Saturday, July 10, 2010

Requiem for a Picture

The Observer's 'New Review' has a video of 'The Month in Photography' which carried me away with it's haunting music (that I can't identify) and beautiful and oddly moving imagery. It got me thinking about the life and death of photography (definitely the music).

Filled with classic images from the likes of Salgado, Mary Ellen Mark, Steve McCurry and Sally Mann and modern classics from photographers such as Tim Hetherington, Nadav Kandar and David Monteleone it seems that the public's knowledge and thirst for photography has never been greater just as the level of complaining about the 'end of photography' and the 'death of photojounalism' has also never been more ubiquitous.

To my mind these arguments run the gamut from the proverbial sublime to the ridiculous. Globalization, the proliferation of digital photography, the internet and of course...the internet have all been blamed for what I've genuinely heard called "the death of still photography".

Such is the frequency of these articles it sometimes seems commentary on the topic has almost become and industry in itself.

Personally the quest for new projects, insights and the constant stream of photo-based brain chatter keep me busy enough to even form an opinion on the matter. Sure it's true that photojournalists weigh in 189th out of 200 on the Best and Worst Jobs 2010 list but no-one ever said it was gonna be easy. As the ever wise D. Timmons would calmly state:

"If you've got good shit, you've got good shit".

Never a truer word spoken.

None the less for interested parties, here's some of the links past and present on the topic and a picture by the sage-like and ever spot-on David Burnett that made me smile:

LA Times: "When it Paid to Photograph Hard Truth"

Lens Blog with Tim Hetherington
JM Colberg: 1 2 3
Stephen Mayes on World Press Photo
Digital Journalist: "The Death of Photojournalism Ten Years On"

Image copyright David Burnett


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