Putting on documentary photography

Article: Putting on documentary photography

Photograph by Karim Ben Khelifa, taken in Rafah
(Click to the end for more of his work)
Documentary photography has, in recent years, found an uncomfortable home amongst the ‘noble arts’ – noble because photojournalists, like artists, musicians and writers, are finding contract (aka paid) assignments few and far between. Karim Ben Khelifa is one such photojournalist. For the last twelve years he’s traveled the world, mainly the Middle East, documenting the war in Kosovo and Iraq as well as struggles in Yemen, Egypt and Palestine, to name just a few. But even with a portfolio that would easily impress any news outlet, Ben Khelifa was still having a difficult time securing backing for his work. As he watched one project after the next remain unfinished due to a lack of funding, he grew frustrated and decided to take matters into his own hands.

Where photojournalism meets documentary filmmaking

Article: Where photojournalism meets documentary filmmaking

I recently attended a lecture presented by the people behind MediaStorm, a multimedia studio based in New York but really based, well, online. MediaStorm is innovative in that it trains journalists in new storytelling opportunities on the web, as well as serves corporate clients, as well as engages in documentary projects for the web that combine still photography and video (see image above, a project on the new economic realities in the Midwest). Most of these have been created by seasoned photographers for whom video and sound are, er, ‘new’ tools. And indeed, it’s a whole new world out there. We can no longer understand photographers as those working with the still image when their cameras (see the Canon EOS 5D Mark II) no longer simply shoot stills. As the equipment moves more and more toward a single device that records both still and moving images, and beautifully so, the walls between disciplines continue to come down down down.

Made In China

Article: Made In China

A provocative bit of photojournalism by independent filmmaker, Prajna Core, explores themes shockingly relevant to today’s tumultuous markets, political climate and the coming election. The global economy, fair trade, declining jobs, outsourcing and even the complexity of pollution and the environment are all touched upon in this simple and short film. They say a picture’s…