By James Estrin Nov. 10, 2015
by Teju Cole NOV. 11, 2015
After reading these two very different articles about photography, I am left wondering about photography's future.
Brian Storm, owner of MediaStorm suggests photographers can no longer be just still photographers. Yes, this is already true for photojournalists and documentary photographers. Storytelling is important, and variety in it is even more crucial for captivating an audience, and I look forward to researching more about MediaStorm which I knew nothing about before yesterday.
The recent NYTimes VR (virtual reality) series on 'The Displaced' is groundbreaking (for a limited audience), and is a good example of exciting interactive storytelling. And even though, the settings, subject matter, and impact of the VR stories is real and present, something is missing. The photographer's point of view, in sentiment and composition is not there. In them, the viewer can decide where to look, instead of being forced to view one still image. The viewer can negotiate the scene much like negotiating Google maps. I enjoyed the VR and look forward to the future of it with journalism. I left the VR experience thinking about the displaced, the children, their faces, and it generated a lot of internal emotion. But the images that are embedded in my mind are the still images that I saw on the NYTimes digital paper and the photographer, Lynsey Addario's IG feed, not the storytelling videos that were the hype.
Teju Cole, in his essay On Photography, talks about the power of the still image by breaking down three photographs from well-known photographers. The image, the still image, which can be viewed, dissected, and referenced over and over and over is Cole's reference point. The more we see it, the more we notice. I know from my own history as a photographer that I DO see everything in the frame, fate or no fate. I also know that I have never hung a video on my wall, or saved a video to reference for later. Once I watch it it is gone from my visual files. Once I see a heart stopping or beautiful or powerful still photograph though, I want to look and look and look, and then look some more..... for years on end....