Saturday, 10 November 2012

Press photography versus art photography

The two images above are among the most famous photojournalism images that I have come across.  Both of them show the power of photography. The second image specifically shows the power and influence of photography on our perceptions and decisions towards other people.

Press Photographs (Photojournalism):

The Above image was taken by W. Eugene Smith of a wounded soldier in Okinawa in 1945.

Vietnamese civilians, Dong Xoai, Vietnam (1965) – Horst Faas

Toronto G20 (2010)

Katangese Youth Movement, Elisabethville, Congo (1961) -Photo by Horst Faas

Art Photography:

Photograph by Man Ray

Photograph by  Ansel Adams

Photograph by  Yousuf Karsh

Photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson

1. The main difference between press photography and art photography:
In my belief and from what I have noticed press photography or photojournalism is the rawest form of photography.  A photojournalist recognizes the opportunity to capture the moment in a fraction of a second when everyone else is holding their breath.  To a photojournalist a camera is equal to a pen and a mighty strong one at that.  Art photography on the other hand can be a little more polished / processed.  The main similarities between the two forms of photography is that the photographers analyze the situation and capture the moment.  Only, art photographs depend on the artistic touched given and artistic precautions taken to achieve the results whereas press photographs rely more on the message and truth they convey.

2. Is it ethical and acceptable to alter art photographs? Why? Why not?
I believe that altering the art photographs is absolutely ethical and is acceptable.  art photography in my point of view shouldn't only depend on the photographer's abilities because no matter how good he or she is there always will be natural limitations to what they can achieve in the photographs and altering them to enhance them is completely okay.  But, what one considers art is also a factor in how much and what type of altering should be acceptable.

3. Is it ethical and acceptable to alter press photographs? Why? Why not?

Press photography unlike art photography does not reflect the photographer's artistic ability but rather their ability to judge the situation and to take an action.  Photojournalism should stand for truth and honesty.  Altering the images for photojournalism is a quite complicated topic.  It can be easily argued on both sides.  Is it ethical?  In my view it is unethical to alter the images because once you alter them they lose their credibility.  Should it be acceptable? As long as there is some solution to see the altered and original image side by side and the alterations are made to enhance the quality and not to send questionable messages, it should be acceptable.  Press photography from what I believe should always portray an honest, transparent and truthful picture.

No comments:

Post a Comment