The Failure of Modern Documentary Photography and Photojournalism

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer News from flipboard (1 of 1)ISO 2001-75 sec at f - 1.4

For generations, what photographers have tried to do to get society to change its minds about social and political issues is showing exactly what happens. We, as in most of society, are behind a safety of sorts: there are screens, editors, warnings etc that the most graphic photojournalism and documentary stories that can really change a person’s mind about an issue. These censors have made the public immune to so many things–so much so that we continue on to other stories like those of some kid blaming Pokemon Go for them walking into traffic.

Why? We, as a society, like being entertained pretty much to death,

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Photojournalism, Permission Rights and The Social Web: A Combination That Works Least for the Photographer

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC mirrorless extra sample photos (7 of 46)ISO 1001-640 sec at f - 1.4

While there are loads of award winning photographers in the best agencies, newspapers, and wires the future of photojournalism seems to be changing more and more to where quite honestly, the photographer has the least amount of importance in most of history. Just recently, a photo of a woman in a dress being arrested by well armed police men made the rounds like wildfire online. Part of getting this shot involved access that working with those big companies can get you. It also comes with publication after publication using the image without permission or licensing for their own reasons. It’s theft–and part of this has to do with how the social web works.

But is this the future of photojournalism as we know it? This has been asked before, but is it really, truly the future of the format?

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How to Avoid Confrontation When Doing Street Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 30mm f1.4 DC mirrorless extra sample photos (38 of 46)ISO 1001-500 sec at f - 1.4

When doing street photography, no photographer wants to get into any sort of confrontation. Though what you’re doing isn’t illegal by taking pictures of someone in public, it can offend or creep someone out. That’s easy to do too!

You should be aware that every photographer will get into a confrontation at one point or another–for some it rarely happens and for others it happens often. But there are ways you can avoid it.

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Cityscape Photography: Composition, Gear and the Application

X-Pro1 + Zeiss 12mm f/2.8

All images and text by Bryan Minear. Used with permission.

When it comes to cityscape photography, I truly believe that every city has a unique “soul” to it that you have to find and visualize. Let’s begin by talking about your mindset when approaching a new city. Sometimes it takes a little time to acclimate to a certain place in order to really get the “vibe”.

For example, I have been to Chicago about 10 times now. But it wasn’t until my 3rd or 4th trip that I really started to mesh with the city and shoot the kind of photos that were portfolio-worthy. The same can be said for NYC, which is wildly different than Chicago. I still absolutely love looking back at photos from my first or second trip there, but it wasn’t until later trips that I found my groove. All in all, just do what you can when you are visiting a place. When I vacationed to London, I only had four days before we were on our way to Florence and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to just come back to shoot anytime that I wanted. So I had to do the very best that I could in the time that I had.

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The Mentality Behind Capturing More Visually Interesting Images

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Mint Camera InstantFlex TL70 product images (14 of 16)ISO 4001-60 sec at f - 4.0

Some photographers go through the world simply looking at scenes and only capturing what looks interesting to them at the time–and in attempt to capture a scene just the way that they see it. That’s fine–and it works out pretty well most of the time. In contrast, have you tried something new?

What about the idea of going about places and looking at the shapes? Or the colors? Lots of photographers these days start out by being self taught–and if you just embrace some of the more principle pillars of art, you’ll see just how much extra potential your images have.

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Highway Hypnosis: Capturing The Relationship Between Color and Light


All images by Seth Harwood. Used with permission.

“The reason I began photographing these expanses at night came from a curiosity to see if I could capture that sense of lost time that occurs during these sprawling drives.” says South Dakota photographer Seth Harwood about his series Highway Hypnosis. “,,,I think that by blurring the scene just enough to obscure the finite details only helps the viewer to focus more on the relationship of color and light.” Raised the son of a repo man, Seth spent his youth playing in old, broken down vehicles that had been left behind. As such, he developed a particular fondness for this abandoned aspect of the highway culture throughout the American Midwest.

This fondness is clearly evident in Highway Hypnosis and he explores light trails made by vehicles on a highway but also blends the details just enough to make it into a project that is all about the relationship of color in the scene.



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Can a Professional Photographer Use 360 Photography Commercially?

Pro Tip: When shooting landscapes, keep in mind that not everything needs to be an HDR despite what so many people in the community do.

360 Photography and Virtual Reality are some of the areas where photography seems to be evolving, becoming cool, fun, and fulfilling the human need to constantly be entertained. Like a dog that sees a squirrel run across a field, there are some of us in the industry that simply just go for it because it’s the cool thing to do. But in all honesty, it doesn’t have a lot of major uses for the professional photographer. Instead, it’s just a way for people on social media and other platforms to be engaged. To that end, it could become the ultimate Behind the Scenes Tool for a photographer’s life.

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How to Create and Compose a Great Landscape Photo


All images and guest blog post by Sebastian Boatca. Used with permission


In my opinion, landscape photography is one of the most important categories in Photography. At some point, we all experimented with landscape photography and for a beginner, it is the perfect way to start learning and master the artistic and technical insights of photography.

I love to travel and when you encounter a beautiful landscape, especially when that moment of the day carries some beautiful emotions with it, your biggest desire is to capture that moment and cherish it, save it in your dearest memory collection and share it with the people you care about. This was the beginning of photography, for me. And like every beginning, you deal with difficulties, but the safest way to approach Photography is by starting with Landscapes. You have enough time to think about your composition, to get the camera settings right and your “subject” will not move or get bored, waiting for you to be ready for the shot. Landscape Photography is forgiving, is comfortable, especially for shy people and it is beautiful.

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