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Is Facebook Killing Photojournalism?

By       Message Bob Patterson       (Page 2 of 4 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Life magazine, the New York Times, Slate, and Slate all have an array of the day's best photos. (Slate's are mostly from Magnum's files.) Perhaps they should team up with Nikon magazine and hold a photo contest for the best "facebook" style mug shot? Wouldn't that, at least, get some of them to stop for a few moments and try to capture an image with some composition and esthetic appeal?

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Baby boomers will recall a snapshot contest held by local newspapers in conjunction with Kodak, which was held every summer in the Fifties. Where is the digital era replacement competition? The aforementioned photo print competition produced some excellent entries and didn't those contests also help build circulation for the newspapers?

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All these digital mug shots would be great if the subject were famous and being booked at the Los Angeles' sheriff's substation in Malibu, but absent those extenuating factors, this columnist can look at pictures taken by friends and other travelers and understand that if they have the image on their digital camera, that indicates that they were probably there when the photo was taken and so attention can be concentrated on evaluating the artistic quality of the image.

Let say, for example, that you are sitting at the rooftop smokers' table at the Sydney Central Backpackers Hostel and one of the group shows you an excellent picture of one of the bats who hangs out at the Botanical Garden (they really do hang upside down). The fact that he had the quick reflexes needed to get the picture was remarkable. It would have been asking too much to insist that he should have included his own face in the picture.

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Did anybody who had the presence of mind to grab their camera while Pearl Harbor was under attack bother to take a "facebook" style picture to prove that they were there when the bombs hit the fan deck?

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BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)

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