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    What Is The Role Of The Photographer?


    [Props to Ruben Salvadori winning Milan's Photo Dreaming contest.]


    When I'm not struggling to keep myself honest with my words on the internet. I'm usually trying to keep an honest eye behind the camera. One day, you'll see photos aside from my fighting game tournament shots. Hopefully, you won't think they are dull.

    Ruben Salvadori did something quite special. He didn't make light of the Palestinian conflict, but he did illuminate issues of possible instigations created by photojournalists. Back when rolls of film had to be developed, and prints had a longer processing time, a photographer could mull over that ever important question. "Do I really want others to see this?"

    It's hard enough making a living as a photographer and knowing the rich history of war photography, it kinda stings knowing that the camera is the reason for the image. Not the other way around. Just like you, I peruse The Big Picture and National Geographic marveling at the places I could be pointing my lens. The last cynical inkling I need to think about is "how honest is this image?"

    We all want the shot. There have been countless times where I've been documenting an event and I'll ask someone, "Hey! Can you do that that again?" I try and keep it at a minimum. The process between me taking the shot and displaying it to others occurs within days [given enough time in Lightroom & Photoshop]. The process of thinking about what I'm shooting and how it will be perceived, occurs in front of the subject and in front of a monitor. This is very little time considering how long I had to process film, spot check, and expose an image to paper.

    We all are aware of the history of staged photos. Alfred Eisenstaedt's Sailor Kissing Nurse is burned into most modern photographer's brains. It's the image that makes it okay, because when an image comes out like that, who's gonna know the difference?

    The difference is money. Me covering a dancing event or a fighting game tournament is a lot different from a major media outlet highering me freelance to get images of conflict and rebellion. That's a check that could decide if rent gets paid on time. It's also a reason for me to, at best, put myself in an unnecessary amount of harm's way. At worst, I may be less than genuine photographing a location and its people.

    I'm hoping we all took something away from Salvadori's project. I know I did.


    Fellow artists, stay honest and eager. 


    Source: Planet Next

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