Sunday, November 2, 2008

Art & Photojournalism

Having reached the half century mark, there are some conversations I just can't spend all that much time on anymore, like: "What do women really want?" Spent way too much time on that one- a conversation that had to be had, and will continue to be had, though not by me. You ponder it, debate it, turn it upside down and get drunk on it- nurse the hangover, and finally go on, hopefully but doubtfully, all the wiser.

Victims, Issue 74 of Colors magazine devotes itself in large part to the recent earthquake in China, which brought to mind all the recent blog chatter dealing with the current state of photojournalism and its aging visual aesthetic. And valid as that conversation may be, I have to admit I don't quite get it. Photojournalism does on occasion reach the level of art, no doubt, but just how is someone to change, to "modernize" the visual aesthetics of say... the pain, loss and suffering of the China earthquake? Art is certainly not the first consideration here- and when images of tragedy approach the level of art, you know it will be followed by criticism of exploiting said tragedy.

Much has been said of the "tradition" (ie- style) of photojournalism, when it's basic language is simply to record the necessary visual info in the most effective manner possible. Occasionally, it rises above that; be happy when it does- or else, point the way...

2 comments:

Mark Page said...

I think that's a fair point. As has also been pointed out on the blogs is that too often photographers are concerned with taking pictures for other photographers. I still think that a good image whether shot on Tri-x or the latest digital with that ubur modern stylie can hit the mark when it comes to "joe public"

Stan B. said...

Or hopefully with anyone! And I have nothing against forever striving to improve and refine said product- as should always be the case...