Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Strength and weakness six months after

Flicking through the July Spanish edition of National Geographic, I found a fantastic example of perfect reportage about the killings of gorillas in Virunga National Park by writer Mark Jenkins and photographer Brent Stirton. The story is about the struggle of the last remaining animals living in Congo, Uganda and Ruanda and the fighting between guerrillas and park rangers to control the illegal traffic of wood. The continuous interferences of governments in the management of the area and the fatal consequences for the refugee camps develop the story even further to attract the attention of a broader audience. Local issues unfold into international facts in front of the reader who live on the other side of the globe. The importance of choosing the right story and finding the right approach to create images that show efficiently to the viewer all sides of the situation is the key for success.
This is probably one of the most important lessons I am learning six months after the beginning of the MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography. I am starting to look at reality from a different perspective as the first step to develop potential ideas.
Choosing and researching the subject from a particular angle is as important as writing an appealing article or producing quality images. The critical question is what are you planning to take photographs of and why are you doing it in the first place, and then how are you going to do it. Always try to show you story as close as possible to your idea.
On the other hand I am still quite lost about all the technicalities in the industry. No confidence or expertise to manage and present my images with the right application or to negotiate with editors or potential clients for instance. So far I have been a consumer rather that a producer, but exploring new ways to use new products and markets with the help of the other students could be the next step.

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