and reports – or absence of – coming out of an area. Whether a photographer gets involved in a situation or remains a witness is up to the photographer at that time, we’re only human after all. When Lady Diana was killed in a car crash in a tunnell in Paris, people were baying for blood and the french authorities tried to ruin several careers. It became clear afterwards that some photographers tried to give first aid while some photgraphed the crash.

by Sean Dwyer | 07 Feb 2006 07:02 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
So, in the sake of trying the JPN way, let’s try the simple answer :

Photography has been considered as art since at least a century. All of photography. Including vernacular.

Photojournalism is photography.

Therefore, photojournalism is art.

Now you can dissagree with the pose of the artist (or the idea of the photojournalist assuming the pose of the artist). But that’s an entirely separate history altogether, and one that has little to do with the artiness of photography. And no, assuming the pose of the artist isn’t what qualifies a photographer’s work as art – contrary to what a lot of people seem to think. Actually, i’d contend that the end product being "aesthetic", or rather "aesthetically pleasing" isn’t even necessarily an interesting objective.

Regarding ethics, it’s a straw man that has been used, time and again, often from within a certain group within a certain group. That certain group within a certain group seem unable to come to grips with the simple fact that despite their most vehement denial of it (sometimes by assuming the pose of "suffering artists") their career, like the careers of others in photography, has led them to spend an important amount of time commodifying the suffering of others.

However, their building up of a straw man is not an indication of the lack of ethics of others, or even of the relevance of discussing ethics in this context, although you could read it as "what are the ethics of ethics", which i personnally feel unable to answer. However, it does sadden me that people seem to make use of the lowest common denominator, their "humanism", rather than taking their knives and forks and cutting through the nice, bloody, piece of meat on their plates.

by [former member] | 07 Feb 2006 08:02 | paris, France | | Report spam→
Well put Matthias!  I was missing you on this thread.  As for cutting through a bloody piece of meat, here is my favorite statement of that need:

By blood we live, the hot, the cold,
To ravage and redeem the world:
There is no bloodless myth will hold.

That is Geoffrey Hill, who may be a little too Catholic for some of you, but the basic point is something worth considering.

So JPN, or Mr Naughton if you prefer, let me reiterate briefly what I said in the first post:

Photojournalism is an art, but that doesnt make every photojournalist an artist.

Nuff said

by Jon Anderson | 07 Feb 2006 09:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Hi Jon, I was just thinking about your key question and came to the conclusion that I also don’t understand why society deems one form of representation to be less morally culpable than another. And I cannot speak on behalf of another, but I can think of the feelings I would experience if it were a member of my own family dying in any image and of how I would feel to see it held up as ‘art’. Thinking about your question in this way has also helped me understand the strength of feelings behind the hundreds or even thousands out demonstrating this past week around the world because their ‘father’ has been ridiculed in an image (a cartoon in this instance) printed in a newspaper.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 07 Feb 2006 15:02 (ed. Feb 10 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Wow, has this thread taken a few spins around the galaxy…won’t bore y’all with my own position (ive already mentioned that enough)…okay for Kitra’s original questions, here is a tidbit from Eugene Smith…:))))…enjoy..:cheers,b (a photographer is a photographer is a photographer ;) )

"I am an idealist. I often feel I would like to be an artist in an ivory tower. Yet it is imperative that I speak to people, so I must desert that ivory tower. To do this, I am a journalist—a photojournalist. But I am always torn between the attitude of the journalist, who is a recorder of facts, and the artist, who is often necessarily at odds with the facts. My principle concern is for honesty, above all honesty with myself…"-w. eugene smith


by [former member] | 07 Feb 2006 15:02 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
‘However, it does sadden me that people seem to make use of the lowest common denominator, their “humanism”, rather than taking their knives and forks and cutting through the nice, bloody, piece of meat on their plates.’

Sorry mate, I don’t eat meat, but your point about ethics is quite apt. At the same time, we are all guided by some ethic, and not necessarily the one you express. Isn’t photojournalism about information/knowledge first and art second? Surely it’s a rare thing to have your work considered as artistic? There are photojournalists whose work is accepted as being art, for sure, but a photojournalists intention is to ‘be there and report,’ first. Maybe what is missing from this debate is the terms ‘high art’ and ‘low art.’

by Sean Dwyer | 07 Feb 2006 15:02 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
Bob. You quoted it in one!

by Sean Dwyer | 07 Feb 2006 15:02 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
Has anyone ever considered a writing journalist to be an artist? I mean, a good novel is actually a piece of art, whilst hardly anyone would consider a reportage as art.

by Daniel Etter | 07 Feb 2006 16:02 | Cologne, Germany | | Report spam→
Not so, Daniel, there are plenty of cases where good journalism has been considered "art"— or more precisely, "literature."  Michael Herr’s Dispatches.  James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.  Stephen Crane’s reports on Cuba.  The list goes on, but you have introduced an excellent twist into the argument, because in fact the distinction between Journalism and Literature reproduces some of the very points that have been made here. 

btw, Bob, I have always liked that quote from Gene Smith,and it gets reiterated throughout LS threads — but if you look at that thing carefully, as I am sure you have, it is a very ironic, very loaded statement.  And that is why I love it, and agree with it.  Honesty with myself, wow does that open up a can of worms.  but in the end he is right.

by Jon Anderson | 07 Feb 2006 17:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→

by [former member] | 07 Feb 2006 19:02 (ed. Feb 9 2006) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
“There is no science without fancy, no art without facts.” Nabokov photography is art, photojournalism is a form of photography, the photojournalist capture time on film or cmos, by this moment if he release the photo, thing became out of is control. sometime the work of photojournalist are admited in art gallery, sometime his work finished in the garbage of a coffee shop it’s not a matter of talent, is a mater of interpretation the photographer cannot choose de destiny of his photo, it’s the power of coerseduction (the mass interpretation and influence) that’s why some image stop war, other start war and other finish in museum. my conclusion, another quote from Nabokov : “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness.â€? you think you can change something with your photo, GO and stop questionning too much yourself !!! francois…

by francois laplante delagrave | 07 Feb 2006 23:02 (ed. Feb 7 2006) | montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
I complety agree Francois .  "the photographer cannot choose de destiny of his photo, it’s the power of coerseduction "  . And I would expand this thought to painters, writers, sculptors, dancers, musicians.
There are some "works of art" that I can not  conceive  as art  like  Piero Manzoni’s "Merda d’artista" (90 cans of Artist Shit) . Still his work is in mayor museums and is considered an important  and influential artist.
Van Gogh,  Gauguin’s work  were ridicule  and considered  anything but art after some  time before their death.  So what makes canned shit  ,or Sunflowers for that matter ,a work of art?  Who puts the art stamp ? I think it is just time and people’s acceptance.
Some artist will like to think that everything they do is art . Maybe it is  maybe it isn’t. They will have to wait to see if their  believe is share by others. If not It will be a work  of art for one

Here is a little extract from a Salgado’s interview  (excuse me for some translation errors)

- How you see yourself? As an  artist or as journalist?
SALGADO— I define myself a journalist , as a documentary  photographer. I am tied at the historical moment in which I live. I do not have pretension no a priori one of being an artist. I make expositions in the entire world, but it is not because I displayed in the biggest museums that I am an artist. Not at all. It is not because I have works in the quantities in these museums that I am an artist. My photos could be considered art if to come to be works of reference, if several generations are come to inspire in them.

—Lets see it from another side: Somebody already  said that an artist is an individual for whom the world such as it exist is unacceptable and that he creates in the attempt to change it.
SALGADO:   It is an interpretation that I do not accept

-When you are photographing do you want to change something?
SALGADO:   Oh, I want! I want!       What I try to do with my photography is to be a little a vector. Tie what is happening at determined places, to try to provoke a discussion.I am trying to provoke a discussion. It is a work of provocation, in the sense of raising a problem. The people have to change or to help to change something. We change, art doesn’t,  art has never changed anything. It is one of the variables that, in a bigger model, can help to change something.

by Alex Reshuan | 08 Feb 2006 00:02 (ed. Feb 8 2006) | | Report spam→
OK another opinion. I’ll try keep it short – you guys write a lot! (tho I like the way Bob puts things – if I find myself on the other side of the planet I’ll buy you a beer or two Bob).
Was having a similar discussion with a fellow photographer last year over a few pints of beer (always the best discussions those) and we ended up deriding photographers who call themselves artists, on the premise that anyone these days can buy a color printer and make ‘art’. A bit unfair of course, since there are a lot of very fine art photographers around. (my friend is a photojournalist – there must be something going on between pj’s and artists). I would say that an art photographer has just as much right to be called an artist as someone holding a paintbrush, and would argue that setting up of certain shots may in some cases take just as long as would a traditional painting – even though getting it onto the film or sensor may take only half a second or less.
But I’m beginning to ramble.
Is photojournalism art? Yes it can be, and is not necessarily based on the thought processes at the time of the shot. Suppose you’re under pressure and there is a lot going on (riot, whatever) – you’re composing and shooting instinctively, but at the time you are not thinking about making art. Those images I think will initially be reportage. However, depending on where they later end up, and their content, they may ‘become art’. On the other hand, suppose you’re documenting the life of a family living in a car in Dubai because they can no longer afford the crazy rent that the landlords are asking – you have far more time to get everything right – light, atmosphere etc and may wait all day for the right moment. Were those images made more with art in mind? As an example – a friend over here (Souheil, well known Lebanese photogapher working in Dubai) recently spent a couple of weeks in Pakistan photographing the homeless children in the slums. When he returned he exhibited those images (all black and white) in a local art gallery, alongside an exhibit by an Iranian artist who was exhibiting lifesize plaster statues of children playing. That was photojournalism, but it was also most definitely art.
One more thing – I prefer to call myself a ‘craftsman’ (oops that should be ‘craftsperson’) than an artist. What do you think of that description? A craftsperson practising my craft.

by Vic Joubert | 08 Feb 2006 04:02 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | | Report spam→
Hi JPN… you’re so right (about the therapy session!)… and i’ll be back walking on my hands the very moment they’re free… and Matt, this work does require some level of commoditizing the suffering of others in order to get a point made… it’s the level at which the line is drawn that concerns me – which is why i brought up the question about intention and purpose on a thread about photojournalism as art…. hey Jon, i was thinking again about your question which i answered from a humanistic viewpoint, and yes, it seems to be mainly about invasion of privacy and treating the subject with respect and sensitivity… having empathy, relating to their situation, imagining/believing that they are yourself…

Thanks Vittorio, you’re right… plus Henri Cartier-Bresson wasn’t the only one with nirvanic (just invented that word!) vision. There are others – David Alan Harvey for instance.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 08 Feb 2006 05:02 (ed. Feb 10 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
The question of weather Photojournalism can be art means you would have to define ART and that can be a verry lengthy disscussion

Maybe it would be better to look at it the other way a round to avoid that question and ask: Can art be considered Photojournalism?

by Kristjan Logason | 08 Feb 2006 06:02 | | Report spam→
David, re. your essay… have you looked at Marcus Bleasdale’s ‘100 Years of Darkness’ – a book that creates the feeling of ‘wholeness’, of a complete image of a country and its people in historical context stretching back a century, achieved without a ‘narrative’ thread? The lack of a traditional narrative style was the biggest joy for me about the structure of the book, it was what allowed the feeling of wholeness to be possible when the last page was turned. I spent some time in Nicaragua at the tail end of the war so you’ve got me interested.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 08 Feb 2006 11:02 (ed. Feb 10 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I agree with Paolo insofar as it is by means of form and composition (still suggesting that this includes the form of light) that
a photographer is capable of ‘producing strong images’. Beyond that I am not sure if he means having ‘a great impact’ insofar as
the photograph lends itself to making the emotions (be it suffering)of the subject (whether subject is meant as in the individual subject
displayed in the image itself or in the greater sense of subject as that cause which is beingdepicted(/represented??-fiery word.. re-presented?))
palpable to the viewer, or whether he means otherwise.

While I sometimes have a feeling that this is the case, that is that photography is a means of spirit possession, whereby the subject takes a hold of
me/my merely mechanical image producing device and communicates themselves to the viewer, I oftentimes have a sense that it is in the way that art entangles itself in photojournalism that greater outcomes are achieved. Meaning, that it is through the aesthetic properties of images, in themselves, that a greater emotion, a ‘universal aspect’ is expressed and imparted. In placing an aesthetically formed order over something that may emotionally seem hysterical or intuitively spark the viewer as immoral, a certain calm can be introduced and meaning imparted on the world (resulting perhaps in a more sensitized understanding of what is being presented) Strong images inspire me to move, and bring new metaphors and standards which
I use in relating my everyday existence to myself.

However, while an image may express great form and composition, the skepticism still lies therein, where the nuanced understanding of art related to
photography (/photojournalism) questions our assumption (which I assume) that the intention of a photographer is implicit in the photograph (or in
the very fact that he acknowledges his photograph as reflecting his own perspective). How do we show (and more importantly, do we want to show) that
the details of form and composition lie not in the world itself, but rather in the eye or in the eye looking through the lens. I’m new to
this, but perhaps one outlook is that art exists in the photo story. That it is by means of a body of work/ series of photographs, a photographer makes apparent his/her intentions, and that the details that are highlighted are attributed to the photographer instead of to the world itself.

Just a mind-flow, apologies if it seems breathlessly mindless in terms of making a view coherent.

by [former member] | 08 Feb 2006 14:02 (ed. Apr 23 2006) | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
Kitra, as per Paolo’s argument (and Salgado’s, which I cited before and which is more or less the same), I think the best way to think about that "impact" that Paolo mentioned has been defined by Kenneth Jarecke right here on LS: "Maybe our goal could be to help the viewer see their own humanity in our subjects."  In order to help that viewer there has to be a powerful esthetic or the image will fail to move anyone.  I have no problem with this formulation, and I have personally seen it at work in people.  I premise my own humanitarian endeavors on the same principle.  But as I mentioned above, I dont think that covers the whole range of esthetic emotion, or of moral purpose, and I reserve the right to explore these subjects in the same ways that other visual artists have done so, without reference specifically, absolutely or solely to one moral trajectory or narrative imposed by the media or the way people generally expect to see these stories turn out.

I think you really have something in that last bit though: if we agree that artistry lies ultimately in the concepts, the ideas, the imagination of the creator, then clearly a big part of the artistry in photojournalism lies in the editing that goes into composing the picture and then selecting the picture during the subsequent edit.  These are two moments during the process when the photographer exercises his or her esthetic judgment so as to ensure that the image conforms to or somehow plays  off of a set of themes, motifs, ideas that constitute what I think is best called "vision."  If this is right, then the photo story, or let’s say a photo book — such as Koudelka’s Gypsies, or Smith’s Pittsburgh project or any other sustained, comprehensive body of interlinked images — would be the culmination of this esthetic, the touchstone of  that photographer’s genius, or the best means whereby the photog "makes apparent his/her intentions."  I wouldnt want to hang too much of an argument on the concept of Intention or on the need to discern authorial intention as a prerequisite to estethic judgement, because you will lose that battle, but I really do think that the photojournalist’s intentions are most fully realized in a body or series of images rather than in one — take any book you like, pick out one of the less strong images, and you will admit that the image in itself is unimportant, but combined in a narrative of sorts it acquires power and meaning and works toward creating something like a Gestalt (your "aesthetically formed order") that is greater than the sum of its parts and certainly, if well and properly done, achieves the status of art, because, like any great art, it tells many stories, develops a rich metaphorical texture, weaves various motifs into a dense and significant network.

Sounds good to me. 

by Jon Anderson | 08 Feb 2006 15:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Some years ago when discussing what art is I heard a story about an Newspaper interview.

An artist showing to the media his work which was to be exhibited got the press wondering as it was a long arch of paper and on it was a long long line drawn with a pencil.
Asked how he could call that one line, a work of art the artist answered:
"the art is not in the handwork it self or the content but in the thoughts that go through the mind of the artist while drawing that line.

If we where to agree to that statement and think of it in Photographic way we could start by putting all discussions about equipment to the side. But we could also put all discussion of any thing else aside and focus only on the content and the thought of the Photographer.

Here in comes the problem.
People are used to look up on artwork and think about what the artist is trying to tell us, and people start to speculate.
When it comes to Photojournalism people like to look at Photographs and believe that they are telling us the truth, the whole truth and nothing more.
As someone said Photography is more often look up at than into.
But a picture or a picture story that gets people to stop,feel, and dig deeper in to the picture and start thinking must be considered having to achieved higher goal than a picture that is just glanced at and thus it could be considered work of art

by Kristjan Logason | 08 Feb 2006 18:02 | | Report spam→
Nice to meet you too Jon, and all the other LSs willing to share their ideas and thoughts on these threads.
It requires eloquence to express ideas with clarity – whether in writing or in photographs – and the message can be so easily lost or misinterpreted in the communication between the speaker and the listener, the photographer and the viewer… so in my opinion, only those who can use the tool of this ‘trade’ – the camera – to channel stories with great eloquence through images that affect us deeply with beauty and/or power deserve the title ‘artist’. So in answer to Kitra’s question, i feel photojournalism at its zenith deserves the title ‘art’, in images that possess a ‘universal aspect’ – those that capture ‘eternity’ (truth, forever) in the frame. It’s hard for most to reach that spot, so to get it in every other image in a picture sequence or to fill the pages of a book with it, is a mark of skill and genius. I’m happy to call this level of photojournalism ‘art’ and the photojournalists who achieve it ‘artists’. But i feel we would be commoditizing the subject to a high degree if we see our own documentary work as ‘artwork’.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 08 Feb 2006 20:02 (ed. Apr 12 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Hi there, sorry I’m joining so late!

First of all, Kitra, thanks for posing such a wonderful question. I thought I could add some comments, my name is Tomas and I studied Fine Arts, got tired of most contemporary art – although not all of it – and that is the reason I am doing a Master’s Degree in Photography and everyday more and more interested in photojournalism and documentary. I won’t say more about myself, I am a real beginner in this field where you all seem to belong so clearly, and professionally.

Before I start, I like what you just said Jenny, you are touching on crucial points there. And Jon, you are very well versed and eloquent, thank you for all the insightful notes. And I also mean the musical entry of the word note.

I’d like to start with art, what it has been, what it was and where we are at today. Kitra, what do you mean by art? There were the Fine Arts, until the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, these were Painting, Sculpture, Etching, Drawing, all those traditional media we are used to referring to as being art.

Photography then caused tremendous uproar in the art world, it was tough competition especially for painters, and then came Modern Art, the offspring of the modern world. Artists redefined their activity, their media because they felt threatened by photography, film, engineering. (I highly recommend “The Shock of the New” by Robert Hughes for those of you would like to know more about what happened to art between 1850 and 1950).

But let us remember that those were also times of radical ideologies that wanted to shape the world at their own will.
Well…have things changed so much after postmodernity?

And so then came modern art with all the “-isms” and after that contemporary art. And in the art world, these are two very different things and art seems to be completely informed by the times is is created in, but also and to a very large extent, by the art market. If by any chance any of you has seen the Armory Show in NY, you will surely understand what I am talking about. A lot of non-sense that pretends to be so extremely important for the world. And you mentioned that Jon, you said commodification plays a major role in this game. Why one of your photographs wouldn’t be considered to be art and a photograph by U.S. artist Jeff Koons having sex with La Cicciolina would be so? Or Warhol as Jon said. Because they are sold and analyzed and exhibited as such, and art magazines distribute them as such.

And believe me, there are so many people in the contemporary art world concerned about the same issues that are being discussed here.

But I would like to say something in our (see how I am making a choice?) favor. Modern Art moved from the traditional ex nihilo way of addressing artistic creation to more down-to-earth procedures, such as what we can see in the work of Marcel Duchamp. Readymades were completely influenced by photography: to look at reality as the material with which to work is at their center.

And one of the functions of photography is to be a trace, an index of reality as Rosalind Krauss puts it. (Please see the fantastic preface – and the book as well – by Hubert Damisch to “Le Photographique. Pour une theorie des ecarts” by Rosalind Krauss.)

Art changed from being iconic to being indexical: what does she mean by that? Photography is part of those signs that have a connection with their referent that imply physical associations, just like footprints, clues, fingerprints, or symptoms, although symptoms might not resemble the original. According to Charles Peirce’s taxonomy of signs, there are three categories: the symbol, the index and the icon. The icon resembles its referent, the object it represents. Photography too, it even resembles reality more perfectly than paintings, of course. But Peirce talks about the production process: icons may tend to abstraction and turn into graphs, or maps, whereas in photography, the physical connection is undeniable and makes it an index.

That is exactly what the quote Jon mentioned says: “A photograph is not created by a photographer. What he does is just to open a little window and capture it. The world writes itself on his film. And the act of the photographer is closer to reading than it is to writing. He is the reader of the world” (Ferdinando Scianna)." Jon Anderson

So photography not only informed painting, but also sculpture! And what artists ultimately looked for during the modern period and even up until the sixties, was to come closer to the mute and powerful presence of photography, that index of reality, that silence which Roland Barthes calls the nothing-to-add of photography. The fact that you look at a photograph and say…“this has been”, opposed to the creatio ex nihilo. But you see even within art there are so many arts and so many works of art, that it is definitely irrelevant, as far as I can see, to try to define whether photojournalism is art. I agree with your conclusions, photojournalism is an art, but that doesn’t make every photojournalist an artist.

Now I would like to ask a few questions.

I was born in Colombia, South America, and came back to it when I was 14, and from 14 to 27, I saw nothing but blood in the news and the newspapers: is that photojournalism? Jon, is that the truth you were talking about? I have to accept that the deeper we look into our world, the more inequality and the more massacres we see and the more it seems that human beings need constant, unyielding education. The question is whether seeing those images daily is actually educating people. Do human beings need to see that little kid crying over his/her dead mother’s body, in Irak, Colombia, Kashmir, Rwanda, Afghanistan, the U.S., Lebanon, Congo, Chechnya? Maybe we do. No matter how horrible it might be.

And those who think carefully and thoughtfully about the structure and scope of their medium, whether it be journalism or art or whatever you may call it, I agree with Jon, Art with a capital A is in the production process and it could be a photo, a painting, a poem, a song, an essay, a story etc. But only those works that fly straight to the center of our hearts and make us smile, or get us teary, or make us think, or scare us to death, or teach us something we did not know about the world are worth considering as art. Oh I just read Kristjian and Mark’s posts, that’s what I meant. And Mark, by the way, what a fantastic combination of signs in that photograph, composition, color and elements as well, so open to multiple readings and also so eloquent.

So, I agree with Ana, there are so many ways to look at it. And with Kitra as well, then we have all those aesthetic decisions to make, the colors, the composition, shooting color or B/W, the angles, the levels, the proximity or distance, so many things to consider. “The ability to capture life with a camera in ways that I would have never thought to, is the best kind of art I can think of.” Ana Pimsler

To be continued…

by [former member] | 09 Feb 2006 04:02 (ed. Feb 9 2006) | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
"blah, blah, blah" —pure drivel purpleprose shit from bobblack  ;)))

by [former member] | 09 Feb 2006 06:02 (ed. Feb 9 2006) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Hello Kitra! We share some similar thoughts on this. Tomas, I agree with your point about the continual bomardment of negative imagery and suspect if we had less polarizing news coverage presented in such a way, it would help all round.

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 09 Feb 2006 07:02 (ed. Feb 10 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
“…Photography is the key to the door for which words still had not been given the tongue-tripping teeth-pass…” Wow, how many cups of coffee have you had Bob, that is pure over the top poetry. I must have lost the key and the door and the house a long time ago, in fact after four days in search of Kitra’s question, I’m sure she is lying on her back laughing her ass off when she reads some of this dribble. No really, I owe you a cup of coffee, my favorite is: “…is a vanishing trace of that which has, to begin with, no trace…”. Then theres my “Babe” Jenny with that nasty "B’ word, as in balance, oh theres alot of that goin on. John Patrick Naughton

by John Patrick Naughton | 09 Feb 2006 09:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
jpn: u’re absolutely right (its called "Tim Horton’s" (canadian equivalent of Dunkin’Doughnuts) : so after having come down fron the pre-teaching java-skunk high, Ive amended my comentS: see above ;))))….thanks for the edit and good luck with your burlesques….. cheers, bob

by [former member] | 09 Feb 2006 10:02 (ed. Feb 9 2006) | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Oh Bob, you are an up front kind of guy, next time you are in NYC, coffee is on me. JPN

by John Patrick Naughton | 09 Feb 2006 10:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
jpn: i’ll take u up on that….’cause i miss (can u imagine) nyc java….this joe here is laced with something that makes a usually (??) reasonable guy go looney ;))))…I also like upfront guys….though, i know sometimes the bullshit bubbles up from me, its probably the Irish/Russian blood ;))))….cheers, bob (hope to return sometime this year with my wife)…cheers,bob

by [former member] | 09 Feb 2006 11:02 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
JPN, you are so serious!  There is nothing wrong with a little speculation, shootin’ the shit, even if occasionally or frequently what is said is pure drivel (or dribble as you put it).  Anyway I doubt very much it makes any difference in regards to the way people actually do their work, so what is the harm?  Sometimes such conversations help to clarify things that nag and gnaw at one’s consciousness, without our really knowing why, but in the event, we discover things, even if they are not what we went searching for.

Tomas, I wanted to pick up a thread from your long entry there: the whole thing about photography as index.   I actually find this interesting because I have always felt that most academics, critics and art historians who bother to write about photography fail to grasp the special ontological status of the photographic image, and by treating it as a convenient example for yet another rather recondite demonstration of the applicability of semiotic theory, generally end up missing the point.  Anyway, back in the days of Structuralism we would have said that photography inhabits the metonymic axis.  It has a very special relation to reality, to the original moment that it captures and represents in  its two dimensional frame, because it is in fact a moment snatched out of time; in a very real sense it is a "trace" of reality, and while its unique verisimilitude has led people to expect from it a kind of objective truth value that in fact it does not possess, there is no denying that the photographic image has a somewhat different relation to the reality it represents — the camera has been thought of as a machine that automatically "writes" (or if you prefer "reads) reality in a direct unmediated way.  Of course that is not so: the photographer definitely mediates between the scene and the image — via composition, framing, and many other choices in shutter speed, aperture and so on.  But I think you can argue that the medium, though governed by many of the esthetic and other criteria of all visual media, is somehow different from them too. As Krauss puts it, "Photography is part of those signs that have a connection with their referent that imply physical associations, just like footprints, clues, fingerprints, or symptoms."  I like that.

Bob you want coffee to fuel your poetic natterings, come on down here, and i will fix you a cup you will never forget.  A lot of those fancy Italian blends are made with Dominican cafe.  ¡Ay que rico que esta!

by Jon Anderson | 09 Feb 2006 16:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Yes Jon, I know. I’m a nutcase that uses spellcheck because I know Mother Mary is watching. But, what hurts me most Mr. Anderson is not getting a free cup of java from you, ¡Ay que rico que esta! JPN

by John Patrick Naughton | 09 Feb 2006 16:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
JPN, anytime you like you got that cup and as many more as you can hold.  No worries there.  Always welcome here with us.  I neglected to offer because I didnt know you were a caffeine junky like me and Bob.  And to satisfy all our yens in one go, we can splash some rum in our mugs too. ¡uepa!

by Jon Anderson | 09 Feb 2006 16:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Hey Jon you have negleted my caffeine requirements  too !! . I thought we were friends :))    Un cafesito cubano will have to do (not bad at all) …………. with a cigar.

by Alex Reshuan | 09 Feb 2006 17:02 | | Report spam→
Pero Alex ya tu sabes que tu "medio pollo" te espera aqui, y una morena para servirtelo.

mujer, de la piel morena
dame un trago de café
aqui te traigo mi crema
pa’ que tomes tu también

Hierve lentamente en la casuela
bajo el fuego intenso del fogon
brota el aroma . . . es café colao

Café colao, Café colao . . .

Yo lo tiro en la casuela
bajo el fuego endemoniao
ven ven y mezcla de mi crema
y verás que esto es melao

Eh .. .  en este ambiente está cargao.

¡y vuelve la vieja molienda!

by Jon Anderson | 09 Feb 2006 18:02 (ed. Feb 9 2006) | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
So is Photojournalism an Artform?… the thoughts so far…

Alex Reshuan: Some artists will like to think that everything they do is art. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. They will have to wait to see if their belief is shared by others…"

Ana Pimsler: “The ability to see and capture life with a camera in ways that I would have never thought to, is the best kind of art I can think of.”

Aric Mayer: “All photos operate based on their aesthetic components, and what distinguishes the great photographers is how clearly they are able to articulate their aesthetic position.”

Bob Black: “Show me one photograph from either camp (photojournalist/artist) that is NOT consumed by the same fiery orgin: the human ache to document, to witness, to uncover, to attempt to explain, to bandage that which has been scratched wide open: our wounded, searching endlessly selves.”

Chris Gallow: “Art is in the eye of the beholder. Simple and strait forward. A painter makes an image, as a photogrpher makes an image… so who can say for sure that one is art and the other is not. Opinion thats all it is.”

Daniel Etter: "For me art is “good” when it tells me something, when it forces me to think and not when it is art just for the sake of art."

W. Eugene Smith: “My principle concern is for honesty, above all honesty with myself…”

Francois Laplante Delagrave: “Sometime the work of a photojournalist are admited in art gallery, sometime his work finished in the garbage of a coffee shop…. its a matter of interpretation, the photographer cannot choose de destiny of his photo, it’s the power of coerseduction…”

Jenny Lynn Walker: "Photojournalism at its zenith deserves the title ‘art’, in images that possess a ‘universal aspect’ – those that capture ‘eternity’ (truth, forever) in the frame. I’m happy to call this level of photojournalism ‘art’ and the photojournalists who achieve it ‘artists’. But i feel we are commoditizing the subject to a high degree if we see our own documentary work as ‘artwork’.

John Patrick Noughton: “Is Photojournalism Art”, no. It’s photojournalism, there’s nothing wrong with that, I don’t subscribe to the idea that everything and everyone is an artist… "

John Robert Fulton Jnr: “What we do is photography. Nothing more. Nothing less.”

Jon Anderson: “Photojournalism is an art, but that doesnt make every photojournalist an artist.”

Kenneth Dickermann: “Photojournalism has been around before the internet. certainly robert capa didnt know what the internet is. what the ef does the internet have to do with this argument.? zilch.” (in response to a question raised on this thread).

Kenneth Jarecke: “Maybe our goal could be to help the viewer see their own humanity in our subjects.”

Kitra Cahana: “…perhaps it is by means of the art (aesthetic form that can be so numbingly but also evocatively inspirationally beautiful) that we are able to somehow teach and be visionaries of a better way to see the world, even when what we are depicting is grotesque….”

Kristjan Logason: “A picture or a picture story that gets people to stop, feel, and dig deeper in to the picture and start thinking must be considered having to achieved higher goal than a picture that is just glanced at and thus it could be considered work of art.”

Leam Maloney: “Photography is maybe the most efficient of the arts, but every carefully thought out frame (made in a fraction of a second) that actually tells a story is the product of experience, research, knowledge, wonderment and respect.”

Leonard Neumann: “If you look at Guy Tillums work you can see a photojounalist who is an artist as well.”

Mark Seager: (quoting Paulo Pellegrin as being near to what he believes: “…form & composition are the ’ tools ’ of photographic vision & in this respect they can & should be used to produce powerful images. I am not disturbed by beautiful images, on the contrary, I think a good image has a greater potential of making an impact. F. Scianna always says that perhaps a good image doesn’t always improve the world - though it might – but a bad one certainly makes it worse.” 

Mattias Bruggmann: “Photography has been considered as art since at least a century. All of photography. Including vernacular. Photojournalism is photography. Therefore, photojournalism is art.”

Oscar Hidalgo: “I believe if a person feels my work is art so be it, but to me personally I don’t consider myself an artist.”

Paulo Pellegrin: “In the end, what is important is to be honest & respectful in what you’re doing & if these elements are present then whatever you produce will have a meaning.”

Salman Rushdie: “A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second.”

Sean Dwyer: “What a shock that can be, the slow realisation that it’s not really you that is doing the talking. When that occurs it can reach what some may call art, as the image may take on a universal aspect – the fact that the picture can speak to many cultures and backgrounds and remain timeless.”

Sebastiao Salgado: “I can be an artist a posteriori, not a priori.” “We change, art doesn’t. Art has never changed anything. It is one of the variables that, in a bigger model, can help to change something.”

Thomas Reyes: “Art with a capital A is in the production process and it could be a photo, a painting, a poem, a song, an essay, a story etc. But only those works that fly straight to the center of our hearts and make us smile, or get us teary, or make us think, or scare us to death, or teach us something we did not know about the world are worth considering as art.”

Vic Joubert: “Photojournalism is art in the same way as a Tarantino movie is art. To some they are hard hitting, shocking, offensive – to others they are pure art.”

Vittorio Zunino Celotto: “Photojournalism IS art when it says the truth…”

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 10 Feb 2006 06:02 (ed. Apr 12 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Jenny Lynn, You have edited out all of the “Frill & Fra”, very good. Have a good weekend. JPN

by John Patrick Naughton | 10 Feb 2006 07:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
You too!

by Jenny Lynn Walker | 10 Feb 2006 07:02 (ed. Feb 13 2006) | At Home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

Personally, I don’t see photojournalism as ‘art’. Granted, the boundaries are hard to define and great photojournalists do take photographs that are composed aesthetically, to the extent that they could be confused with art… But photojournalism, much like written and spoken forms of journalism, can hardly be qualified as an artistic endeavour. It is documentation.

Few would qualify a great piece of written journalism as art.

Anyway, I was doing some reading around the topic of my dissertation and thought that the following was a good addition to this discussion on whether photojournalism can indeed be art (in reality, thinly disguised procrastination on my behalf):

“A fine photojournalist plants one foot firmly within the visual pursuit of objective reality as we know it – the most accurate recordings of life events a human being can make. This person is keenly aware of a role as a professional eyewitness, working as a proxy for the world at large. But a great photojournalist also plants the other foot firmly within the subjective experience, with its passion, dedication, artistry, and drive to document people at their best and worst – and often with a clear point of view and at great sacrifice.�

“The work of the photojournalist abounds with an apparent realism […] the result is an everyday, seemingly transparent, aesthetic realism dropping into our homes in a steady drip of blood, smiles, tears, triumph and sorrow. The point of visual reportage is realism, not art. Yet, often, art is created in the process and is what makes an image of photojournalism compelling.�

The above are from “The Burden of Visual Truth: The Role of Photojournalism in Mediating Reality� by Julianne H. Newton

by David Azia | 27 Feb 2006 16:02 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
David, you dont notice any irony in the juxtaposition of your rather flat assertion and Julianne Newton’s more nuanced and paradoxical definition?

"Photojournalism  . . . can hardly be qualified as an artistic endeavor.  It is documentation." — this is just an assertion, not an argument, and that is perfectly OK, you are free to voice your heartfelt opinion, but as a statement it has less value than some of the more considered statements you will find in this thread, on both sides of the coin, as well as what Newton herself writes.  At least take some time to explore the idea a bit, toss it around in Socratic fashion and see where it leads you.  If a photographer thinks this way about his practice, I am sure it will lead to mediocre work.   Documentation?  We are not mere empiricists here.   Facts dont interest me; ideas do, and we are people with ideas or we are nothing here, our practice is worthless.  Btw, who is to say that realism isnt art?   And that is something distinct from objectivity, which is a canard, it doesnt exist.  The last word on that was spoken by Gene Smith himself, already quoted above:

"I am an idealist. I often feel I would like to be an artist in an ivory tower. Yet it is imperative that I speak to people, so I must desert that ivory tower. To do this, I am a journalist—a photojournalist. But I am always torn between the attitude of the journalist, who is a recorder of facts, and the artist, who is often necessarily at odds with the facts. My principle concern is for honesty, above all honesty with myself…"

This is not quite the simple statement it seems.  remember, he emphatically states that he is an idealist, not a realist.  And while he says that as a photojournalist he is a recorder of facts, it is quite clear from the context that he is not talking about objectivity but a superior kind of truth, which ultimately stems from this quality of honesty.  Well if you know about his career, you know that you have to interpret that word liberally.  But he undoubtedly spoke truth.

Look, much of photojournalism is just tomorrow’s fishwrap, but that is irrelevant.  The question is whether the practice is an art, not whether such and such example of the practice is art.  Lots of paintings are trash too.  But Painting is an art.

I am not being combative, I am just a little impatient with assertions.  But I like the Newton passages.

y ahora, que descanse en paz, este hilo de locura!

by Jon Anderson | 27 Feb 2006 19:02 | Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
Fishwrap! Are you trying to make friends again Mr. Anderson? I think a good and funny book to read is Kuspit’s “The End of Art”. I expect everyone will have a book report on my desk by the end of the week, cross your T’s and dot your I’s. JPN

by John Patrick Naughton | 28 Feb 2006 06:02 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
When you look at a picture you should just look at a picture.

by Barry Milyovsky | 22 Apr 2006 18:04 | | Report spam→
That’s not what the post-modernists would say!

For the record: I can’t stand them.

by David Azia | 22 Apr 2006 18:04 (ed. Apr 22 2006) | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
But when you JUST look at pictuer and that picture moves some thing with in you what then?

by Kristjan Logason | 22 Apr 2006 19:04 | | Report spam→
I can’t beleive there is this many words about photographs, one image could sum it all up. Mind you that photogrpaher would be a genius. Another thing, art will always be changing and morphing so don’t try to “define” it just enjoy it, or don’t, whatever, just have fun!
Hate that I’m typing this, but hey maybe this thread is art? You never know?

A camera is a tool, your eye is the maker.

What is one mans’ trash is one mans’ palette for artistic expression.

Never know I could be full of sh*t… So just go out there and create some great images to share with the rest of the world.

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2006 22:04 (ed. Apr 22 2006) | toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Sorry gal’s n’ guys, Lighstalkers is providing me again with a mile-wide presentation of the thread making it impossible to read everything, too much scrolling involved.

Briefly my thoughts about it: remember the Dadaists (Marcel Duchamp etc..)? From that day on EVERYTHING, even a concept, can be considered as Art and that’s really OK x me.

Personally I don’t have a definition of what Art is. I only try to be creative in the way I photograph, because it’s the best way to get my “message” across…

Finding the delicate balance between form and content to catch one’s eye and attention. Nothing more, nothing less… Art? Dunno…

I know there are people creating things and I also know there is a market selling what these people have created: the Art market.

The first concern of creating is not about money. The Art market is about money.

Come to think of it: maybe Art is just giving a value (translated into varying quantities of money) to a creation?

You sure can do that with photojournalism…

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2006 22:04 (ed. Apr 22 2006) | his house, Cambodia | | Report spam→
I named my son Art.

by Ed Leveckis | 23 Apr 2006 01:04 | New York City, United States | | Report spam→
Never sell him….

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2006 03:04 | his house, Cambodia | | Report spam→

“I named my son Art.”

See to it that he becomes a Photojournalist, and the case is closed. :-Þ

by Kristjan Logason | 23 Apr 2006 04:04 | | Report spam→
It is not that of art, it is above all job which serves us for testifying, for denouncing and make the world change and the mentalities to make of art
of the beautiful with subjects hard as conflicts or the poverty there, is the big question ……

by Stephane Lehr | 23 Apr 2006 06:04 | paris, France | | Report spam→
Okay — I should be sleeping, took sleeping med, ate lots of chips/salsa, must be up again soon to repeat another 12 hour shift at the hospital but am so glad I forged through this thread.

I guess I see “art” photographers as those who photograph for different (?) reasons from most photojournalists.

This is different from the “art” of the photojournalist which I consider to be not unlike the classification of nursing or
medicine as an “art” — the movement beyond the basic rudimentary elements of a performance/task into the realm of adding in
your personal experience, intuition, sub-conscious processing of the clinical picture — I know as an ER nurse this is a real
thing. And I also experience it (when I am lucky ) when I am photographing, quickly, not carefully posing my subject — enjoying more
and more “happy accidents” because of experience and familiarity with the nuts and bolts/equipment/lighting etcetera (and learning
to trust my inclination to press the shutter button).

When I witness some of the gallery photos online at LS and elsewhere, the photojournalist “artist” can convey so much more with an isolated
detail, a disembodied hand, or some other image that would not have seemed the obvious photographic choice of someone lacking “intuition” about
how to frame it. Yes, I believe photojournalism can be an “art” - as a practiced skill. It can also obviously be “art” as a physical/viewable
object which communicates with the viewer. And, to some, they are “just pretty pictures” — still one more aspect of “art”.

Okay, I will shut up now and try to get a few more hours of sleep before returning for another 12 in the er where I hope like hell I am able to
practice the “art” of nursing as best as possible.

Good night and mahalo for letting me experience the LS forums with you all.


by Kristin Wohlschlagel | 23 Apr 2006 07:04 | Hilo, Hawaii, United States | | Report spam→
I am always furious when to I am told that me photos are beautiful it is not of art, a kid who dies in Angola, check OK, with a light of the end of magenta
day when make too beautiful images make lose the info which you want to give, the glance of the reader sees access the beautiful colors of the light,
the garment of the African woman and after second reading sees the child who is dying pffffffffff hard hard that to make

by Stephane Lehr | 23 Apr 2006 07:04 | paris, France | | Report spam→
For me photography is first and foremost a craft, skilled labour, like intricate bricklaying, or ornate weaving (which was mentioned some time up. Very similar to architecture IMHO. Art is the guy who changes my oil ;-))

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2006 08:04 (ed. Apr 23 2006) | Moscow, Russia | | Report spam→
i think the biggest art in my PJ life is working for the dumbest boss in the world.
when he’s sitting in his cosy office while i’m getting shot at, calling me to give me shit on my expenses, that’s an art.
on a more serious note… yes, it is. if it was a “skilled craft”, anyone could learn to become a good photographer and that’s simply not true. simply because among other things, it requires creativity.

(but what do i know, i’m just a photographer)

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2006 15:04 (ed. Apr 23 2006) | another last minute change to, Afghanistan | | Report spam→
If a museum is a place that leads to dialog, i think it is ok, than it wil be a surplus … but still a strange wind is going over my back … does Winterreisse from Luc Delahaye belongs in a gallery …. i don’t know …. It belongs in a place where everybody should look … maybe that museum is becomming a place like that … because of showing that pictures in the museum… We are always scared of moving and changing the things we putted i a kind of box/cage …but stil i realy don’t know … photojournalism is photojournalism … If you see the pic that has won worldpress this year … you also see a movement from hard news to iconographic beauty …. are those things going hand in hand …?

by [former member] | 29 Apr 2006 20:04 | Malinas, Belgium | | Report spam→

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Oscar Hidalgo, Storyteller Oscar Hidalgo
Miami , United States ( MIA )
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Daniel Etter, Photographer / Writer Daniel Etter
Photographer / Writer
Istanbul , Turkey
Ana Pimsler, Photojournalist Ana Pimsler
Manassas, Va , United States
John Patrick Naughton, Photographer John Patrick Naughton
New York City , United States
Leonard Neumann, Photographer Leonard Neumann
Dallas / London , United States
A. Mayer, Photographer A. Mayer
New York City , United States
Jenny Lynn Walker, Homo Sapien Jenny Lynn Walker
Homo Sapien
London , United Kingdom
Vic Joubert, Freelance Photographer Vic Joubert
Freelance Photographer
Melbourne , Australia
Sean Dwyer, Press Photographer Sean Dwyer
Press Photographer
Dublin , Ireland
vittorio zunino celotto, Photojournalist vittorio zunino celotto
Milan , Italy ( LIN )
Kenneth Dickerman, Photographer Kenneth Dickerman
Nyc , United States
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Indianapolis, In , United States
Liam Maloney, Photojournalist Liam Maloney
Beirut , Lebanon
francois laplante delagrave, Freelance Photojournalist francois laplante delagrave
Freelance Photojournalist
Montreal , Canada ( YUL )
Alex Reshuan, Photographer Alex Reshuan
Guayaquil , Ecuador
Kristjan Logason, Photographer Kristjan Logason
(editorial and advertising)
Leikanger , Norway
David Azia, Pic. editor/Photographer David Azia
Pic. editor/Photographer
London , United Kingdom
Barry Milyovsky, totally unprofessional Barry Milyovsky
totally unprofessional
(emperor of ice cream )
New York , United States
Ed Leveckis, Ed Leveckis
New York , United States ( LGA )
Stephane Lehr, Photojournalist Stephane Lehr
Paris , France
Kristin Wohlschlagel, Nurse Kristin Wohlschlagel
Kea'au, Hi , United States ( ITO )


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