U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: More than 2 worth

Re: More than 2 worth

From: Jack Fulton <jefulton1@comcast.net>
Subject: More than 2 worth
Date: Wed, 06 Sep 2006 12:30:00 -0700

> What I feel most of you are failing to understand from Michael's
> query is that times have changed greatly and the documentary
> photograph does not hold the cache it once did.

While documentary photography may be losing its significance as a
branch of photography, its use has increased and become more or less
universal, to an extent that blurs the boundary of what's documentary
(or was it always blurred).

Side story: I have seen photography being used as nothing more than
editorial decoration in scientific journalism. Scientific journalists
and writers contacted me for interview, etc. about my earlier work.
Usually, anything more than two paragraphs in usual newspaper goes
with a picture.  Sometimes, they ask me for photos or other non-text
materials to add to the news article. Sometimes, editors pick
sometihng up from stock agency. In this case I give them specific
keywords to use for the search to avoid anticipated problems. Not too
surprisingly, maybe about 1/3 of the time they add pictures of things
that are totally unrelated to my research (but those who don't
understand the article may associate the image with the text, and
these inappropriate objects appering in the wrong photos may be more
photogenic than real ones.). I learned enough that neither the
journalist nor the editor will tell me about what they are going to do
with the article, and I also learned that they won't fix their
mistakes like this even if multiple people point out the error. So I
have to tell everyone that I didn't give them the photos. This negates
the role that photography is supposed to play in journalism.