THE DECISIVE MOMENT: THE E-JOURNAL OF THE DVJ APRIL 2015 EDITION 1
PHOTO: CHRIS HILTON
The people who manage the DVJ: CHAIRMAN : MO CONNELLY LRPS Retired from the UN refugee agency after a career as a workaholic, frequently living in a tent on remote borders in troubled regions. Have now achieved my work-life balance by getting a life after work. What do I like? Photography, photographers, being at home, travelling and people who respect human rights. What do I dislike? The fact that I am becoming a grumpy old woman and actually enjoying it. TREASURER: JUSTIN CLIFFE LRPS I have been interested in photography since my late teens however family and work commitments took then priority and I’ve really only got back to it over the past 5 years since retiring from a life in the City. I joined the RPS, and the DVJ group, about 4 years ago and was awarded my LRPS in 2013. I am also a member of Woking Photographic Society and the Street Photography London collective. My particular interest is ‘street photography’, something that I’m able to combine with my part time work for a charity in London.
SECRETARY : WAN SHUN FAN A trainee solicitor, Wan has been the Secretary of the DVJ Group for almost four years. Wan is still amazed at the wealth of knowledge that committee and group members have to offer. Wan hopes to do his Licentiate in the near future.
WEBMASTER : JOHN MARGETTS ARPS John’s interest in photography started at school, when an enlightened teacher started a photography class. The magic of seeing images suddenly appearing in the developing dish was, for John, a wonderful thing. From school John went on to study photography at college, passing the examinations for the Institute of British Photographers. After leaving college, John spent many years in the photographic industry and eventually opened his own studio in West London. Having rejoined the RPS in 2009, John started to work towards his Licentiateship and he achieved this in May 2010. In 2013, London Underground was celebrating its 150th anniversary, which proved to be a real inspiration for John. As a result, this was the subject for his Associateship, which he gained in April 2013. And three seconded committee members for 2014/2015: Lionel Squire, ARPS – the person we turn to for advice Del Barratt, ARPS – previous chair and all round friend David Barnes, LRPS – working on the WWI project Page 2
CONTENTS 3: Note from the Chair ---5: What’s in a definition ---20: Chris Barbara’s journey from L to A ---26: DPOTY 2015 ---DVJ Project marking the centenary of the start of WWI 28: Exhibition:
Then and Now (1914 and 2014)
War Photography ----
31: Members images ---34: DVJ Annual General Meeting ---35: Events ---37: Miscellany Exhibitions Books Bits and Bobs
Welcome to the first edition of ‘The Decisive Moment’ Thanks to everyone who put forward their views on a definition of photojournalism, documentary and street photography – as many views as respondents and some great images to go with those views. Agree or disagree? Let us know. We’ve also got the L and A Panels of Chris Barbara, along with the story of her journey between them; an update on the WWI project, with details of the Exhibition and the Symposium; and, some great member images. One of the good things about our new format is that there is much more room for lots of images rather than links to other pages. So thanks to those who have submitted images and please do keep them coming. It really helps if you can add a few words about where they were taken, whether there is a story behind them and why you like them.
This year’s AGM will be on 10 May in London, we hope that as many members as possible will come along. Not many events so far this year – all efforts going into the Exhibition and Symposium – but we’ve plans for more workshops and photoshoots later on. Lastly, please remember this is a journal for DVJ members and if we don’t have input/ideas from different members, with different perspectives, then we won’t have a journal. And we’re still looking for guest editors to give different editions a different focus. Contact me if you would like to be a guest editor. Finally, let’s have feedback on your view of our new e-journal.
I’m looking for articles with images for future editions from anyone who has a tale to tell. I’ll be contacting our overseas members in the next few weeks as I think it would be interesting to all of us to know more about their photography and how the RPS/DVJ fits in with their photography. If anyone has come across an interesting exhibition or photo book – images or guidance – please share details and your views on them with us.
Best wishes, Mo Connelly, LRPS Chair, DVJ
WHAT’S IN A DEFINITION? In mid-February we asked you for your views on what is documentary photography and photojournalism? What makes them different from each other? Are they two separate genres? The
(Federation Internationale de l’Art Photographique)
approving the PSA (Photography
The responses were, predictably, as diverse as our membership. They were not confined, nor were they meant to be, to photojournalism but to documentary photography in general, including street photography. Most of you felt that rules and definitions were important for competitions but that for the rest we should have the freedom to be responsible documentary photographers.
Society of America) definition of Photojournalism
competitions and exhibitions which they support. The definition will only affect us as
Chris Hilton, LRPS wrote a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece on why these proposed definitions matter and it’s worth reproducing the whole of his article here.
photographers if we are entering FIAP/PSA sponsored competitions or exhibitions and the definition is merely a peg on which to hang the question.
“Why does this matter to us?”
Why does this matter to us? It matters because FIAP (Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique) is an international umbrella organization of national associations of photography and it is looking to ratify the PSA definition. I believe that these proposed rules are trying to steer people into telling the truth with their photography and whilst that is a noble goal, truth is often more subjective than universal.
The first decision we make as photographers is generally what to leave in the frame and what to leave out. By surrounding these visual “facts” we create a relationship between them that may or may not exist in the real world. The camera itself merely records what we allow it to see, it is the job of the photojournalist to get to the facts and to record them in such a way as to tell the truth. Predictably, it is inevitable that we all have differing views of what that truth might be. There is a story told by the Hassidic Jews that illustrates this point far more eloquently than I could possibly manage:-
Two men approach the Rabbi in order for him to help solve a neighbourly dispute. The first man sets out his case to the Rabbi who listens intently. The Rabbi tells the man he is right and they should hear what his neighbour has to say for himself, but after the neighbour argues his side, the Rabbi turns to him at the end and says that he is also right. At this point the Rabbi’s wife interjects and says “but they can’t both be right” and the Rabbi replies to his wife “and you’re right too”!
If everybody is right, then it follows we all see the truth in a different way. In skilled hands, a camera can record a truth (or depending on your point of view, a lie). In even more skilled hands it can provide a narrative but never a universal truth. Once we accept that a camera can lie and that, in the vast majority of cases, photographs usually only tell part of the story or tell it in a distorted form, then we can accept that defending the “credibility” of a photograph is futile. It is surely more productive to accept the credibility, or not, of the actual photographer. It seems to me that, these days, we never trust the photographer, just the image, and then only if it is undeveloped. This runs contrary to over a hundred years of good photographic practise. There has always been a whole armoury of measures used to improve the quality of images.
A good printer could work on the negative itself to recover lost highlights in a sky, a good printer could even replace the sky, a printer could use intensification to increase contrast and then there’s all the dodging and burning and a whole host of other techniques.
At the end of the day, what was produced was a print. That print was judged on its own merit and nobody ever had the temerity to demand to see the negative in order to establish the credibility of the scene. The credibility lay with the photographer. The job of the printer, whether the actual photographer or not, was to make the scene itself as palatable as possible.
Ansell Adams compared the negative to the musical score but the print to the symphony as it can be interpreted in so many different ways. There have been books written on how he developed a single photograph; are we simply to ignore that wealth of knowledge? Are we happy to just read the musical score but never hear the symphony? Try going online and looking up Dennis Stocks iconic image of James Dean in Time Square, then look at… http://theliteratelens.com … and see it again with all the printing notations written on it. Are we really proposing that there is no credibility in this image because both Dennis Stock and Pablo Inirio dragged every last ounce of atmosphere out of the scene? Are we really happy that the PSA are proposing that the story-telling value of an image should receive priority over pictorial quality? The word used to describe this genre of photography is “photojournalism” and “photo” gets top billing! The image should always be the best it can be. The PSA are proposing that techniques that add, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, should not be permitted. I presume this is to protect the abstract notion of truth or credibility in an image, but is it really so important?
To the right is an image of mine taken at the Great Dorset Steam Fair The image is about the Preservation Movement. It is about handing over to the young and about the increasing number of young women that count themselves amongst that movement. There is also a sub-context here, it’s about the “Simple Country Girl”, and it’s about the comparison between spending some time enjoying driving a Steam Engine as opposed to spending time sitting at a Bus Stop playing with an App on your phone. Or, at least, that’s the way I see it … it’s a personal view point but it’s the truth as I see it.
There is, however, something that really niggles me in this picture and that’s the piece of iron work protruding into the frame, middle left. I find it a distraction. I was fully aware of it when I was shooting but it was impossible to frame the picture in such a way as to exclude it. Would it really damage the truth or credibility of the picture if I were to remove it? The image isn’t about the layout of the engine. Its removal wouldn’t affect the central premise of the image. In other words, it wouldn’t affect the story, so therefore wouldn’t affect the truth of the image. Its removal would serve to make the image stronger; in fact, its removal should allow the viewer to concentrate more on the narrative by being less distracted. However, the removal of the person on the right would clearly be wrong. It would not only be altering the truth of the story but would also be changing a significant amount of the pixels caught within the frame itself. Likewise, adding something physical to the image that wasn’t originally there (coal dust on the face for example) would be altering the truth in an unacceptable way. Perhaps the caveat should be nothing physically added and only “artistic blemishes” to be removed, but those blemishes should happily extend beyond sensor dust.
Now that the metalwork has been removed, I am much happier with the image, shown left, but not happy that it may fall foul of the definition of being photojournalism or documentary photography. If the spirit with which it was taken matters at all then this is certainly a documentary photograph worthy of a place in any photo essay.
I’d like to talk about the development of a photograph in general. Like most of us I don’t use a film camera; I use a digital one and the two beasts are not the same. With a film camera you should strive to get the exposure as near perfect, in camera, as possible. That is simply not the case with digital. In a digital camera the information taken during the exposure is recorded onto a sensor, the sensor records fifty per cent of its information at the top twenty per cent of its recordable light spectrum. Therefore, to record as much detail as possible, you should overexpose the image as much as you can without blowing out the highlights. It’s a practice known as exposing to the right. At first glance the image will look washed out but the exposure can be recovered with adjustments to the contrast and brightness sliders during RAW conversion. The resultant image will have far more detail than one that was exposed ‘correctly’ in camera. Is this good camera practice to be permitted or is that too much tinkering? The PSA are proposing to allow a conversion to greyscale. Is that simply pushing a button on a computer or is it indulging in the art of monochrome photography? I don’t wish to allow the soulless algorithms of the computer to decide on my finished product. Black and White photography is not about looking at the world through a grey prism. It is about the subtle art of directing the viewer to the parts of the image you want them to look at.
The adjacent shot was taken at a religious festival in Malta. In order to get the face of the “High Priestess” exposed in the way I wanted, I came close to completely blowing out the foreground detail of the image. Your eye was automatically drawn to the dresses which were, by far, the brightest part of the picture. I have subsequently darkened the foreground to draw the viewer to the part of the image I found most important. I don’t believe that process has altered any “truths”. The tools used to lighten and darken parts of the image are just as important as the use of depth of field to draw the eye. This is not about the “restoration of the appearance of the original scene” but about how, as a photographer, I want to thankfully there is a long line of interpret the scene in front of me. esteemed photographers before me You can’t improve photography by that don’t believe it either. stripping away all its skills. You can’t Do we need definitions? I’m not divorce photography from the art of printing, or what we now call processing. convinced but feel sure that it will all be If the photographer is to be banned from eventually neatly pigeon holed. I’m not bringing anything to the party then sure it will help anyone’s creative photojournalists may as well shoot processes. I think that in Documentary everything on their phones and let the Photography or Photojournalism we just need to recognize when a chips fall where they may. photographer is striving to show their Years ago the Kodak Eastman own truths and dam the process. Company had a slogan; “you push the Photography is about the final image, button and we’ll do the rest”. This advertising slogan has entered the public it always has been. The notion of consciousness. Consequently, a lot of “pure” photography surely died with the people believed that all you had to do to Daguerreotype. Ever since Fox Talbot the negative/positive take a good photograph was to “just push introduced the button”, and it seems that the PSA process; photographs needed to be may believe the same. Well I don’t. I developed. don’t believe it anymore than I believe that Coke is the “real thing” or that I will be “loving it” if I go to McDonalds, and Page 10
Irvin Penn shot a series of images over several decades called Small Trades. It was shot in London, Paris and New York and consisted of recording trades people, dressed accordingly and sometimes with the tools of their trade in a studio environment. The fact that the subjects are obviously directed doesn’t make this body of work any less of a “document”. In fact, that very treatment lends a dignity to some of the subjects that would not normally be afforded to them by the general populace. It could be argued that that changes the truth because it affects the way the viewer is interacting with the subject but actually, for me, and probably for Irvin Penn it allows the inner truth of the subject to be revealed. There’s many a road sweeper or dustman that’s a proud man. Perhaps if there is to be a difference between the genres of Documentary Photography and Photojournalism, then this is it; whether the subject has been directed or not, but there still has to be that striving for truth. I used a similar approach when producing a series of triptychs for a project documenting the self employed. Both the portrait and the tools were shot in a contrived fashion whilst the third image was taken “in the field”. My hope is that by including the portrait, you see the person before you see the menial tasks that person has to perform in order to help in the shared task of providing for their family. I can see the argument that by directing the subject it could be deemed that this is not Photojournalism but cannot accept that this is not Documentary photography.
All images: Chris Hilton Chris Hilton LRPS Page 11
Other members offered a variety of views: Simon Maddison believes that definitions are needed for competitions but that for the rest we can be much wider in how we define our photography.
Ed Juan on the other hand agrees with the definition for photojournalism.
Joe Benvenuti often only carries an infra-red adapted camera and sees no reason why documentary photography is not suited to such treatment.
Joe provides two images below to illustrate the difference between a documentary infrared image taken in the Strand and a manipulated street photograph which he does not consider to be documentary.
IS INFRARED A SUITABLE TREATMENT FOR DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY?
as a street photographer turned her attention to her definition of street photography, where both the definition and location of street photography matters to her in general and personally.
“Street photography is controlled luck with the camera held to the eye..” David Gibson
There are many acknowledged types of photography, and most people recognise a portrait, for example, or a landscape. Street photography is a category which occurs in some salons, but it is ill-defined and not well understood. Because of my interest I have spent some time reading and studying it. According to David Gibson it is easier to say what it is not. It is not set-up or created, it is not portraiture, nor is it posed or agreed with a subject. Street photographers do include the odd portrait in their work, but according to Gibson and others that is a separate discipline.? Neither does Gibson rate the random way of shooting from the hip. He argues that street photography is “controlled luck with the camera held to the eye..” Although there is a good deal of serendipity involved, this is likely to happen because the photographer is passionate and dedicated, and has to spend a large amount of time doing it. In the case of Vivian Meyer a whole lifetime!? A quick description by Gibson is “any kind of photography taken in a public space. It is usually of ordinary people going about their everyday lives.” The core value is that it is never set-up. However it is not necessary to include people, “evidence of people is just as valid.”?
But Nick Turpin says Street Photography has come to mean much “more than simply making exposures in a public place.” Whilst there is no specific subject matter, only the issue of “life” in general, it is about seeing and reacting, and feeling rather than thinking. Although it may overlap with Documentary Photography, according to Fred Fogherty, it differs in that there is no premeditated message, and the photographer does not set out to record or report on events. This confusion with Documentary photography occurs for several reasons. One is that as time passes Street photographs can become documentary images of a particular era. Another is probably because one of its most important forerunners was Henri Cartier-Bresson, who was a photojournalist!? A diagram by Eric Kim seems to me to sort out some of the confusion in this area. To see some of the best contemporary street work go to the collective's web site: www.in-public.com
Ed. note: Unfamiliar Streets by Katherine Bussard, Yale University Press 2014, is a good, thought provoking, book on street photography.
Andrew Mills accepts there have to be definitions and rules for judging otherwise judges have little criteria other than their own tastes to go by. But he believes that rules and definitions should be kept to an absolute minimum. Page 14
David Cantor has some rather strong views on the subject: This perennial question has raised its head again, prompted perhaps by the adoption of a definition of photojournalism for its competitions by FIAP, an understandable approach considering the nature of the organisation. However, it begs the question as to whether photography is a creative or competitive activity, human nature being what it is, it's probably a bit of both. In my limited experience, the requirement of a definition of what is meant by Photojournalism and/or Documentary photography is needed by academics who are required to put these issues into pigeon holes for their students. Perhaps we should look at this from another perspective? I wonder what response one would have got by asking Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Weegee or Cartier-Bresson if they wanted their creativity constrained by rules. Imagine the reaction for yourself.
Our prime interest by virtue of the name of our group is patently not taking photographs of shorelines with large rocks in the foreground, lone trees on windswept moors or the eyeballs of bees. In his wonderful book 'On being a Photographer', David Hurn declines to describe himself as a 'documentary photographer' on the basis that the term conveys objectivity and that his choice of composition, timing, etc is a very subjective process. He also refrains from describing himself as a Photojournalist by virtue of what he sees as negative connotations and associations. Not sure that I totally agree with that but that's the point, I believe that we need the freedom to express ourselves as we wish, label ourselves or not, and as individuals avoid straight jackets designed by others.
Alan Holland-Avery, FRPS thinks weâ€™re all making things too complicated. His view is that photojournalism is simply illustrating a subject with one or more factual photographs and documentary photography is simply illustrating a subject with a series of (more than one) photographs.
HAVE WE OVER-COMPLICATED THINGS BY OUR APPARENTLY CONSTANT NEED TO DEFINE AND REDEFINE EVERYTHING? Nick Palliser has an interesting slant on the issue and one that Iâ€™m sure a lot of DVJers will identify with. Photojournalism: A real-time view of the world which informs and depicts the planet on which we live. It can comprise one or several images and each image must have a description! Any people (whenever possible, real name) should be listed in the image and minimal (exposure/levels) can be adjusted in post process but to a very limited range.
definition, was an artist. His images may have been "taken on the street" but by their "decisive moment" they were more art than street photography. Street photography should be a long extended collection of images with some form of link (location, dress, behaviour etc.) that can serve to tell the viewer about a given time and place in history.
Documentary: A story with a series of images taken over a period of time. As long as the story is genuine and true to location/situation this can be "retrospective", that is, set up (see, Christina De Middel "The Afronauts"). The series should be accompanied by an overall piece of text which informs of the story. Post processing is allowed yet should be kept "natural" and "real" in it's execution, ie "believable". But this MUST be a series of images carried out of a period of time with relevant research to accompany the story and back up it's relevance. This is in no way, shape or form "Street Photography".
A single image is NOT street photography, the time and effort and research and patience has not been given and it is a single image, no more no less. If it is in fact a "decisive moment" style image, then it is art, but not street photography.
Street photography: which has risen in popularity and seems to have drawn all and sundry to offer "weekend day street photography courses" is in reality a study on human nature and how it shows social behaviour and can become a social document of our time. Henri Cartier-Bresson, by his Own
Factual (past or present), realistic editing if required, researched, series of images, accompanying text for the series, over a period of time.
So, in essence;
Photojournalism Real, unedited (for all intents and purposes), topical, news worthy, captioned and factual.
Ed. note: perhaps this takes us into a debate on w hether or not text is required for our type of photography. Any view s? Page 17
Glynis Harrison believes that documentary photography is about truth, representation of a moment in time, but requires limits and definitions for clarification. If a documentary image of any kind is over-manipulated it is not documentary and should be considered in another genre.
Chris Barbara, ARPS believes that Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that employs images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism. Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography (e.g., documentary photography, social documentary photography, street photography or celebrity photography) by complying with a rigid ethical framework which demands that the work is both honest and impartial whilst telling the story in strictly journalistic terms. Photojournalists create pictures that contribute to the news media.
Timeliness The images have meaning in the context of a recently published record of events. Objectivity The situation implied by the images is a fair and accurate representation of the events they depict in both content and tone. Narrative The images combine with other news elements to make facts relatable to the viewer or reader on a cultural level. I do think we need definitions and I do think we need genres as the examples above indicate.
Gordon Bates believes that documentary photography is different from photojournalism in that it tells a story in more depth than photojournalism. Whilst a single image can tell a story itâ€™s not in the same depth as a documentary essay. The PSA definition is clearly aimed towards competitions and competitions must have rules. It just seems to be a clumsy definition for general use. For those of us who simply just want to enjoy making photographs, it probably doesnâ€™t matter too much, although I think we ought to understand the distinction Iâ€™ve already mentioned. So far as street photography is concerned it is making a resurgence and I believe it to be a legitimate documentary genre. I suppose it could fall into either photojournalism or documentary, depending on the approach taken in making the photographs. Gordon Bates Page 18
Well a lot of views, on photojournalism, documentary and street photography, and a lot of information. But at the end of the day perhaps there is general agreement on the need for definitions in competitions and exhibitions, but that they donâ€™t need to be the be all and end all outside of competitions as long as our photography is truthful and doesnâ€™t demean others. If you have views on this article let us know at email@example.com. Editor: Mo Connelly
A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY FROM L TO A: The Road to Licentiateship I always knew that the road to my Licentiateship was going to be a huge challenge from which I was certain I would emerge with a far better knowledge of everything photographic and hopefully a bit more confidence. What I had not realised was that the road to achievement was full of mountains to climb and pot holes to fall into. On one occasion, after attending an Advisory Day in London, I fell into a deep pot hole where I remained for months. My panel lay discarded on the garage floor, but fortunately an Associate of the RPS and camera club friend threw me a support line. As well as his support there was one thing that significantly changed my perception of the LRPS. I attended a ‘Celebrating Distinctions Day’ in Crawley and saw successful L, A and F panels. Until then the majority of the panels I’d seen had been landscapes, nature, architecture, portraiture and weddings. My passion in photography was people, documentary, contemporary and street and my genre never seemed to fit into an L panel. Just looking at the colourful documentary and visual art panels made me realise my panel did not need to conform to standard genres. It could do what I enjoyed most and did best. Colourful street scenes and people.
My journey so far had taught me what I needed to know about putting together a successful panel: ends facing inwards, centre facing forward, plus colour and design coordination. I also knew from the Licentiateship Handbook that my panel needed to show that I had mastered a range of camera techniques. One of the most important factors for the assessment seemed to be to show that I had ‘the seeing eye’ meaning I took photographs that were a bit different. But none of this mattered if I had not learnt how to avoid blown highlights and blocked colours, something that was drummed into me from day 1. I had reached a plateau in my journey and at last my panel came together just as I had visualised it. There was however one more mountain to climb and that was colour coordination, mainly because my panel contained a complete range of vibrant colours. My solution came in a glass hand and some marbles. It was the image that would pull all the colours together so it had to be taken last. With all nine images ready I matched a marble to each colour in my panel and then took the final photo entitled ‘have you seen my marbles’. In April 2013, one year after my journey started, I achieved the Licentiateship.
LRPS IMAGES Page 21
Licentiateship to Associateship I knew the first stage for my A panel had to be to attend an Advisory Day as an observer. I booked on a day in London for Travel and Contemporary. Before going I decided to put together my ideas for categories and the images I thought I could use. So many options which all, bit by bit, fell by the wayside. I live in Brighton and my first choice was Madeira Drive where events take place most weekends. From Pride to Remembrance Sunday, Ace Reunion, London to Brighton Cycling, the Marathon……… endless opportunities. Then I realised the opportunities were fraught with weaknesses. Firstly, the events usually took place around midday when the lighting was at its brightest and secondly, they were always crowded and it was very difficult to get an uncluttered image.
strengths and the weaknesses of their categories before starting work. The strengths in choosing the marina were: I was able to set myself a flexible timescale to (a) plan and design the panel, (b) take possible images (c) construct the panel (d) take the final images (e) mount them and (f) attend an advisory day. Whatever the weather I could go out and plan, observe and/or take the images I wanted and then put the panel together before making the final selection. I wasn’t constrained by time, travel or being unable to return and change an image; once the skeleton of the panel came together I could go out for a photo shoot when the light was at its best, morning or evening. (As a full time carer this was very important for me) If the light wasn’t right on a particular shot I could always work out what time of day would be best and return to the location.
I then thought of a panel along the lines of the work of Martin Parr and Tony Ray Jones. I had hundreds of possible images already and the opportunity to In September 2014, with my panel take more through the summer. But virtually completed I attended an then I realised the weaknesses were the Advisory Day for Travel and Visual Art. same as Madeira Drive so it really was It was a really worthwhile day but one not a viable option. that completely changed the category I was entering and the content of my After looking at the strengths and panel. The Advisors gave their advice weaknesses of at least 6 topics, I finally as if I had submitted a Visual Art Panel decided on Travel within Brighton Marina and not a Travel Panel. They were and, importantly to start from scratch, saying “we’ll take that one out as it’s not no previously taken images. This visual art, nor is that one, or that one“. subject had all the strengths and They positively commented on my opportunities I was looking for and no images of boats with textures and perceived weaknesses. I would vibrant colours. By the time I left that recommend that anyone working day I knew I had three weeks to pull towards an A (or F) panel analyses the Page 22
together a Visual Art panel ready for my booked Assessment day in October. But, having observed the day of panels and heard the assessors comments, both positive and negative, I had a clear picture of what I needed to photograph. I decided to change my location from the larger marina to the smaller boatyard. I also knew I needed to rewrite my Statement of Intent to reflect the ‘why’ and not the where or how of my panel. Thereafter my panel came together quite quickly. The road to my A was, for me, a far more enjoyable journey than the L road. I believe this was partly because I learnt so much on my first journey and also because I was starting from scratch with a sort of designer panel. I wasn’t trying to fit images I had taken previously in with others. I took the images as I needed them and to coordinate visually in colour, shape and textures with the others in the panel. In October 2014, I was over the moon to get a phone call from the RPS to say my ARPS Panel had been recommended.
ARPS IMAGES Page 24
SHIP SHAPE AND BRIGHTON FASHION
ARPS Statement of Intent The day I walked through the gates of the local boatyard I found another world where the creations of man and nature appeared to work in harmony with the effects of the elements over the passage of time. I became absorbed in the lacklustre, dereliction of the old, unloved boats, hidden from the world in a dismal corner. My eyes took in the contrasting textures, peeling paints, rusty metals, barnacles, even man made artworks and overflowing drains. But as I wandered I began to see a vibrant side. A bright, stripy hammock on a new boat: the richness of streaming oil and bright paint chipped and lying on the ground. My mind began creating small frames, little works of art as they unfolded, linking the dull with the vibrant, the smooth with the rough, the old with the new. My panel aims to show the boatyard with a combination of images from the lacklustre and vibrant frames as I saw them through the lens. Chris Barbara ARPS
DVJ Documentary Photographer of 2015:
DVJ Documentary Photographer of the Year: Call for Entries Enter the only RPS competition specifically for documentary photographers. Not a member of the Documentary and Visual Journalism Group? Join now and you too can enter!
New for 2015: Prize for overall winner of 2015 DVJ DPOTY ● Olympus OM-D EM-10 - The ideal camera for documentary photographers, provided by Olympus UK ●
Dedicated web site to host entries http://dpoty.com
Open for entries with immediate effect – closes 31 August 2015 Open to members of DVJ only. New members are eligible on joining DVJ.
Entry Groups: 1. LRPS & Others. (ENthusiasts) 2. ARPS, FRPS, Professional Photographers (EXperts)
Theme: Photo Essay consisting of 5 images accompanied by a statement of no more than 140 words, the theme is decided by each photographer.
Eligibility: Open to members of the DVJ Group at the time of entry and the date the competition closes. New members eligible on joining DVJ Images taken no earlier than 1 January 2015
Entry Fee: Free Number of images:
Five per entry. Only one entry per person.
Entry Method: Please send to DPOTY@rps.org the following: 1. Your images 1,400 pixels on the long side – as jpegs in the following format * Group - RPS membership number - sequence in series number. Example for enthusiasts: - EN123456-01.jpg, EN123456-02.jpg, etc. * Please retain hi-res copies of your entries in the event that they are needed for our exhibition later in the year.
2. Your Statement in a Word document containing your name & membership number consisting of no more than 140 words. * * The file name should follow the numbering of the images, for example EN123456.doc
Timing: Start Date: From Announcement Finish Date: 31 August 2015
Prizes: (for each Group) ● First Prize: Second Prize: Third Prize: ● Amazon/Book Token value £30 + a free DVJ workshop Amazon/Book token value £20 + 50% discount for a DVJ workshop Amazon/Book Token value £10 + 50% discount for a DVJ workshop ● All six winners will receive a RPS ribbon
Rules: ● Images must have been taken after 1st January 2015. ● The organisers of the DPOTY Documentary Photographer of the Year competition reserve the right to exclude any entry that they consider to be inappropriate for any reason. ● The images must be the sole work of the entrant who will own the copyright but agrees that the images may be used by the DVJ for publicity and related purposes. ● Images received after the closing date will not be considered.
Judges: Enthusiasts: Steve Kingswell LRPS Experts: Monica Weller FRPS
Guidance: This year, our guidance is provided by acclaimed documentary photographer John Claridge: FIVE IMAGE THEME First of all do not aim at the so-called consumer. In other words, do not take pictures you think other people would like to see. Shoot these pictures one hundred per cent of what you feel. The photographs should crave your ideal, to express the meaning of that existence. To put it in another way, when one hundred people are looking at your pictures they should feel one hundred different emotions. Everyone should respond in an individual way. In the same way as your pictures are created by your individual way of expressing your emotions. The hardest thing will be to create your own ideal, with no restrictions from society or anywhere else. To be able to open many doors. If you are not able to search for the truth within yourself, neither will your pictures. Do not expect everyone to see as you do. Any great work cannot be subjected to absolute rules. There are so many factors. Become a poet, not in the literal sense of the word, but as a way of seeing. These last suggestions are certainly not written in stone. Five pictures of shadows. Five pictures of abstract buildings. Five pictures of found objects. Five pictures of death. Five pictures of beauty. Five pictures of emotions. As you can see, it is endless. Your pictures should be your life Any queries to: DPOTY@rps.org 2 March, 2015 For more details visit: www.rps.org
Symposium on War Photography. 19th April 2015 For the past year the DVJ group have been worki ng towards an exhi bi ti on and sym posi um to com m em orate the Great War. The Exhi bi ti on, Then and Now, i s at the Di scovery Centre i n Wi nchester from 1 to 28th Apri l . The Sym posi um i s at the Perform ance Space i n the Di scovery Centre on 19 Apri l .
ATC Winchester Andrew Mills
We are lucky to have the following speakers: Dr Del Barrett ARPS.
Metaphors we die by
An overview of the inextricable link between language as a means of persuasion and war. The use of language as a means of garnering support for war is far from new. In her presentation, Del Barrett looks at the different techniques that have been used since WW1, including neologism euphemism and metaphor, and shows how such devices can have deadly effects on those in the war arena, including the war photographers. Alison Baskerville.
Women and Conflict
The portrayal of women as victims of war is something we see regularly on the news. But what happens when the woman chooses a uniform and takes on the more male dominated aspect of warfare? This talk will explore the idea of women and war and the images that represent them.
Dr RM Callender FRPS
Photography in the Great War.
The profusion of images that emerged to remind us of the conflict between 1914 and 1918 prompted Ron Callender to examine the role of photography in the Great War. His aim was to find out why photography was important to both the allies and the axes powers, and to gather examples of social and professional photography from both sides.
The importance of documenting the remains of WWI.
Brett has spent the last four years documenting the tunnels and other remains of WWI and he will discuss why they have historical value and the importance of documenting what remains for the future.
Dr. Hilary Roberts. Imperial War Museum Research Curator of Photography An Introduction to War Photography War photography is a complex but frequently misunderstood genre which is almost as old as photography itself. This talk will consider the nature, origins and evolution of the key formative influences on photographers who take war as their subject .
Dee Robinson ARPS Sandhurst
Further information at: www.rps.org
MEMBERS IMAGES Max Robinson, ARPS Ethiopia This portfolio was taken in the Danakil desert, one of the lowest points in the world, being 150 metres below sea level in places. It is a very hot and bleak environment with temperatures often reaching well above 40 degrees centigrade. The photos are a small archive of living history, capturing a tradition that is more than a thousand years old but which is threatened by industrialisation. Camel trains set off from Mekele in Tigray to make the 2-3 day journey to the desert laden with food for the journey. They return, laden with blocks of salt hewn from the salt deposits in the desert. A road is currently under construction in this region which will enable trucks to transport salt from the desert, rendering the camel transportation method uneconomic. I wanted to capture this ancient tradition in my favourite medium of black and white before it disappears forever.
PHOTOS: Max Robinson
Sandra Crooke: Holi Festival Holi One Festival was taken at the festival at Battersea Power Station in 2013 and was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Monte 2014 International Salon (Montenegro). Colour Me In was taken at the 2014 festival at Wembley Park.
PHOTOS: Sandra Crooke
The DVJ 2015 AGM will be held on Sunday, 10 May at 13.00 at The Hercules Pillars 18 Great Queen Street London WC2 5DG
This is half way between Covent Garden and Holborn tube stations.
Full details at: www.rps.org
DVJ Workshop in Newcastle: DOCUMENTARY PHOTO ESSAYS (REF 5.2015) SATURDAY, 9TH MAY 10:00 - 17:00 This is being held in City Library (Room 7) Charles Avison Building, 33 New Bridge Street West Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6AX The meeting has a maximum of 10 participants only.
See more at: www.rps.org
Several other workshops are in the pipeline: ● 2 further documentary essays workshop – one in Birmingham and one in Winchester ● A introduction to using the video capability on your camera (probably in the RPS Southern Region) ● Low light documentary photography (probably in the RPS Southern Region) ● Depending on how these two workshops go we will then look to putting them on in other parts of the country (depending on volunteers to do the on the ground work). More news on these in the near future.
Giving it some thought: We are considering a weekend workshop on documentary photo essays (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon), with Ali Baskerville, probably somewhere in the midlands, for a small number of participants. This will probably be in the autumn. If you think this might be of interest to you can you let us know (not a booking) so that before going to a lot of work to organize things we can know if there is sufficient interest from DVJ members. We’re looking for a gallery in London to hold an exhibition of the DPOTY winners in the autumn, as well as the WWI images and possibly members images. If we can find somewhere suitable we’ll hold the DPOTY presentations and a DVJ social at the same time. Watch this space. As always if you have ideas for photoshoots or other events and you are prepared to do the on the ground work with back up from the Committee please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Poole, MBE, LRPS writes of his concern for the ever present issue of reproduction of images of people without their consent. He continues that someone is trying to gather support for a regulation that will make it a requirement to obscure the face of anyone in an image who hasn’t agreed to be photographed, even in a public place. So, does anyone out there have views on this they’d like to share with us, or expertise that they’d like to share with us in the form of an article. Let’s face it if this was to happen then we wouldn’t have very limited documentary photography and probably no DVJ! Email your views to email@example.com
Tom Anderson’s Blog You might enjoy documentary images & the blog from Tom Anderson at http://thegreatdepressionphotos.com Photos from the Resettlement and Farm Security Administrations and the Office of War Information 1935-1943: a cultural history blog
BOOKS: ‘It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War’ by Lynsey Addario
War photographer Lynsey Addario’s memoir: It’s What I Do is the story of how the relentless pursuit of truth, in virtually every major theater of war in the twenty-first century, has shaped her life.
Read more: www.smithsonianmag.com
Salt and Silver: Early Photography 1840 – 186 Tate Britain: Exhibition 25 February – 7 June 2015 More information at: www.tate.org.uk Well worth a visit, although most prints are very small and difficult to see properly if the gallery is busy, so choose a time when there’ll be less people. It is a real opportunity to see images that are normally kept away from our view to conserve them.
Broadly speaking, Documentary and Visual Journalism simply means taking photographs of life as it is or life as we see it. It embraces a number of sub-genres, as well as documentary, reportage and photojournalism, including street photography, ‘the decisive moment’, street portraits, tableaux vivant and urban cultures.
The Group offers a lively events programme, including Sunday Shoots, where members have the chance to meet each other informally and to shoot to a challenge; workshops to help members improve their photography as well as help on the road to achieving Distinctions. The DVJ Documentary Photographer of the Year (DPOTY) competition is now well established.
Members form a dynamic and diverse group of photographers globally. They share a common interest in documentary, Recently the DVJ has been running a major urban and street photography. project on commemorating WWI, culminating in
an exhibition and symposium on the history of The DVJ welcomes photographers of all war photography.
abilities to join us. You do not have to be a photojournalist or professional Additionally, they have an active Flickr group and photographer to join the DVJ.
The Group produces a regular e-newsletter. There is a social getogether at the time of the awards to the DPOTY as well as an annual £10 discount voucher on any paid for DVJ event.
How to contact the DVJ or find out more about our activities: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on the RPS website at: http://www.rps.org/special-interest-groups/documentary-and-visual-journalism Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RPSDVJ/
“Smoke Gets in your Eyes”
Mo Connelly, LRPS
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THE E-JOURNAL OF THE DVJ Royal Photographic Society: Documentary & Visual Journalism Group