Witness in Our Time: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers

Witness in Our Time: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers

Ken Light

Language: English

Pages: 211

ISBN: 1560989483

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Witness in Our Time: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers

Ken Light

Language: English

Pages: 211

ISBN: 1560989483

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"Everything in the world must be shown and people around the world must have an idea of what's happening to the other people around the world. I believe this is a function of the vector that the documentary photographer must have, to show one person's existence to another."—Sebastião Salgado

Illustrated with a compelling image from each photographer, Witness in Our Time traces the recent history of social documentary photography in the words of twenty-two of the genre's best photographers, editors, and curators, showing that the profession remains vital, innovative, and committed to social change. Featuring interviews with Hansel Mieth, Walter Rosenblum, Michelle Vignes, Wayne Miller, Peter Magubane, Matt Herron, Jill Freedman, Mary Ellen Mark, Earl Dotter, Eugene Richards, Susan Meiselas, Sebastião Salgado, Graciela Iturbide, Antonin Kratochvil, Donna Ferrato, Joseph Rodriguez, Dayanita Singh, Fazal Sheikh, Gifford Hampshire, Peter Howe, Colin Jacobson, and Ann Wilkes Tucker

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In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

were cumbersome and unsophisticated; and we still developed with chemicals. Digital cameras, computers, cell phones, electronic mail, and the web were not yet invented. Few, if any, photography galleries even existed, and the idea of buying original photographic prints was just on the horizon. Much has changed in our world since those days and even more since this book was first published in 2000. It has been a time of new and remarkable possibilities opening up, but also many doors closing.

wire service guys and other photojournalists present who probably did not see it the same way I did. Time ran an extremely ordinary head shot of Johnson, but I came away with some real treasures. These were the three modes of photography that I juggled, and in this I was probably unique among civil rights photographers. People tended to be movement photographers like Danny Lyon, or photojournalists like Charles Moore and Flip Schulke. The juggling wasn’t always easy. Sometimes movement people

it’s pretty much over. So it varies. Photography is tough. With photojournalism, your ass has to be on the street. And as you get older, there’s no doubt about it, a certain physical energy fades, and it becomes tougher physically to do the job. Financial concerns also multiply; photo markets are declining. So the result is that not many social photographers after the age of fifty are still social photographers. At some point, some need the money, so they become advertising photographers, need

me work further on it. That’s when I contacted Jocelyn Benzakin at JB Pictures and said, “Either they are crazy or I am crazy.” She was fantastic. She supported all my expenses for about two years. My work was not published in India, which still makes me angry. This was 1988 and 1989, and they said this is a Western phenomenon that you brought back with you from America. They didn’t want to look at my pictures. It’s still like that. India is still waiting for its Rock Hudson before actively

I don’t think there were more than four or five rolls of film, perhaps five or six but certainly not twenty or thirty rolls. In 1976 I suggested to a magazine editor that he do an essay on white South Africans. I’d been in the States and Canada and people had said, “Who the fuck are these white South Africans? They’re the cause of all this trouble there, you know.” I came back and told the editor, “There is real interest in white South Africans and who they are.” He eventually said, “Please do a

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