Monday, March 19, 2012

Lecture 4 - Telling Stories through Photos

Photojournalism is something I've always been interested in, having been a passionate & successful photography student from year eight to year eleven in high school, so this lecture definitely resonated with me more than last week's. For a long time I wanted to be a photojournalist, and the idea still appeals to me somewhat; a lot of the reason I want to be a journalist is the desire to be a part of the telling & capturing of history, and I think in many ways, a photo can bring a more emotive and relevant view of an event than even the most skilled wordsmith could hope to craft.

When I was studying the conflict between China and Tibet/the history of Chinese occupation, many events and details moved me and brought about a desire to, if not change the situation, at least go out of my way to document the continued struggle - but what really got to me was this image; it's stuck in my mind longer than any quote or fact; and I think it says more than any news story could.

I think there's a real passion behind photography - the rawness of in-the-moment human emotion that, though able to be conveyed with the written or spoken word, cannot be truly replicated. Still images are my personal favourite step on the way to bridging this gap.

Finnish photojournalist Eetu Sillanpaa captured this image during the aftermath of a school shooting - I am fascinated by this image along with the reasoning behind it; he could have chosen to photograph any moment, taking the 'easy' road to a successful, widely-used image by zooming in on bloodshed, destruction, chaos, etc, however instead he highlighted the faces of a group of young girls, forever capturing the confusion and upset caused by the shooting... I admire this unconventional approach to photography and hope I would be able to capture something similar during my career.

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