Posts Tagged 'POYi'

Photojournalism and the Hipstamatic App

Photo by Damon Winter/New York Times

UPDATE: Damon Winter won POYi’s Newspaper Photographer of the Year too.

When New York Times staff photographer Damon Winter won third place in POYi’s feature competition last week for wartime photos he took on his iPhone using the Hipstamatic app, some people balked. Photojournalism, as practiced by the greats with real cameras, was officially dead. Others said that’s a naive viewpoint; there are no truly objective photographs — and the photographer’s tool doesn’t make or break a great image.

To me, they look a little like ads, or still photography from a David O. Russell film. It doesn’t strike me as great photojournalism, despite Winter being a very skilled photographer, no doubt. That said, maybe I’m old fashioned. There is something about the purity of classic photojournalism that resonates more for me.

As for Winter’s take, he couldn’t submit to an interview with Poynter.org on Friday because he is in Afghanistan, but he did release a statement to the media site.

In part, it says:

I could not have taken these photos using my SLR and that perhaps is the most important point regarding my use of the camera phone for this story. Using the phone is discreet and casual and unintimidating. The soldiers often take pictures of each other with their phones and that was the hope of this essay: to have a set of photos that could almost look like the snapshots that the men take of each other but with a professional eye.

People may have the impression that it is too easy to make interesting images with a camera app like this, but that is not the case — just as it is not the case that good pictures automatically come out of exotic places. At the heart of every solid image are the same fundamentals: composition, information, moment, emotion, connection. If people think that this is a magic tool that makes every image great, they are wrong.

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$10K Available for Amateur Photography Project

POYi (Picture of the Year International) just announced their “Emerging Vision Incentive” to help fund and showcase documentary photography work. The recipient gets $10,000 to devote to their project, which should focus on “daily life, social issues, cultural trends or news events.” The recipient also gets the opportunity to display their proposal at the 67th POYi competition at the Annenberg Space for Photography  in LA in June and their own exhibition in 2011.

You have to be an amateur of semi-professional and the project can’t have been previously published. The application process starts today and goes through May 31, 2010.

Get more info and the application here.


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