Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Important Then, Now And...

I'm not about to feign I know the slightest concerning the ins and outs of professional photojournalism. But I do remember back in the day (the 70's to be exact) when the first wave of "the end of photojournalism" hit the scene. LIFE died, budgets were slashed, and ironically, more magazines than ever populated the planet. This time however, the internets and digital ubiquity have changed the gameplay considerably. Newspapers closing, Flickr rising- you know the scenario...

Competition was vicious back then, I can only imagine now with online amateurs giving it away and vacuous celebrity photos devouring anything and everything of meaningful societal value. And while I (or anyone for that matter) certainly don't know the future of photojournalism, I can only marvel at and applaud young bloods (like Mike Mullady) who continue to enter the field and give to it their all. They may not end up changing the world, but their effort leaves the rest of us little excuse for not knowing, or addressing said situation(s). It only remains to be seen if we continue to descend further into our escapist womb as our environment (economic and natural) continues to collapse, or live up to the challenges that we all confront.

Of course, it would also be nice if the future also meant an increase in "Third World" peoples being able to better document their own affairs- something rarely mentioned when the subject's discussed at length (see links below). But I'm not what you'd call an optimistic kinda guy. And finally, this excerpt was particularly unique and thought provoking:

With only a few rare exceptions, the photos that have gone down in history did not make the front page the day after they were taken; often they were spotted much later, or rediscovered on contact sheets. Now with digital photography, shots can be erased if they don’t appear to be of any immediate relevance. Digital technology may mean that great chunks of history could be lost.






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