Fake Photojournalism Wins

Two French students were awarded the annual Grand Prix du Photoreportage Etudiant last week to honor a photographic story that presented images documenting the precarious lives of students today and the things they must do in order to survive and succeed.

The only catch is that the entire story was a fake.

And during the award ceremony, the two “winners”–Guillaume Chauvin and Remi Huberr, art students at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs of Strasbourg–instead of claiming their trophy and prize money, stood on stage and revealed their hoax. The images were not photojournalism but staged images featuring many of their peers. I’d have love to been a fly on the wall in that auditorium. Ouch.

From Horses Think blog:

The winners claimed that the idea was hatched a year ago when they looked at all the work students were competing with for the 2008 prize. They realized that the “world view of this work was limited and seemed more like vacation photographs as opposed to photojournalism. The photographs depicted small children with big wet eyes in order to illustrate the misery abroad.” Speaking to Le Figaro, Guillaume Chauvin confided that they “wanted to enter the contest in order to show the codes used too often in photojournalism and to prove that something real could be translated into something staged.”

Is this genius? Is this mocking an industry that can’t tell true plight from a staged…[click the 'continue reading' link below]

set of pictures? What have they done?

I think what they’ve done is not to make brilliant photojournalism, but to make brilliant art. There was certainly a significant price to be paid for that art, or perhaps many prices: the reputation of the award, the reputation of the judges, even their own reputations perhaps–and only time will tell–but they’ve surely made some brilliant statements about the nature of such imagery, called into question the cliched nature of the traditional canons recognizing that work, and made us all pause, even if just for a moment, to consider what photojournalism really is. By blending genres (PJ + perhaps advertising photography?) and creating staged images that were stunning enough to win a Grand Prize (hard work in it’s own right), I’d argue that they’ve achieved their end goal. And they’ve done so in an incredibly creative way. Subversive and meta.

It sure worked on me. I dunno about you, but if I hired artists for a living, I’d want those guys’ brains and talents on my team. Of course they might stab you in the back in the name of art, but they’re clearly good at finding a point and making it clearly.

Genius or just plain disrespectful in an arena that has no room for shenanigans?

[If you read French, follow this link to view the story as told by Le Figaro and as the "win" appeared in Paris Match.]
[All this via Horses Think, via Conscientious. Thanks guys.]

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65 Responses to Fake Photojournalism Wins

  1. Ilan June 29, 2009 at 12:11 am #

    That is both brilliant and disturbing, the ease in which they were able to 'fake' it.
    Good for them, I guess.

  2. 1ovakynd June 29, 2009 at 12:15 am #

    Amazing.
    The industry from time to time needs a shake up.

  3. Jeremy Beasley June 29, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    The best part about this is I don't know how or what to feel at all towards what they have done – but I am feeling provoked (which I think is somewhat their intention).

    I love how they question the ideas of 'truth' but I'm also disturbed by the ethics.

    Either way, these students have made a good point and I respect them greatly for their actions.

    Intention is nine tenths of art.

  4. PAUL TREACY June 29, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    Quite a wake up call, frankly. Photojournalism is getting shaken up from all angles at the moment. But in its purest form, as practiced by its very best, it always holds up. Pretension always gets exposed, does it not?

  5. PAUL TREACY June 29, 2009 at 12:27 am #

    I think they've done us a favour. And if this was their intention, I applaud them. Challenging the statue quo is a good thing.

  6. acgiboi June 29, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    The link for Le Figaro goes to Paris Match.

    Thanks

  7. Rockhopper June 29, 2009 at 1:04 am #

    I have been seing this for years with reuters and magnum, there is a code and you can shoot it. It is so formulaic these days its cliche.

    I am a member of the frontline club and no longer look at slideshows as the images are shot to formula.

    I tick off the boxes as I go through, photojournalism is one sided and you can get quite cynical.

    If i see a ethnic five year on a sparse medical bed with drip or wet eyes, flies optional extra I generally know the photojournalist is following the code.

    Yes I am a sympathetic person, however I am not naive and have on occaison used the code to sell work.

    As for these students, well done, it shows how shallow the industry gets.

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  9. christian June 29, 2009 at 1:38 am #

    fake photo journalism brought up images that reflect our times and more than that our fears really well.

    remember the one with the airplane in the background and a guy standing on top of the world trade center?

    art is what you get away with (warhol)

    ;)

  10. Richard June 29, 2009 at 1:49 am #

    I’m guessing but I think the photograph of these people making the fake shot would have been to shot to get. PJ shot of the FAKE PJ shot if you get me? http://www.RichardBudd.co.uk UK thoughts. ;-)

  11. Mark McGowan June 29, 2009 at 1:58 am #

    Photojournalism is one of the photography fields most confined by certain parameters and these students seem to have shook those parameters quite heartily by the throat. It'll be interesting to see how the award givers proceed from here?

  12. Paps June 29, 2009 at 2:25 am #

    I think it's very gutsy. Even more the timing to "confess their sins". And of course some people will be repulsed by what they did.

    OTOH they started a huge discussion and got people's juices flowing by thinking outside the box. They understood the rules good enough to know how to bend them :)

    Did they make Art? Dunno, only time will tell. Just remember that most modern art (in painting, jazz cinema etc) wasn't generally accepted when introduced to the public (just lookup "Entartete Kunst").

    For these guys I hope there's no such thing as bad publicity. As long as they spell your name right…

  13. Darko June 29, 2009 at 4:11 am #

    They have showed the nature of the very truth = it is what you believe in. That is, what you're persuaded into.

    The difference between this (fake) story and any other story is that for this one we know it's fake and how it's fake. For all other stories we can never know which part is true, and in what way. We don't know if the ethnic child on the bed is crying for his entire family has being killed by oppressive military forces, or simply because it's hungry. But published in a certain context, and there you have it!

    PJ has always tried to claim "being true", but it was always far from that. It's only a matter of convincing people in your own truth, in the way you see the story.

    These guys should be awarded, somehow, somewhere.

  14. mike June 29, 2009 at 4:47 am #

    Good for them. Every institution deserves to be challenged and scrutinised, the Art fraternity is no exception.

  15. Dennis Pike June 29, 2009 at 4:52 am #

    I think that is very cool, they made their statement hardcore. Not only that, they must be top notch shooters, bad photography does not win awards like that, and at the same time were able to do almost a performance art piece. I'm impressed, I also like the idea of shaking things up.

  16. Anonymous June 29, 2009 at 5:28 am #

    Photojournalism is often staged, so this is not really a wise comment as much as a statement of how it is done. As one example if you have ever looked at the Dorothea Lange series that lead up to the "famous" migrant worker photo, you'll see a series of pictures culminating in the famous one that pulls all the right heart strings. We all need to remember that the camera could be aimed anywhere. The photographer chooses both where to aim, and edits the images to make his or her point just like an ad photographer.

  17. fas June 29, 2009 at 5:36 am #

    Well everything positive has its negatives. Lets appreciate the good and ignore the bad.

  18. danieljenkins June 29, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    I think it's absolutely amazingly truthful. How many photojournalists have repositioned a doll by the hand of a wounded or killed child to communicate the the chilling effects of war? I would bet it is not that all uncommon….. Propaganda… Isn't that what visual communication truly is? Communicating a predetermined message to a specific audience?

    I think what the students did was brilliant!

    Daniel

  19. Chasing Photography June 29, 2009 at 6:37 am #

    Photojournalism has become just the opposite. Its purest intent is to tell a story and what it has become over the past decades is to tell a sad story. PJ can be coverage of a little league baseball team and still be legit.

    I have to agree with Rockhopper. So many follow the "code" and go for the darkest heart string tug they can. It has gotten old.

    I am truthfully glad to see people shaking the establishment. It needs more of this.

    I would do as Jarvis said and hire them for my team. If they tell a story and think that well, theres some great things to come from them.

  20. jefflynchdev June 29, 2009 at 7:03 am #

    I read this and laughed all the way to the coffee pot. I can't believe YOU used the word "disrespectful" Chase. I hope you're not growing old on us dude! (kidding, really!)

    Jeff

  21. Michael Johnson June 29, 2009 at 7:10 am #

    As a photojournalist I think this is brilliant.
    First we all need a wake up call at some point. I think things like this or stories of photoshopped images sheds light on that which can go wrong in photojournalism.
    There are pj's that think its alright to stage an image and don't get the ramifications of their actions. It seems that ethics has taken a hit lately but I believe it needs to in order for the masses to understand.
    Second it shows the artistic nature that is often needed to produce great photography. Forget that they staged the photos and look at what they felt they need to shoot to win. In what Chase reported they felt that the other students basically followed the pack and didn't not really think about the assignment. Many students don't realize you can be creative in being a PJ. To often we settle for the "norm".

  22. Kurt Shoens June 29, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    I'm impressed at their technical skills, but I don't think find their statement as meaningful as other commenters.

    Imagine the same trick were pulled, but with non-fiction writing rather than photography (e.g., fake journalism or fake memoir). How impressed would you be with the result? The insight would be finding things to say that readers are all too willing to believe.

    Even among photographers, who know all too well the manipulations possible, pictures are magically convincing. The students knew which emotional buttons to push and they have the technical skills, so sure, they fooled the judges. Does that condemn the contest, the judges, the students, or the credibility we give to photographs?

  23. Anonymous June 29, 2009 at 8:02 am #

    They're nice photos; I like them, but I fail to see how this "shakes up" anything. It is vastly easier to stage photos than to enter a world outside your own and capture its significant moments.

    If photos are believable–i.e. they depict things that could easily happen in real life, as these do–of course people will believe they're real if that's the way they're presented. This is a nice idea for an art project, but it's hardly revolutionary. They cheated, and everyone's patting them on the back for it. I do not get it.

  24. dougphoto June 29, 2009 at 8:12 am #

    this is great. Kudos to them, a great idea and I love that they had the guts to stand up and tell the world what they did.

  25. Jonny June 29, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    I personally don't believe that art, as a whole, can survive without this kind of shake up appearing every once in a while. Banksy anyone?

    There's a fine balance between the art industry and art itself. It's the shake ups and the controversy that keeps the tables from tipping too far in favor of the 'industry' rather than the 'artistry'.

  26. Los Angeles Photographer Rob Greer June 29, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    Their act was pure genius. To me, I feel that they've brought into the spotlight the inherent problems related to the declaration of certain photography as "pure" photojournalism.

  27. Matt Beaty June 29, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    I'm leaning towards genius, especially because they had the balls to go up on stage and say "oh, btw, these are all fake." If they had gone with it and no revealed the whole thing was set up, it would have been horrible. As it is, Good for them!

  28. Adam June 29, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    These guys are pathetic and lame, and I'll tell you exactly why. Liars and criminals always chuckle at the brilliance of their deceptions because they think they are smarter than the people they have misled. It's simply not true, they only take advantage of a basic human characteristic, in that we expect honesty in most situations. It's easy to steal and cheat, not brilliant, and I've got nothing but contempt for it. The brilliant thing would have been to throw the PJ formula aside and create something compelling without it. That is the hard and brilliant thing.

  29. Anonymous June 29, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    I have to say I agree with the minority on this one. Sure, they may have shaken things up a bit and shed some light on current "issues" in the PJ world….but genius, no. Is it simply ok to lie, deceive, and cheat for the sake of art and basically laugh in the face of those you've fooled? I would have to say it appears to be the case, and seems to be accepted only in the art world. I guess I'd say genius would have been the ability to make their point, and exploit the current problems they see by creating legitimate work. There's no doubt they're talented photographers, but that's all I'll give em…

  30. kg June 29, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

    I think people here take themselves too seriously. It was a series of photos shot/staged in a compelling manner. I don't have a problem with it– since at least they admitted it. It would have been a bit dishonest had they not admitted it. At least now, if necessary, they can award someone who didn't fake it.

    k

  31. Kathryn Lymburner June 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    I don't really see how this is any different then journalism or pjism in general.

    Not wanting to get the Iran conversation going, but the government there is controlling what the media/pjs can shoot/cover and are staging their own events to show the "true" story. Same thing happens in many other nations that may be free but without freedom of the press. The story that's being portrayed/shot may not be the actual story or even the whole story and is probably the government controlled story. Government as PR agency?

    What these two have done is really no different and in fact their work did highlight a very real problem for many students, a lack of funds/resources and the struggle to finish their education. Does it matter how the story was achieved? It still tells a story.

    I guess what it does bring up is ethics and bias in the media.

    Also I seem to recall a story not too long ago where some pjs had done some fancy Photoshop work to their images from Israel, West Bank, Gaza region depicting bombings.

    Seems the students may just be shining a brighter light on a common occurrence. Wag the Dog anyone?

  32. Jared Froiland June 29, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    I've seen this happen before.

    When I was in school, another student at the time; a commercial student, entered a PJ contest with a staged photo. He won, was published on the cover of the mag he entered, plus recognition, blah, blah, blah. He on the other-hand did not admitted to the staging, but rather selfishly stole the glory. In my dark sense of humor I thought it was funny and slightly genius, but certainly not as genius as the two in question.

    In both cases, the photographers got there point across, but I'm glad these two were noble enough to admit to there hoax. It makes there story even stronger and really sets them apart from other artists creating similar ideas.

  33. Raji Barbir June 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm #

    Genius if you ask me

  34. Michael Walker June 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    well(it's gonna get quite arrogant now), they actually did what i wanted to do. looking at the winners of any photohournalism contest in the past few years I felt more and more angry at how shallow this industry became.
    with this statement they reflect perfectly what photojournalism is today. without being their intention, they are closer to "real" photojournalism with their fake art than photographers with "real" pictures.

    /end arrogance

    not saying all photojournalists are telling sad stories, don't get me wrong.

    I'd love to meet those guys. I just hope their statement doesn't get twisted by the art market into something dada.

  35. abcpp June 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm #

    Well, the images are nice. Though in b/w almost everything will look nice. And with this angle/level/pp — almost any image is cure.

    Speaking about pjism think — c'mon! Do you still believe there's such thing? Go to YouTube and see for yourself how Reuters and AP are staging their photos from Georgia, Lebanon and other places. You think the images you see everyday are true??? Wake up!

    There's nothing true in all those images. The greatest PJ images were staged. It's just a matter of appropriateness of the staging process.

    But this is a great art, nonetheless.

  36. Genie June 29, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    no wonder they won: it's soooo politically correct in, france right now to complain and cry over the life conditions … of students especially (remember they went on "strike" for 4 months!!!)
    this shows that the Jury is stupid and PC and takes NO risk whatsoever.
    cheers

  37. Jack Pope June 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Definitely brilliant but if they had not admitted it themselves it would be very disgraceful.

  38. brad June 29, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    To me, the level of humility in the authors matters. As I've read it, this effort doesn't smack of smugness and self-satisfaction. I think it's an honest statement that these students felt needed to be made. (I might argue that their peers agreed.) They made it honestly and frankly. And whether it's considered positive or negative, people do seem to be taking this seriously. That's good.

    The next generation of photojournalists are going to be wrestling with the concepts of truth and trust even more than the current one. It's encouraging that students are actively investigating this stuff.

  39. T. C. Knight June 29, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    Chase:

    You'll never get them to work for you. I'm sure the NY Times is banging their door down trying to sign them up.

  40. Anonymous June 30, 2009 at 4:35 am #

    i'm just surprised the french have balls. only kidding of course. not bad, good for them.

  41. Chris Bohnhoff June 30, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    For me the brilliance is in the PR moment they pulled off, not in the concept or the execution.

    Every medium has its conventions and cliches, and it's up to the artist to manipulate or use them to advance their viewpoint. 'Revealing' the conventions isn't a tough thing to do, because they're everywhere.

    Being cynical is easy – what's hard, and brilliant when done effectively, is being personally invested in a project and communicating a unique viewpoint.

    I wonder how students who are actually having difficulties staying in school feel about all this.

  42. marco aurelio June 30, 2009 at 10:29 am #

    more often than staged, photo-journalism is hobbled by the exoticizing of the Other, and its perpetual marriage to shock and awe obsessions with viewers where only the victimization of Others is important, and nothing else. it sells a lot more advertising space to cleave at society's morbid obsession with Others' pain. Where are the stories of life's endurance? if it doesnt have pain or blood on the shirt, it isnt photo-journalism?

    marco

  43. michalgarcia.com June 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    I am from Texas. People from many places reduce Texans to simply republican cowboys with guns in a land of dirt, cactus and tumbleweeds. On the contrary, Texas is very cosmopolitan and has a large economy. In fact, Texas used to be its own country. After visiting many countries in the world, and now living in Hong Kong I can tell that Texans are much more diverse than many people imagine, especially those non-Texans that constantly tell me "You don't sound like you're from Texas."
    That being said, the New York Times did an article on the music scene in Denton, Texas – a city with a disproportionate share of excellent music and musicians coming from but not limited to the University of North Texas. Article below:
    http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/travel/11cultured.html
    It is commendable to have the city featured, but the first image of the story is of a bluegrass band called the Boxcar Bandits – though they are excellent and prominent on the scene (and I looove their album), it seems somewhat biased to pick them out of the many jazz, rock, and hip hop acts that also happen more often at the same venue. A second image is simply the outside of a venue, but the third (inside the venue in question) is of a man wearing a cowboy hat. I attended four years of college in Denton and only after I graduated did I ever see a cowboy hat in that particular venue. Bias? I think so.
    Read the article and check out the language. It's great to get exposure to Denton's music, but the article seems to put us Texans in a box with the mix of photography and words.

    Check out the music in Denton for a week. It's a great trip. For those that would stick to their biases, visit Commerce or Longview and you can laugh at all the cowboys you want. The rest of Texas will be surprising the world.

    —-

    Why stop here? It's mildly annoying to be portrayed unrealistically in the media. Imagine when that happens to your country, race, religion, occupation. Those are real problems.

    Kudos to the hoaxers – they're keepin' it real.

  44. Evan July 1, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    I sticking with what I said at HorsesThink:

    Dishonest, arrogant, and pathetic.

  45. Jason Lindsey July 1, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    Brilliant. I just have such a hard time with the idea of objective journalism.

  46. Steve Kidd July 1, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    I am amazed and saddened by the number of people patting these two on the back. I'm more amazed by the number of posters narrow views of photojournalism, yet feel qualified to comment on "the state of photojournalism."
    A few comments:
    1) The prime motivation of most PJs is not to get on the cover or win contests. They just want to tell stories. Some want to tell stories they hope will change things for the better. Should we stop telling sad stories because they're sad? Should Kevin Carter not have photographed the vulture and starving child because it would horrify people?
    2) Contrary to the opinions being expressed, few PJs would stage or alter a photo, though there will always be some who cheat, as in any profession.
    All these students did was create a story that would appeal to the judges. It's easy enough to do — what's hard is getting out in the real world to photograph and interact with real victims.

  47. Ghost of WeeGee July 2, 2009 at 7:13 am #

    When these Johnny-Come-Latelies start rearranging corpses to make better compositions, then maybe I'll be impressed with their fakery. Until then, pfft, everybody knows you can't tell a depressed actor from a depressed bum. This is news?

  48. LAST MINUTE spin off !
    translated from http://paiement.parismatch.com/photoreportage2009/index.php
    …/… At the conclusion of the ceremony from the 6th édition of the Grand Prix Paris Match of "Photoreportage" [photojournalism exist in france too] Etudiant, Olivier Royant, Editor in chief of the magazine and président of the jury of the Grand Prize, decided to join together the Committee of the members in order to rule on the revelation done by the students Guillaume Chauvin &et; Remi Hubert, from the Art School "Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de la ville de Strasbourg", about the reportage dedicated to student precariousness [précarité Etudiante}.

    The « staged photography » that they acknowledge to have made without the knowledge of the organizers, during the public ceremony Awards [on stage], photographs made to illustrate with « fictitious characters» the reality of the difficulties encountered nowadays by some students, let them broke the rules of the Grand Prix Paris Match du Photoreportage Etudiant (article 7) and the philosophy that the magazine has defended for 60 years.

    Then, according to the article 10 from the rules règlement [that everybody can ask to Clerc Venezia], saying that the organisator of the prize can modify the Concours at his ease, it had been decided to cancel the trophy of the Grand Prix in this category. The amount of the prize will be added to the next years prize [2010].

    On the other hand, the Committee of the Grand Prix wished to maintain the grant of 5000 Euros intended for the School Superior of Decorative Arts of Strasbourg where the two students are registered, and to thus take part in the necessary supports in favour of those of which they wanted to tell the life.

    Olivier Royant has recalled that “the success of the Grand Prix rests, for six years, on the confidence and the attachment of the participants in the values of the photojournalism”.

    In addition, the godmother of this 6th edition of the Paris Match Grand Prix of Student Photoreportage, Madam Maud Fontenoy pointed out “the importance of planet in our daily life” thus stressing the importance of the work completed by the students in Natural category the “and Environment”. Point of view shared with Isabelle Pacchioni, founder of the Laboratory AromaThera, creative of the Puressentiel range and partner of the Grand Prix which notes each year “an increasingly large implication of the new generation in favour of natural spaces”.

    The Paris Match Grand Prix for Student in figure since six years is 18.000 files, 180 selections.
    …/…

  49. LAST MINUTE spin off ! [Part 2]

    So, What more could be said?
    it is very funny [and so ironic] that the editor in chief of "Paris Match" had such a reaction and found a good rule to fire the two winners. How can the readers of Paris Match to find a good rule to fire the Editor in chief to let release a photograph of President sarkosy Photoshop retouched [his belly] making Canoe in the USA.
    How to be proud for this editor in chief to act as he did ?
    This Magazine that indeed was in the past THE french sensation newspaper confident and attached in the values of the photojournalism.
    it then act since the 80's worth like the 2 students?
    here are some links [in french - sorry about not to translate eveything]

    http://fr.novopress.info/9000/ridicule-les-poignees-damour-de-nicolas-sarkozy-retouchees-par-paris-match/

    Questioned by AFP, the direction of Paris-Match did not wish to react. In its article, the Express Magazine indicates that, according to Paris-Match, “the position on the boat exaggerated this protuberance” and that in “reducing the shades, the correction was exaggerated in photoengraving”.
    This is one of the last act of photojournalism of this magazine. there is plenty other and my time dedicated to this comment is off now [sorry guys]

    As a professional photographer living in Paris and working also in the Art arena, I know well the domain even if I'm not really an authority. But in short, Paris-Match is the archetype of the newspaper which does not think any more, which does not think, turning the back definitively of the idea of report [photojournalism, photoreportage], with investigation to chase the V.I.P and personalities [ in french : les people].
    Yours, Chris

  50. Anonymous July 2, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    Over the years I have something that no seems to realize, "there is no truth in Photography". All of the great artists have manipulated images to fit "their idea or feeling". The same hold true for Photojournism, because they can be cropped to remove information that may explain a situation or leave out relavant facts. It is possible to use an exposure to alter the view to emphasis to a particular object or person. My two cents.

    Lee

  51. Tim Halberg July 3, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    love what they did. it's not disturbing, this has happened before within photojournalism with photographers pasting in extra people in the background to create more drama… they've gotten caught though…

    great image here, and really, I love that they came up with this idea AND won…

    come on, with photojournalism, the photographer DECIDES which story they want to tell, they go out and seek that story and when they find an image that tells that story, they take the photo… these guys DECIDED which story to tell and created the photos, rather than buying plane tickets and finding those images somewhere..

    photos are always half truths… while being very real, they are very misleading at times…

  52. sean dwyer July 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

    ok, ok… move along there folks nothing to see here.

    Except artiface, and you've all seen that before. (I've always wondered why I can't shoot pictures like this and get paid for it…)

    Kind of hard to set up a door step or press scrum; "hold it, could you just walk through that door again…" to wit the subject put his/her head down and keeps walking.

    Art? ask Michaelangelo or someone who actually puts in the work. This is another example of clever sequencing.

    That they admitted it, is a cool thing to do, and one could define their effort as pop art or low art, but it's more in the performance. It's more of a punk ethic. It needed to be puncuated by the revelation on the podium, otherwise it would join all the other crap that supposedly 'defines' photojournalism.

    I just can't get my lens around that definition. Shooting what I see in front of me is more fun and satisfying.

  53. Anonymous July 4, 2009 at 5:06 am #

    Steve Kidd: "… what's hard is getting out in the real world to photograph and interact with real victims."

    That automatic emphasis on "victims" pretty much reprises the point, right there.

  54. Homer July 5, 2009 at 2:12 pm #

    A good lie does not equal good art. Blurring the line between fiction and reality is nothing new — check out the movie "Algiers" from about 40 years ago. Cindy Sherman plays with stereotypes in her art. But these artists exhibit something that the fake photojournalists do not.

    At some level, the creators of the art must respect the intended audience.

    I'm hopeful that people who risk their lives to report, like the late Eddie Adams, aren't staging the executions of Vietcong spies.

    I wouldn't be too keen to hire anyone who exhibits such a low standard of integrity. There are creative people out there with ethics.

  55. Santa Barbara Wedding Photographer October 20, 2010 at 2:50 pm #

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