Photojournalism Forum
PDN is hosting a forum on the state of photojournalism. We welcome your comments on the images and interviews in this section as well as your thoughts on how photography has changed your world and the world around you.

This is really good photographs which is most subject full of the human story.I think who have a knowledge of Journalism only that person can take this type of photo.
But in our country NEPAL every body want to be photojounalist but they didnt have a knowledge of journalist they were have to take some tips from this type of photo.I also got some idea from this type of photo.Thanks
A former Photojournlist from Nepal.
This time in Commonwealth fo Northern Mariana Island

- Nishchal Chapagain     08/06/2003



- venkatkolluru     08/05/2003


I hope this helps checkout

I changed as a person after I viewing Kevin Carters photo.


- anastasia      06/14/2003


- 魏飞     05/13/2003

hey. i am an amature photographer. im researching how photojournalism shaped our view of WWII. does anyone have any helpful information? i dont know where to start

- Kristal     04/23/2003


- JIM COLTON (SGT)     04/01/2003

Is there a book/webpage that hosts Kevin Carters suicide note? I would like to extract certain parts of it to complete a school project on photojournalism. Any information would be greatly appreciated

- Becca     02/16/2003

Anyone have any advice for new photojournalists looking for work/internships?

- kristy boyce     02/06/2003

A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to take up photography. Since then, I have only ever seen websites which focus on the nicer side of photography and not the innovative true side that can be depicted through this art form. The Kevin Carter picture is famous and will remain famous because it is one of the few pictures in the world which show the reality of what is happening outside the western cocoon. This site has proved a great inspiration and will help further my quest to take pictures which show the truth behind the smiles.


- Jay     02/03/2003

In response to the Kevin Carter suicide post, as someone who viewed the photograph and talked with several failed suicide-attemptees, the question is: what could he have done? The poor girl was literally just skin and bones. Nothing else. Hence the vulture, waiting.

- Dan     01/28/2003

I am a student studying to become a photojouralist. I am currently attempting to write on the impacts of photojournalism on the news story. I am very disheartened to read a lot of the comments on this page of people that have been in the profession for a while and have been worn down by the movement away from traditional to more of an eploxitive context. Just to let some of you know, I am one of the people that want the picture someone can feel the pain,sadness, or happiness. I am not one out to make the digitally created or manipulated picture. I strive for reality and to let people know that there is another world out there and things are happening in it. The difference between a photographer and a photojournalist is that a photographer can have nice pictures, but you can feel a photojouralists picture. Thanks for being my realm of release. Keep on taking those pictures that make the difference, otherwise people like me will have no photojouranlistik pictures to look at. Thank you to those that have made the sacrifices for the field. As a last note dies anyone know of places I could go to in order to research my topic.

- abby tillery     11/14/2002

please visit my new site under construction to view my images depicting the emotional experience which lead to a major exhibition of images i took while serving in Vietnam as a Naval Aviator. your thoughts appreciated.

- Hank Miller     11/05/2002

is there anyone here that knows hot to get in contact with James Nachtwey


- magnus     10/23/2002

What Im about to say might be painful for those still active in the photojournalism community.

I left the business in 1989 as at that time I saw it taking a very different tact from its original roots of truth telling. I grew up reading LIFE, LOOK, and National Geographic. I was inspired by their stories of common man and humanity. In college I would spend time looking at all of the classic images from the 40s through the 60s. From there I worked my way through several newspaper jobs and then finally to an agency in New York. I rarely if ever entered contest, not seeing the point in having other photographers judge my work. Certainly, I invited critique from my peers, but as I see it judgement is for the public.

In 1989 I had found that by that point much of the work being done in both major magazines and newspapers was work to satisfy those with the perceptions of market. In other words, being lead toward assignments and ultimately images, not the other way around. I spent countless hours working important stories or trying to sell story ideas that were not sexy enough, but told a true story. I dare say, if W. Eugene Smith attempted to repeat his story of the rural country doctor today, it would be passed over. Or, worse yet, played to the hilt and iconized as a great reckening.

Sadly, I also found the business extremely centered on personal egos, from top to bottom. From photographers to editors. I suppose it is a by product of the era, whereby we have a slam dunk mentality rather than a true team approach.

Unfortunately, I have not seen the industry make an about face with regard to these few major criticisms I level. Believe me, there isnt enough room to write about everything that is wrong with the state of photojournalism today and the news media in general. So, the work that I truly loved and was excellent at has now been given a back seat. I continue to monitor from afar like a wanting child, but to no avail.

People will continue to witness history, more and more will continue to flood into the business of journalism and every so often a real story will be told. Lets hope we all dont miss it as it is drowned in a sea of images for image sake by those seeking to advance their careers or fortunes.

- David Bentz     09/14/2002

A quick one on the tragic death of Kevin Carter 8 years ago after that award winning photo of the starving child dying with a vulture sitting in wait, I can not help asking why Kevin and his crew left the child (to be eaten) after taking the photo. This is typical of photojournalists though, who just see a photo and not the human face behind the photo.
I guess Kevin committed suicide because his conscience would not allow him to live freely after the Sudan incident. Life is far more precious that any award winning photograph. Kevins suicide may be just a realisation of this fact, as I choose to intepret his suicide note.

- Tim Thomas     08/20/2002

I went to RIT in the 60s. These were the days of revolution and experimentation in music and other arts. Also the days of the civil rights strugle, hippies, femenism and the Vietnam war. My dream was to become a photojournalist for Life or Look and be able to cover these events and tell stories with pictures. Then, I got sidetracked into TV commercials for 30 years and the most important part of my life became making sure that a product shot had just the right little spark. As of late I work mostly on low budget feature films and as of 2 years ago I picked up a dinosaur of a camera, a manual focus Minolta x-700 with a favorite photojournalistic lens, the 28 mm, and I got hooked again. Im happy to say I did not lose my touch and looking at the pictures in your pages make me feel there is still hope for photojournalism even when most of the main outlets are long gone.

- Luis Villalon     01/08/2002

We are trying to contact Rocco Paspata to purchase images. Can you help us?

- Bob Hilderley     12/13/2001

Photojournalism sort of gives us a Gods-eye-view of our planet...a place of incredible beauty and incredible pain.

Id gladly give up the beauty to stop the pain.

- Tim     11/15/2001

I believe that photojournalism will always be a part of society. Even through most photo editors dont have a clue as to what a good picture is. We as photojournalist do!!

They say: a picture speaks a thousand words, and its even through photography has grown into scanners, the internet, etc. to me, the human eye cant be replaced! Just like a good and faithful spouse,
I started out with photojournalism and will love until the end!

- Hilbert     01/30/2001

Its very sad that photojournalism has been pushed aside and all but forgotten because of advertising and shallow, meaningless commercial bullshit of our society today.
I was working for newspapers in the early 1990s and saw it happening. Im very glad to see that there are still a lot of people that care about this art/craft.


- Quinn Jacobson     01/08/2001

i am photojournalist at the times of india...pune ad.663 dattawadi pune pin 411030 india

- mukund bhute     12/09/2000

I think the choice of images is a reflection on todays media consumer and the reliance on the market reseach model of that consumer. No matter what, the media company need you to look at their photo instead of someone elses. Even for an interested and educated person, it is difficult to understand the complexities of each political stuggle around the world. But I feel the job of the photojournalist will always be of importance if he or she can remind me, in the limited time I have, that politics, economics and policy will always, sooner or later, have a real consequence for actual people. This makes a difference.

- D. McGuire     08/29/2000

As a consumer of photojournalism, I miss the stories told primarily by a unified series of photos. Done well, they could illustrate feelings and impressions about a given subject with far more subtlety and impact than could a barrage of words. Today, it seems most stories are illustrated by photos chosen more for their individual impact than their role in a cohesive story. Is this a choice of todays editors or a reflection on todays photojournalists?

- W. Turney     08/23/2000

I believe that photojouralism has a place in society. What bothers me more than anything is, the availablity of instant news. Ever since Vietnam, we can turn to TV as a source of our news. As earlier comments have shown, some times the photograph is used in the wrong way. Having interviewed a American SEAL who was at the scene of the Saigon street execution, I know that the person executed was mouthing off to the policeman and caused him to react by shooting him.
Did this photo change the war, no, the war was lost from day one. Photojournalism brings to life human suffering. We, as photographers, need to be acutely aware of the suffering at hand and not stick our cameras in their faces. We, as photographers, have gotten a bad rap because we dont consider others feelings, i.e. the way some folks chase after famous people. There is a fine line that has been crossed by editors and photojournalists alike. Many photographers will sell their photos to the highest bidder, regardless of the pain that the photo inflicts. I think until we stop and step back and think about what we are doing, photojournalism is going to continue to receive a black eye from the public.

- Richard Smith     07/28/2000

(sorry about the misspelling and the uncompleted thought. I hit the wrong key)

near a crime or accident scene. Im talking about not 100 ft but city blocks. The reason ... public safety. Why? To manipulate information.

This is caused by spineless editors and publishers.

Whats on the horizon in keeping the camera from the truth. 1) laws prohibiting flyovers from entering airspace of a news story without the permission of a government agency . 2) With digital cameras it is now possible by government agencies or anyone to erase images without the photographer knowing it. No more confiscating cameras. and 3) The threat of the photojournalist bing sued

- tommyt     07/18/2000

Photojournalsim is in a state of crisis in the USA. New laws, police actions, and unethical managers of news organizations are manipulating the photojournalist in documenting the untruths.

I can understand the actions of legislators and police for some of their actions. But the actions of photo editors, directors of photography, and executive editors have sold photojournalism down the road.

In south Florida certain municipalities will not let you photogragh without a permit.Police will not let you

- tommyt     07/18/2000

I was at the Guggenheim, and I didnt think they were bringing up the Elian photo as an example of a Photo That Changed The World, but only to say that sometimes, the photo doesnt just TELL the story, the photo IS the story. That was true as well in the case of the Tiananmen Square photo. It incited sympathy for the mysterious protester in the photo, it inspired questions about who the protester was, and what happened to him after the tanks rolled in, it encapsulated both the high hopes of the democracy movement and the shocking tragedy of its oppression. The photo didnt stop the oppression, but like the Elian photo, it took center stage in an historic moment.

- Robert      05/30/2000

The PDN debate at the Guggenheim Museum that marked your twentieth anniversary asked the question, Can photographs still change the world? and the panellists showed many amazing images in the attempt to link photography and history. However the simplistic association of powerful photography with historical change overlooks the unfortunate reality of how the mass media works. All too often photographs become the mascots for political movements whose agendas are already well established. Very few (if any) of the images which are revered as icons of change actually set the agenda and most were hijacked as propaganda for campaigns already well under way.

Much has been said about the Alan Diaz picture of Elian Gonzalez seizure by Federal agents as a potent image that influenced public opinion, but did this picture really change anything? The truth is that the image was generated as part of a political campaign with a momentum far beyond the photographers control. Mr Diaz photograph was skilfully harnessed to rouse a hysterical reaction: the picture changed nothing, but simplistically symbolised a movement already in process. Most famously Eddie Adams picture of the Saigon street execution is often credited with contributing to the end of the Vietnam War. What rubbish! The war was ended by a political administration driven by economic imperatives, within which context the Adams picture was a welcome piece of propaganda. The more widespread the public reaction to an image, the more suspicious we should be of the photographs message as it is manipulated by unseen hands to seduce the population.

Pictures do not change the world; people change the world. The pictures that really make an impact work quietly to motivate individuals to take action. This is a more subtle power than mass provocation and it is more pervasive. Every day somebody somewhere will change their life in response to a photograph: often it is as simple as making a donation, sometimes it starts a process of investigation and discovery and occasionally it leads to direct intervention by the individual (for good or for ill). It is not enough to be informed or excited by an image; the question is, what do I do in response? The world is changed by individuals who take action (whether as politicians, professionals or motivated citizens), not by mass venting.

Does a photograph have the same power as an assassins bullet to provoke immediate and dramatic change in the world? I doubt it, and it is a foolish aspiration to think that it should. Meanwhile the world has been changed more by the sustained efforts of great photographers with a message than by the whiz-bang pyrotechnics of front-page propaganda. We should not be impressed when 1,000,000 people are emotionally roused by slogans, but we should be impressed when one person understands a deeper message and takes action. Neither should we leave it to the prizewinners to change the world with their pictures: this is a powerful medium that we all have a responsibility to handle with knowing respect.

Congratulations to PDN on the first twenty years and thank you for keeping the issues alive!

Stephen Mayes
Photonica, New York

- Letter to the Editer     05/30/2000

Grief, anguish, sorrow.
My heart not only goes out for each life touched by the events chronicled here, but it is broken. It makes me fell helpless, drowning, hopeless. I feel personally responsible for these peoples sorrows because we are all children of the same planet. Although I have plenty to eat, a nice big house, and many nice luxuries, I am questioning whether I truly want to bring children into a world where you do not take care of your neighbor, even if countries and continents separate you. I guess I will begin by helping myself.
But I will still weep.

- Betsy     05/19/2000

Cool interviews. But why is Jim Colton nostalgic for 80s? A great age for international news? It was as almost as hard to get photos of ongoing political or civil strife in Latin American published then as it is now. What about the life Panamanians had to live before American troops landed? And now, where are stories about how Mozambique will recover? Can we only have one story about Africa at a time?

- m guralnick     05/18/2000