The art of capturing what is, objectively and without compromise. Photojournalism is about taking that single shot that tells the story.
The first images we now acknowledge as photojournalism were published in newspapers and magazines during the Crimean War and the American Civil War. These images were primarily used to illustrate a piece of text or news story. The photographs were not published as a stand-alone informative piece of news until later down the line.
Over time, photojournalism as a style of photography began to evolve and by the time the 35mm cameras were invented in 1920 (the ‘golden age’ of Photojournalism), the style came into its own and stood independently as a genre of photography.
With a greater demand for photo-essays and visual news stories, magazines such as ‘Life’, ‘Vu’ and ‘Picture Post’ began to publish more photographs that fell within the style of photojournalism. Thanks to the advancement in printing technology, these magazines were able to publish full-page photographic spreads and were the top photojournalistic magazines.
Soon, photojournalism was no longer limited to news events during wars. Increasingly, photo journalists began to document everyday life and society. Travelling to different countries and photographing unknown cultures in order to educate their audience through photography.
With the invention of camera phones and the lightning-speed access we have to images and news via the internet, photojournalism has been transformed. No longer do we rely on reputable photojournalistic magazines or newspapers to publish photo stories of events around the world. Thanks to technology, everyone now is a photojournalist - or ‘phone-journalist’. No matter if you are a professionally trained photographer, or a passerby on the street with their phone in their hand - being at the right place at the right time. Combine phone technology with social media and everyone can immediately share their photographs with the world.
But with this new wave of ‘phone-journalism’, photojournalism, as a style of photography that delivers informative information in image form has become redundant. But with that, photojournalism has evolved into something really quite unique. We now see a professional photographer who takes their time to carefully capture an event. It’s a lost art that came with the internet age but there’s something quite wonderful about it. We are able to appreciate the time and effort that has been put into capturing that one image. The eye for detail a photographer has, the training and hours that have been put in to ensure they are able to document an event.
Do you find beauty in real life? Do you appreciate the fine details and effort a photographer puts into their work? Photojournalism is about capturing a brief moment in time. It could be a historical moment or a day-in-the-life of a Persian silk weaver or three nuns in a row boat. Whatever the photojournalist captures, if you enjoy photography, and you are fascinated by real events that have taken place, a photojournalistic print would sit perfectly in your home.
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