Social media have given photojournalists a million extra eyes in conflict zones. But if a picture can say a thousand words, the trick is finding the right one.
The real test for working photojournalists is to reconcile the technical realities of the new media landscape with the aesthetic and ethical requirements of practical journalism. "Never has there been a time when you needed a professional class of journalists more than right now," Naughton said. "There's a real resurgence in formal and aesthetic qualities in contemporary journalism, the idea of aesthetics and photographers as storytellers, not just people who are be able to break the news."
People may have the impression that it is too easy to make interesting images with a camera app like this, but that is not the case — just as it is not the case that good pictures automatically come out of exotic places. At the heart of every solid image are the same fundamentals: composition, information, moment, emotion, connection. If people think that this is a magic tool that makes every image great, they are wrong.
The old adage, “f/8 and be there,” is dead. Long live shooting purely on f/1.2, because if you can do it, you might as well do it right.
What’s that you say? A lens isn’t at its sharpest when it’s wide open? Whatever. A picture doesn’t have to be good if it has bokeh. I think my ideal picture would be President Obama playing with puppies and small multicultural children against a field of rainbow bokeh.
The word beautiful doesn’t even cut it.