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Four pictures for three classes

September 15, 2010

Check out Zuma Press for great photojournalism

I have three of my photography classes that I want to address in this post. First, the above picture is for my Photojournalism class. “Stories that need to be told” is a weekly posting from Zuma Press. They are an international press agency of which I am probably their least active member. They are consistently premiering great documentary work through several outlets. exhibits slide shows every week. Keep an eye on Zuma’s “The Pictures of the Day” website. It provides a great opportunity to see the best of what is being done.

from Lydia Anne McArthy's Refraction

The 2010 Conscientious Photo Contest winners have been announced over at my favorite blog, Conscientious. The above picture is by one of the three chosen artists by three top notch jurors. When I saw the Refraction series, I thought of my Digital Fine Art Photography class. The catch is that these pictures do not use digital manipulation. They are created by a homemade camera using a fresnel lens. If you don’t know what a fresnel is, ask someone in theatrical lighting. Lydia describes it as a “magnifying sheet.”

Grave by John Sevigny

Today, I am breaking several of the many guidelines I have for my Basic Photography class. First, I ask them not to photograph their pet dogs and cats (top picture). Second, I request them to have something in focus in the picture (second picture down). And I suggest not photographing in graveyards (above). Incidentally, I also suggest not using an on-camera flash (above again). So, I guess I’m telling students to not follow what I say to the letter.

By the way, John Sevigny is having a tremendous print sale of his moody Mexico photographs. They can be viewed here at Visura Magazine. He is selling 16X20 prints at a price so low that I don’t want to list it. Check them out and if you see something you like, contact him through his Gone City blog. I can guarantee that you will be surprised at the deal he wants to offer you. It is all part of helping him get a quality fine art book published.

The above picture by Kevin German is for my Photojournalism class. Here is a link to “If Photojournalism Is Dead, What’s Luceo?” on the New York Times’ Lens blog. In fact, there are several stories on the net lately talking about the demise of photojournalism. Here’s one from the UK’s Guardian blog and “The End of Photojournalism” is in a recent Atlantic blog. I’m not trying to discourage photojournalism students. I’m trying to stimulate them to break out of the 20th century mold and help find a new role for concerned (or not), serious (or not) documentary photography.

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