Digital Photo Pro magazine brings us an intelligent article by well-known photojournalist Ed Kashi. The article is essentially Kashi's take on the evolution of photography and on what he defines as the "nest-generation photojournalist". He describes himself fundamentally as a storyteller, amd how the new digital tools have enhanced his craft. I've heard many established photojournalists bemoan the end of the film age and ranting against this 'new wave', so it's refreshing to hear otherwise from a photographer at the height of his career.
Here are some excerpts that I found to be very relevant...for instance, Kashi writes: "I can’t escape the fact that the new digital tools—along with the Internet as a distribution system for images, video and multimedia stories—has the potential to overshadow traditional print media because of its potential to reach more people and have a more powerfully engaging message. This is to take nothing away from still pictures, but in today’s world, things are changing very rapidly.”
Another: "There are mid-career photojournalists like myself who have reached the top of their profession and could just as easily become a dinosaur tomorrow if they don’t adapt. Even though I’ve established a great reputation, I could fall off the face of the Earth if I’m not careful. Except for the National Geographic, who wants to publish serious, nonfiction photojournalism? The New York Times Sunday Magazine rarely, if ever, publishes serious reportage photography anymore. There are European publications that publish serious photography, but they don’t really pay a living wage.”
And finally...a statment that I wholeheartedly agree with: “Photography is a world of variables. I’ve always been a believer that the way for me to be most effective is to reduce the variables to the smallest number so that I can focus most of my energy, my heart, my soul, my vision and my brain on the subject, on making images, and on telling stories. So, for me right now, I could go on making images forever with iView MediaPro and Photoshop on the Mac platform and my Canon EOS 5D. It has reached a level of quality and efficiency that’s ideal for me. Sure, it could be made better, but for now, for me, it’s great. But the reality is that I know I can’t do that. The technology will change and I’ll once again have to change with it.”
I'm happy to say that I'm of the same persuasion...I'm satisfied with my current hardware and software, and have no compulsion to acquire new cameras or lenses just because they're available. The setup I currently have works for me, and until the time when it's really surpassed in quality and efficiency, I will stay with it.
For the whole article, visit the excellent Digital Photo Pro Magazine website: In The Thick Of It