My photo
... is a freelance photographer working in Middle Georgia

Monday, April 9, 2007

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." Richard Avedon

Think about that one for a while. As a photojournalist, I take pride in showing the truth. Graphic artist Erin Ivanov commented on my last post, raising the point that we are artist, not "simply data-capturing machines" and we manipulate reality. She says "Besides the camera itself intervening and imposing its rules and limitations on the "reality" hoping to be captured, the photographer imposes himself as well."

This is true. We choose the lens we shoot with, the angle from which we shoot. the crop, and just being there alters the situation. The lighting we use also has an effect.

Photographs have two main purposes in a newspaper. They are to be informative, giving the readers some information, and also to catch their eye, making them want to pick up the paper and read. Our pictures tell a story. Too often now with space in the paper a premium, we have to tell our part of the story with one photo. We try for the picture that best illustrates the story. Sometimes the picture runs with a story, sometimes alone. All good newspaper photos should be able to stand on their own merit.

We also want an image that just screams. A picture that stops you as you walk past that newspaper laying on the table, or as you scan the page. Stops you in your tracks. But we do it with lighting, composition and content. Not with sensationalism. We don't go for that at the Telegraph. And we shouldn't.

Another factor that plays into the way we shoot is again integrity. We do our best to be unobtrusive as we work. We pick our angles for the most interesting photo, but we don't leave out important parts of the story. We realize the limitations we work under in trying for reality, and we stay as close as we can.

We tell our subject's stories as truthfully as we can.

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