Introduction to Photojournalism

(For uni) I found today’s introductory lecture to Photo Journalism with Ben Edwards very interesting. I did an A-level in Photography which I loved, and I’m so happy to be able to incorporate it into my degree through this project.

It was really nice to go back to talking about the journey of photography through time and Photojournalism’s struggled for its place in the realm of communication. Photography is now rooted in the art of recording events, and the invention of Oskar Barnack’s 35mm mini camera’s in the early 1900’s revolutionised photojournalism, allowing artists to leave their studios to photograph outside. This also paved the way for the birth of the Leica camera – favoured by the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson – which was key to the start of documentary and candid photography.

HCB

Ben took us through the history of photojournalism, introducing us to photojournalists such as Sir Benjamin Stone – who took a lot of photos of rural Britain and influenced the likes of Martin Parr. Tim N Gidel, who photographed origin and evolution and produced the photo book ‘Photography: Men and Movements’ in 1933.

He also spoke of Magnum Photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson, Sally Mann & Robert Capa. There were also photographers I hadn’t heard of before such as Sergio Larrain, Mary Ellen Mark’s ‘Falklands Road – a voyeuristic exposé of prostitution in Bomba, and Chris Killip ‘In Flagrante’ which looked at cultures of the 80’s in unemployment, youth, politics and the war.

I was really interested by Robert Frank, a Swiss photographer who got to know Walker Evans and Jack Kerouac – and was the first photographer to look at America through a camera and document it in a more abstract way. He produced ‘The Americans’ in 1958, and this book broke new ground in story telling. He wasn’t recording events, he looked into new topics which interested him as a foreigner to America.

Robert /frank

Ben said that there are two different types of photojournalism – documenting an event for journalism’s sake, or have a feeling about something which isn’t an event and exploring it. I am interested in the latter of these, and I would like to focus on human interest stories, from a people’s point of view.

This lecture gave me many ideas about photojournalism topics, and I am leaning more towards doing a photo based project over video now.

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