Tag: photojournalism

June 5, 1989 (AP Photo/Terril Jones)
June 5, 1989 (AP Photo/Terril Jones)

There are photos that capture a moment. Some of those capture very important moments. And some of those become icons of history. This photo is taken moments before one of the most famous and recognized photographs of the 20th century.

My boy is utterly fascinated with the moon.
My boy is utterly fascinated with the moon.

All day long, though he knows it is rarely visible in the day, my boy is asking about the “mooyn”. Every circle is a moon, not a ball or even a sun…it is a moon. Even my SmugMug camera strap, which features a simple smiley face (two dot eyes and a crescent looking mouth) is a moon and two stars to him.


What is the difference between photojournalism, editorial photography, documentary photography, and telling a “photo story”? Well, I wish I knew. The last one seems to be an attempt to leave the terms behind and go with an obvious meaning which does not need defining. The other three seem to be interchangeable, if not, then quite close to it.

“Photojournalism” is probably the most well know of those terms. We think of news photographers, war photographers, and the like. That one, even if it does have some other definition, already has a practical definition in the minds of common man.

Buddhas robe gets a fresh coat.
Buddha's robe gets a fresh coat.

There I was, driving along the moat road in Chiangmai, Thailand, and I saw a new Buddha statue/shrine/idol (take your pick) being erected a one of the many temples here in town. Since this was one of those few times I was driving alone, I instantly realized my wife would not even have to put up with me for stopping this time. I could not pass up such a good opportunity.


Evidently, to earn merit, Thai Buddhists will drape string around the neighborhood. I asked about it a few days ago when I first noticed, but by now, it is broken, hanging limp, tangled, and soiled. So,this past Saturday, out on my Saturday morning walk with my son, I inwardly thought it would be funny to “follow the thread of the story”.

I never intended to actually use the photos. More than likely, I thought I would browse them, glean a few storying pointers, and file them away. And that is what I did.


Most of the time, my wife lovingly tunes out when I talk about photography. Every once in a while, though, she shares her thoughts. I always value her comments highly because they do not come from a photographer or artist, but just a simple, everyday viewer. And, when it comes to my photography, she is more than willing to be a hard reviewer, so none of that, “oh, that’s great honey” jazz. Here were her thoughts, as best I can recall, for the photos in the recent Graveyard Shift gallery.

Feel free to leave your own comments below. And please, leave some negative comments. Positive comments are only good for buffering the hard stuff.


Just a few days ago, I did something I have not done in years: I added a new category to the photoblog. It may not be a big deal to many of you, and you certainly may not care about something so trivial, but for me, it reveals a further clarification of my approach to photography.

I have been thinking a lot about why I shoot. It could be the frequent reminders from my wonderful wife to keep my priorities in check (Wouldn’t it be horrible to have a wife who adored photography and did not ever question my over zealous investment of time in it?). That helps, but I do not think that is it. It is a long progression of thought, beginning a decade or so ago, and now leading me down this interesting new path.

Ladies Talk Before Going on Shift
Ladies Talk Before Going on Shift

I uploaded the gallery from the midnight factory shift photo story. As I mentioned a few days ago, I really wanted to treat it like a film shoot. I left the photos unseen for several days, trying to break my LCD habit and to start thinking more when actually taking the photos.

Also, when processing them, I honored my initial decision to make them black and white, as if I had chosen a roll of film. Meaning, I made one black and white conversion and applied it to all of them.


I read a wonderful blog post. I already mentioned this on Twitter @CooperStrange, but wanted to flesh it out more here: I was particularly affected by a recent article on the Strobist site. It was not the regular Strobist, off-camera lighting spiel, but rather a deeper look into the business of photography…though in this case, the non-business might be more accurate.

Well, so I do not overload you with a long post here (because if you actually follow that link and read his post, it is already quite long), I will cut to the chase. The Strobist post was good, but I very much liked the e-mail he left a link to near the bottom of the site. This was an e-mail from a friend of Mr. Stobist (David Hobby) who was passionately explaining his idea of developing documentary (story telling) photographers by teaching them “how to create decent photojournalism using Bressonian decisive moment style.”


Last night, I waited up till midnight (well, I guess that is a little misleading, sounding like I regularly go to bed before then) to go out and record a sound I wanted on the short experimental video I am working on. I was out at the front gate of the factory here, and saw another story sitting right in front of me, just waiting to be told.

As I said before, I am tired of shooting one-shots day in and day out, disconnected photographs, maybe speaking to an overall theme, but never delving into the story in progress. I want to tell stories. I want to learn how to dig deeper and put together an overall story. And instead of crying about not having enough time (too cliché, anyway), I decided to keep my eyes open to the stories around me and start telling some of them.