One of the genres of photography that I admire the most is photojournalism. Being handed an assignment and having to tell a story, often in nothing more than photographs, can be a daunting challenge. It isn’t enough to come back with a handful of good-looking, technically correct images. If they don’t accurately illustrate what will entice viewers at first glance, you’ve probably failed at your task. While its aesthetics haven’t changed much over the decades, the technical side of photojournalism has gotten a lot easier with the advent of digital photography. Some photojournalists still like to challenge themselves occasionally by shooting their assignments on film, and we interviewed Lanna Apisukh for her personal insights and experiences on this.Continue reading…
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There’s nothing wrong with the way the traditional Leica camera worked. If anything, the Leica M series makes the photographer more aware of what’s around them. But let’s be honest, autofocus is very useful. And the Leica SL2s is probably the camera that answers the needs of the modern journalist the best. At the heart of the Leica SL2s is what Leica claims to be a newly developed 24MP BSI sensor. This variant of the Leica SL2 maintains the IP54 weather sealing rating, but it also received a speed boost.
Editor’s Note: We’ve updated this post as of June 6th.Continue reading…
I’m sharing my most candid thoughts on what it’s like to test cameras during the COVID-19 crisis if you’re curious.
By all means, I’ll be the first to tell you that what we do here at The Phoblographer is purely for people to escape the world and, in some ways, be opened up to more parts of it. I can tell that, by our readership, many of you come here every day to escape the news and to enjoy more of your own hobby. But at the same time, I think it’s vital to tell lots of stories as much as you feel it is to share your opinions. So today, I’m sharing how we’re testing cameras amidst COVID 19 and lots of the logistical issues involved here. Our aim is to give you a peek, so you understand just how tough a job this is, how long we spend, how almost everything is a team effort, and how things are changing. And most importantly, I’m writing this as a bit of a piece of personal therapy.Continue reading…
I’m into modifying regular bags for photography reasons, but the Yeti Crossroads 23 backpack proved painful.
A while back, Yeti pitched the idea to me of working with the Yeti Crossroads 23 backpack for photographers. Working with new vendors is always fun, and experimenting is too. As a company targeted to the outdoor enthusiast, I was curious why they reached out to me. I mean, I travel a whole lot, but for the most part, I’m a city boy. The country doesn’t scare me, but city life is much better for a legally blind photographer. Nonetheless, I accepted the challenge of working with the Yeti Crossroads 23. It proved to be a reminder that they’re not a photographer’s brand and pretty much no one is making a perfect camera bag.Continue reading…
Smoke and mirrors is the concept of misleading people to believing something untrue; lots of photographers use it.
This post isn’t just dedicated to the many photographers on YouTube or Instagram who are trying to become influencers or gain fame: it’s for generally everyone. It has a lot to do with photographers and the type of games they often play. Misleading audiences and telling lies about how an image was created, or how something was done is positively wrong. If anything, you’re simply teaching folks what not to do–and that’s to not be like you. When the truth comes out, everyone is going to remember the lies you told if you’re held to them. It’s a much better idea to burn out your own toxicity and play the long game.
Perhaps my favorite of the lineup, the Zeiss Loxia 25mm f2.4 may be the first Loxia lens that many pick up
The Zeiss Loxia 25mm f2.4 is a lens that when you look at it, it seems to be very much like most of the other Loxia lenses on the market. And in accordance to design standards that just makes sense. The Zeiss Loxia 25mm f2.4 sports an all metal body, weather sealing throughout the lens, a manual aperture ring, and focusing ring, and is one of the first lenses from the Zeiss Loxia lineup that you’d genuinely consider at both the price point and the featureset. It’s targeted to street photographers, landscape photographers, architectural shooters, and more. I love it for candid shooting and when combined with a solid camera body like the Sony a7r III, there isn’t very much to complain about.
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Lead photo by Tuncay
Years ago, photojournalists were creating images that changed the world, our opinions on life, public policies, etc. The photo was powerful; and it arguably still is. But the inherent problem with the photo’s power these days has to do with a myriad of changes in society where the photo just hasn’t been able to keep up. Just think about it: years ago photography had a big part of ending the Vietnam War and exposing lots of other major issues with society. But these days, it’s not as effective. This isn’t only in the richer, more developed societies but instead all over the world. To understand why, we need to explore photography and culture’s relationship.
All images by Brian Smith. Used with permission.
Photographer Brian Smith has been shooting for many years and has produced work that you’re bound to have seen if you pay attention to pop culture at all. Brian’s unique creative vision is whimsical, playful, fun, elegant, and somehow or another manages to squeeze reality into that balance. He has a gift, and I’m not the only one who thinks so.
Based in Miami, Brian Smith “is the luckiest guy on the planet.” according to a bio he sent for this interview. He won a Pulitzer Prize at 25, he’s told Bill Gates exactly what to do for an entire hour, appeared on The X Factor, exhibited at the Library of Congress, dined with the President, hung with Richard Branson on Necker Island, gotten drunk with George Clooney, and shared cupcakes with Anne Hathaway.
Pretty cool, huh?
All images are © Hugo Passarello Luna and are used with permission.
In this episode of ISO 400, we hear from Hugo Passarello Luna, an Argentinian journalist and photographer who’s based in Paris and has been for about five years now. He’s worked on a number of projects, not the least of which is the “Unexpected Photo Essay on Cortázar, His Readers and Paris” from last year. He honored the centennial of Argentinian novelist Julio Cortázar’s birth by photographing his readers in Paris in the context of his novel “Hopscotch,” which we interviewed him about here. In this episode, Hugo talks about his lifelong fondness for storytelling, his cross-cultural experiences as a journalist, and more.
As always, our music is provided by Yuki Futami, a New York-based jazz musician.
In a brilliant move to highlight the importance of photography, the French newspaper Libération published its Nov. 14 issue without photographs. The layout is unsettling in a necessary way. The issue is formatted as if it had images, but there are only empty frames. The move emphasizes how integral photography is in telling the news. Some of the best journalism has the perfect marriage of text and images, and a newspaper without photographs is a newspaper not worth reading.
Interestingly, the end of the issue has a flat plan that shows only the images as they would have appeared, but this time, there is no text. While some of the images may be striking, they inevitably fall flat without proper context. Photography isn’t dead, and this should serve a boon to news photographers everywhere. And photographers in general, really. It would be interesting to see the New York Times try that. The Chicago Sun-Times took a step towards that already as Stephen Colbert articulated in the best possible way.
If photojournalism is the prime discipline of photography, then war photography is most definitely the prime discipline of photojournalism. And certainly the most dangerous, life-threatening and psychologically challenging. There’s nothing beautiful about war. And while pictures from seemingly victorious troops are often used propagandistically to both rectify and glorify a war, the fact of the matters is that war is probably the ugliest thing there is in this world. Nevertheless, there are those that are drawn to conflict zones, who put themselves in harms way time and again, in order to show the world what is really going on.
One of these brave souls is Goran Tomasevic, who has been documenting war zones for Reuters for twenty years now. The video below showcases some of his work, and features Tomasevic explaining why he does what he does. But be aware: it contains some strong imagery, and may not be suited for the faint-hearted.
Stories from photographers on the front lines are sometimes amongst the toughest to swallow. And this one from Photographers Michael Kamber and Louie Palu are no different. Kamber is an NYTimes photographer and has been featured in Leica marketing videos about how his Leica M has survived near hell. But the video below isn’t about the gear. Instead, it is about incredibly powerful and captivating storytelling through images and words. Kamber talks about some of the tough times, such as when Saddam came out of power and mass graves were dug up so that families could identify they bodies. While hearing this is quite intense, seeing it is even more so.
The story and video is partially to promote a new book called, “Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq.” And the words from Kamber hit home even more as he talks about certain things that the US Government needs to think about and consider the next time that we get into a military venture.
Louie agrees, and states that traditional American journalism wasn’t the way that he wanted to talk about the war. The video is after the jump, and we strongly recommend a look.
According to an article over at TechCrunch, the Associated Press–one of the world’s leading press agencies and news distributors–has acquired a stake of the video crowdsourcing platform Bambuser. Bambuser allows ‘citizen journalists’ to upload live video footage of current events, which can then be licensed to news agencies worldwide. AP has been using Bambuser as a platform for their internal reporters for a while already, but now aims to more aggressively make use of crowdsourced news footage, to remain “the foremost global provider of live video news“. It seems outsourcing and crowdsourcing news footage seem to be the latest trend. CNN were the first to lay off a significant number of photographers, and just recently the Chicago Sun-Times laid off their entire staff–and both times the argument was that iPhone footage is just as good but much cheaper to obtain. So does AP’s deal with Bambuser mean the same will happen to their staff as well? Let us know what you think about this in your comments below!
When the Chicago Sun-Times announced that they sacked their whole team of photographers, the media world went abuzz. For the first time in newspaper history, a publication would lay off their entire photographer staff. What made the whole thing not only much more outrageous, but also gave it an bitterly ironic taste, was that the Sun-Times decided to equip their reporters with iPhones instead. If anyone needed any further proof that smartphone cameras are killing the photography business, here it is.
Since the Sun-Times didn’t change their opinion yet–despite the heavy critique they received from various sides–the Chicago Newspaper Guild decided to hold a rally to ‘Save the Chicago Sun-Times Photographers’ on Thursday, June 5th. The rally is scheduled for 8-9 a.m. and will take place right outside the Chicago Sun-Times building at 350 N. Orleans, Chicago, IL.
Via Jim Romenesko
For most of us who know about Domke bags. Little has changed in 30 years for its designs. They were created because a man had a problem to solve and in solving that very problem he get’s into the camera bag business. That’s how Jim Domke came to be. His bags served a purpose as a standard for photo journalists. But, with time these bags needed a certain something to be in today’s market. That something was a little style. Thanks to the sharp eye of Tiffen’s Creative Director, Patty Nast Canton–this is the result.
We were able to see the prototypes of the Journalist, Adventurer, Visionary and the Metropolitan bags.