Jour 280: Photojournalism
Nov. 3, 2010
The changes that will never end
Each year there is a new model for everything ranging from vehicles to beverages. It’s not necessarily a new product but it is definitely an upgrade to the previous article. For example, the current iPod craze has taken over the music world in the last decade. The original iPod came out first and was pretty standard, then came the iPhone which was surreal to some people, and more recently came the iPad. Both of those fads stemmed off the original iPod and were improvements of the last with other models in between. However, this “Apple takeover” has happened in a short period of time and could come to an end soon. On the contrary, photography has been around since the beginning of time and has stayed a huge part of every-day life to this day and will never go away.
People deal with some sort of photography at least once a day, wherever they go they will find photography. The mall, the internet and restaurants all have some sort or photography within. However, the most dominant sources and probably also the best are newspapers and magazines. Most people would go crazy without having some sort of photojournalism to look at on a daily basis whether it is online or in print.
Photojournalism became an increasingly popular trend late in the 18th century with the halftone process which used a series of dots to create a picture or image. On Dec. 2, 1873 The Daily Graphic in New York published the first photo using halftone in U.S. newspaper history. That was a huge innovation then but today newspapers have multiple photos from around the world on almost every page. Of course, technology is abundant now and almost anything is possible. Back then it was much different. Taking a photo and then having to develop it was a long and tricky process. Then having to print it was another story. The picture of Steinway Hall in The Daily Graphic took up most of the page but didn’t seem to stand out like some photos do today. But that is understandable because of how difficult it was to simply take one photo then. Although, five years later Eadweard Muybridge captured the first action images of a horse racing which expanded thoughts on how cameras can study or understand movement.
Time went on and more newspapers and magazines began popping up. One well known magazine that still exists today and is famed for its photography is National Geographic. However, it printed its first photo in its third issue ever in 1890. The photo was of Herald Island in Antartica. Fifteen years later the magazine published its first photo series from a tour of Lhasa, Tibet. A year after that, “action photography” came to National Geographic and it has its first pictures of wildlife, setting a trend that the magazine continues to follow. It comes out monthly and is printed in 32 different languages.
As technology continued to improve sports fanatics were able to get an extra scoop with Sport Illustrated which first came out in 1954. It’s best known for its world class photography and innovation of color pictures leading up to today. Sport Illustrated is the best known sports magazine and one of the hottest commodities in the country. The cover photo is always eye-catching and the large format pictures within do the same. Aside from amazing action photography, the magazine is popular for its annual swimsuit edition.
In today’s world there is no maximum to achieve with photojournalism. The combinations of technology set the sky as the limit. Newspapers and magazines don’t only have their print editions, they also have web sites. Within those websites they have an expanded version of everything. For example, National Geographic and Sports Illustrated have numerous galleries posted online branching off from subjects within the print editions. The reason all this is possible is digital photography. The best part is, viewers love photos. So it’s easy to catch their eye with a gallery full of crisp, clear and amazing pictures.
Digital Photography changed the photojournalism world all together. Being able to take large amounts of photos without having to change films constantly is huge. It’s more cost efficient and easier. It makes sending a picture across the country or the world much easier. Wire services such as the Associated Press make it possible to get world news in newspapers on an hourly basis. It makes it possible for photos to be posted online of an event that is happening live. They days of waiting till the morning paper to see what’s going on are over. All it takes is a little navigation through the web and people can get their fixing of news photography.
There are downsides about digital photography as well though. It makes fabricating a photo much easier. It has to come with its own code of ethics because of all the possibilities. There are also people that feel film is the only version of photography.
When it all comes down to it, the part that I see as the most interesting is what’s next? We’ve seen how far photography has come. Almost everyone has a camera with them at all times because of the invention of camera phones. There are also pocket-sized point and shoots that some carry around every day. People might wonder if this is the peak for technology but I think it’s still far from over.
Cynthia Lancaster timelines and power points were also referred to.