Death of Photojournalism Discuss
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Old 07-18-2005   #1
Vicuna
 
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Default Death of Photojournalism Discuss

Is it surviving?

People are now obsessed by celebrity and sex. It seems PJ is dying out!

Or has the interent opened up new forms of communication?

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Old 07-18-2005   #2
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

Thanks for bringing this up. PJ is something I'm really interested in. I love the emotion in pj pics. I love the idea of being that fly on the wall getting in all up close and personal recording the moment and not creating the moment by posing people or things. There's more of a voyeuristic appeal to it and a lot of luck I think too. But I'm not sure how to go about it. I guess I would just have to get myself out there more. Gotta find more time outside of my day job and family obligations.
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Old 07-18-2005   #3
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

There is pj as an 'art" form and pj as a profession, is there not? You're referring to the former, I presume.

What I'd like to know is how tough it is to break into the pj field, press agencies?
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Old 07-18-2005   #4
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

I am not sure it is gone. It just changed. We used to buy Look and Life magazines but now PJ is instant news rather than stills on a printed page.

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Old 07-19-2005   #5
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

Alice it is very competitive but so is everything.

There are two routes the newspaper route or the magazine way. Agencies want plenty of experience.
There are good books on amazon. Look at reuters books. Start at local papers and go from there.

For magazine work you need good stories and the confidence and energy to sell them.

good luck
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Old 07-19-2005   #6
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice Morrison
There is pj as an 'art" form and pj as a profession, is there not? You're referring to the former, I presume.

What I'd like to know is how tough it is to break into the pj field, press agencies?
I guess I see it as both, but I know that when it is your profession every pic can't be "art". And if it is you are damn good.
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Old 08-03-2005   #7
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

Oh ye of little faith! Photojournalism is not only alive it is growing faster than the duckweed in a Louisiana swamp.
Look around you at the daily increase of publications. These NEED photos to fill in the gray space. That is where Y'all come in.
Photo/journalism. Think of it that way. The PHOTO attracts the eye to the journalism. Tell that to the next writer who thinks that his string of copy was handed down by God.
This is a good natured war that goes on between the writer types and us good guys.
In the old days it usually ended with glue pots flying and words that we could never put on the printed page turning the air blue. A good exercise before going out together for a beer.
OK, you want a byline!? You want to see your photo plastered on the front page? You want to make REAL $$$ You want the press credentials to get past the police lines, on the sidelines at sporting events, perks like travel expenses and free entry to resorts and other places usually restricted? Is this what you want Boobala?
Well, the key is the tip of your finger on the shutter release and the Prime Exposure of; "F-8 and be there." (Attributed to Gilbert Grosvenor at National Geographic).
Anyway, the opportunity to record an interesting moment in time, we call it "spot news", is only moments away.
Is your camera set for the proper exposure with ambient lighting conditions? Forget flash!! Let me repeat that--FORGET FLASH! Learn to work with the scene as it is for several reasons:
Flash is unnatural. Our eyes do not make light to illuminate a subject.
Flash has the ability to attract the attention of people who would take unkind approach to your person like at riots. Also, certain overzealous police officers have unlimbered their billy clubs when flash bulbs start blinking. Lets just say that the flash destroys the candid element.
Flash does work for posed photos. The tea party and grip and grin pix that clutter the business and society pages are a good example of hole filling for meaningless copy blocks.
OK, enough of that tirade> How do you want to get into Photo-journalism?
If you can string words together as well as take the photos you have a better than average chance of landing a position on a small weekly or stringing for a daily rag. Stringers are reporter/photographers who cover the activities outside of the metro complex. If you live in a small community served by a large newspaper make an appointment with the city editor and present him or her with a portfolio of your work and a few photo essays that may be acceptable as a run-anytime feature. DO THIS ONLY AFTER you have researched the editorial content of the paper to ascertain the attitude of the publication. Newspapers ARE biased regardless of how they perceive themselves.
You must be comfortable working with these people or you will get disillusioned a lot faster and your art will suffer.
Start small. A shopper, weekly, bi monthly magazine will give you the time to learn the lingo and techniques of layout. The more you learn about production the better you may control how your art is displayed.
ALWAYS GET A BYLINE. It may be in agate type but it tells the world that you are an artist.
While we are at the getting started stage; start a scrap book of all your clippings and KEEP THOSE NEGATIVES! They are slices of time and have historical value that increases with the years. My photos of Huntsville, AL made during the '60's-'80's are now in demand as we celebrate our Bicentennial.
The scrapbook becomes priceless after you semi-retire. It documents your NSIWT stories.
Do you want to be a bloodhound? That's the camera toting vultures who chase ambulances and circle wreck scenes.
The news editor will plaster a scene of tragedy on page one above the fold in a heartbeat because he knows that it sells papers. It does!
You get disillusioned and cynical real fast working in the Fourth Estate.
But, there are bennies! For one; lawyers will pay big bucks for wreck photos especially if there was a fatality.
Insurance companies reward you for photos showing damage. The community will donate to your savings if you document a tornado strike and publish a collection of the disaster--especially if their property was involved. Gory, gruesome, that is a part of photojournalism.
On the lighter side you may specialize in nature shots, feature photos, anything that can be stand-alone hole fillers to save the writers from pounding out more copy. These don't pay as much or get used as often.
The big bucks come from that spot news photo of a plane crashing into the twin towers or Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald.
When,(not if), you anticipate a breaking story; have your camera loaded, batteries fully charged, backup systems ready, etc. That way you are ready to record and don't stop with one shot. Explore the subject and the surroundings as well. Human interest includes the reactions of spectators. The editor needs a selection to play with.
One very important bit of advice. If you are not on the staff be prepared to negotiate an agreement based on one time publication rights ONLY. Do not give away all your rights to the photo for a few bucks. That photo of the Oswald shooting in the basement of the Dallas courthouse was copywrited by the photographer before it filled the front page of every newspaper in America.
Your art will pay its way if you do your research in the business.
There is a book at the public library, The Photographers Market Guide; also The Writers Market Guide, I recommend that you borrow rather than buy because they are usually out of date within a year. You will get excited about the pay for photos but read the fine print.
More important is advice about dealing with editors and publishers, insuring your work, having resale rights. Just research and pick the brains of other freelancers.
Photojournalism is not dead, not by a long lens shot.
It is waiting for you to present its next meal and will stroke your ego and fatten your wallet.
Photojournalism will enhance your ability to go places and have experiences that the meek and timid will envy. Someday you may be able to leap tall buildings with a single bound and run faster than a speeding bullet--out of necessity. Just remember; keep the camera protected at all times and don't let the damn editor forget the byline!
I can go on for a fortnight on this subject but maybe Y'all should come back at me with specific case questions. I'll tell you how I did it way back when or how I might do it now having thought better of the injuries I accumulated in the past.
I still have a bruise on my right rib cage from colliding with Dolly Parton's left major asset backstage at the Oprey----did I mention bragging rights?
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Old 08-03-2005   #8
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

Gaelan,

Great post. Love to hear these stories from one who knows.
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Old 1 Week Ago   #9
Alpaca
 
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelan View Post
Oh ye of little faith! Photojournalism is not only alive it is growing faster than the duckweed in a Louisiana swamp.
Look around you at the daily increase of publications. These NEED photos to fill in the gray space. That is where Y'all come in.
Photo/journalism. Think of it that way. The PHOTO attracts the eye to the journalism. Tell that to the next writer who thinks that his string of copy was handed down by God.
This is a good natured war that goes on between the writer types and us good guys.
In the old days it usually ended with glue pots flying and words that we could never put on the printed page turning the air blue. A good exercise before going out together for a beer.
OK, you want a byline!? You want to see your photo plastered on the front page? You want to make REAL $$$ You want the press credentials to get past the police lines, on the sidelines at sporting events, perks like travel expenses and free entry to resorts and other places usually restricted? Is this what you want Boobala?
Well, the key is the tip of your finger on the shutter release and the Prime Exposure of; "F-8 and be there." (Attributed to Gilbert Grosvenor at National Geographic).
Anyway, the opportunity to record an interesting moment in time, we call it "spot news", is only moments away.
Is your camera set for the proper exposure with ambient lighting conditions? Forget flash!! Let me repeat that--FORGET FLASH! Learn to work with the scene as it is for several reasons:
Flash is unnatural. Our eyes do not make light to illuminate a subject.
Flash has the ability to attract the attention of people who would take unkind approach to your person like at riots. Also, certain overzealous police officers have unlimbered their billy clubs when flash bulbs start blinking. Lets just say that the flash destroys the candid element.
Flash does work for posed photos. The tea party and grip and grin pix that clutter the business and society pages are a good example of hole filling for meaningless copy blocks.
OK, enough of that tirade> How do you want to get into Photo-journalism?
If you can string words together as well as take the photos you have a better than average chance of landing a position on a small weekly or stringing for a daily rag. Stringers are reporter/photographers who cover the activities outside of the metro complex. If you live in a small community served by a large newspaper make an appointment with the city editor and present him or her with a portfolio of your work and a few photo essays that may be acceptable as a run-anytime feature. DO THIS ONLY AFTER you have researched the editorial content of the paper to ascertain the attitude of the publication. Newspapers ARE biased regardless of how they perceive themselves.
You must be comfortable working with these people or you will get disillusioned a lot faster and your art will suffer.
Start small. A shopper, weekly, bi monthly magazine will give you the time to learn the lingo and techniques of layout. The more you learn about production the better you may control how your art is displayed.
ALWAYS GET A BYLINE. It may be in agate type but it tells the world that you are an artist.
While we are at the getting started stage; start a scrap book of all your clippings and KEEP THOSE NEGATIVES! They are slices of time and have historical value that increases with the years. My photos of Huntsville, AL made during the '60's-'80's are now in demand as we celebrate our Bicentennial.
The scrapbook becomes priceless after you semi-retire. It documents your NSIWT stories.
Do you want to be a bloodhound? That's the camera toting vultures who chase ambulances and circle wreck scenes.
The news editor will plaster a scene of tragedy on page one above the fold in a heartbeat because he knows that it sells papers. It does!
You get disillusioned and cynical real fast working in the Fourth Estate.
But, there are bennies! For one; lawyers will pay big bucks for wreck photos especially if there was a fatality.
Insurance companies reward you for photos showing damage. The community will donate to your savings if you document a tornado strike and publish a collection of the disaster--especially if their property was involved. Gory, gruesome, that is a part of photojournalism.
On the lighter side you may specialize in nature shots, feature photos, anything that can be stand-alone hole fillers to save the writers from pounding out more copy. These don't pay as much or get used as often.
The big bucks come from that spot news photo of a plane crashing into the twin towers or Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald.
When,(not if), you anticipate a breaking story; have your camera loaded, batteries fully charged, backup systems ready, etc. That way you are ready to record and don't stop with one shot. Explore the subject and the surroundings as well. Human interest includes the reactions of spectators. The editor needs a selection to play with.
One very important bit of advice. If you are not on the staff be prepared to negotiate an agreement based on one time publication rights ONLY. Do not give away all your rights to the photo for a few bucks. That photo of the Oswald shooting in the basement of the Dallas courthouse was copywrited by the photographer before it filled the front page of every newspaper in America.
Your art will pay its way if you do your research in the business.
There is a book at the public library, The Photographers Market Guide; also The Writers Market Guide, I recommend that you borrow rather than buy because they are usually out of date within a year. You will get excited about the pay for photos but read the fine print.
More important is advice about dealing with editors and publishers, insuring your work, having resale rights. Just research and pick the brains of other freelancers.
Photojournalism is not dead, not by a long lens shot.
It is waiting for you to present its next meal and will stroke your ego and fatten your wallet.
Photojournalism will enhance your ability to go places and have experiences that the meek and timid will envy. Someday you may be able to leap tall buildings with a single bound and run faster than a speeding bullet--out of necessity. Just remember; keep the camera protected at all times and don't let the damn editor forget the byline!
I can go on for a fortnight on this subject but maybe Y'all should come back at me with specific case questions. I'll tell you how I did it way back when or how I might do it now having thought better of the injuries I accumulated in the past.
I still have a bruise on my right rib cage from colliding with Dolly Parton's left major asset backstage at the Oprey----did I mention bragging rights?
nice informative post , thanks .
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Old 1 Week Ago   #10
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Default Re: Death of Photojournalism Discuss

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaelan View Post
...Flash is unnatural. Our eyes do not make light to illuminate a subject.
Flash has the ability to attract the attention of people who would take unkind approach to your person like at riots. Also, certain overzealous police officers have unlimbered their billy clubs when flash bulbs start blinking. Lets just say that the flash destroys the candid element.
Flash does work for posed photos. The tea party and grip and grin pix that clutter the business and society pages are a good example of hole filling for meaningless copy blocks.
The name Weegee ring any bells?


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