Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Coffee With Mentors > Simon Says -- SimonSawSunlight Photo Technique

Simon Says -- SimonSawSunlight Photo Technique From time to time its been suggested that RFF have a mentor Photography help section in terms of Technique - how to shoot this or that. 1st of all I had to find someone whose work I really like. 2ndly that photog had to be willing help others. That's the catch: so many excellent photogs just are not wiling to make the time for that, or just as likely, simply don't give a damn about helping others. SimonSawSunlight is an excellent up and coming photog whose work seems to go well beyond his 24 years.

You can view Simon's work at http://www.simonbephotography.com/  and www.facebook.com/simonbphotography Simon has been published in in FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), LFI (Leica Fotografie International) and more recently in Radiate Magazine. He also recently had a large solo-exhibition in Berlin. Not too Shabby! So, let us begin this adventure and see where it goes. Thank for taking this on Simon!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

agencies and "objectivity"
Old 12-26-2013   #1
SimonSawSunlight
userabuser
 
SimonSawSunlight's Avatar
 
SimonSawSunlight is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Berlin
Age: 29
Posts: 2,888
agencies and "objectivity"

what do the big agencies (reuters, ap, afp, etc.) do to maintain their ideal of "objectivity"? what are the requirements for their material to be considered usable in an "objective" journalistic context?

EDIT:
the fact that objectivity is an illusion is implied.

my question has clearly been completely misunderstood, maybe for lack of clarity on my part...

i was not asking whether there is such a thing as objective photography (of course there isn't), or which photographer is more objective than the other. my question is what do bigger news agencies do to get as close as possible to what they believe to be "objective" accounts of certain events, which journalistic "rules" do they enforce? and what do you think are the consequences of that?
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-26-2013   #2
35mmdelux
Fight On!
 
35mmdelux's Avatar
 
35mmdelux is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 4,233
There is no such thing as objectivity. It is a false premise -
__________________
M-E │ 21 asph │ 35 asph │ 50 apo-classic │ 75 apo │ Harley-Davidson Fat Boy
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-26-2013   #3
sweathog
Registered User
 
sweathog's Avatar
 
sweathog is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London
Age: 29
Posts: 893
Quote:
Originally Posted by 35mmdelux View Post
There is no such thing as objectivity. It is a false premise -
I second this. It frustrated me so much at university, discussing this subject. In a nutshell, the simple act of framing is subjective, you will imbue some personal stance upon the image.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-27-2013   #4
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 23,285
I find it quite hard to think of a single great photojournalist who was always and fully "objective". Also, it's often quite hard to take pictures of both sides, without at least one of the sides taking you for a spy. Whether you deliberately choose one side or the other, or you end up on one side by accident, that's where you're likely to stay. Finally, there is always a "Official" or "Party" line, and quite a lot of photographers are in their nature anti-authoritarian.

Cheers,

R.
__________________
Go to www.rogerandfrances.eu for a whole new website
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-27-2013   #5
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
i would say the idea of objectivity has been tossed at the agency and outlet level. the coverage of what occurred in Iraq most certainly would have shown this. if any doubt remained, Libya ended it for me.

the shift to one-sided coverage is almost complete across the board through the large outlets. Syria again is showing this fault line quite clearly.
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-27-2013   #6
Margu
Registered User
 
Margu's Avatar
 
Margu is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 169
agencies are businesses and a business is by its very nature biased, first to be profitable and secondly to please its customers.

a consumer product, such as photography sold by agencies is a product and it has to appeal to some people in order for them to buy it.

great works of photography such as Sahel, The End of The Road by Salgado was not published for many years in US because publishers thought it was too depressing and no one would buy it.

in other words if your work is very good and objective its likely that no one would get to see it because the business culture only filters what could be sold. this also means people who try to compete in the "pleasing pictures" field have their work cut out for them because that is where everyone is aiming for -- that is where the money is.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-27-2013   #7
SimonSawSunlight
userabuser
 
SimonSawSunlight's Avatar
 
SimonSawSunlight is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Berlin
Age: 29
Posts: 2,888
Quote:
Originally Posted by 35mmdelux View Post
There is no such thing as objectivity. It is a false premise -
please read the op again. the fact that objectivity is an illusion is implied.

my question has clearly been completely misunderstood, maybe for lack of clarity on my part...

i was not asking whether there is such a thing as objective photography (of course there isn't), or which photographer is more objective than the other. my question is what do bigger news agencies do to get as close as possible to what they believe to be "objective" accounts of certain events, which journalistic "rules" do they enforce? and what do you think are the consequences of that?
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-27-2013   #8
Jamie Pillers
Skeptic
 
Jamie Pillers's Avatar
 
Jamie Pillers is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 3,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonSawSunlight View Post
what do the big agencies (reuters, ap, afp, etc.) do to maintain their ideal of "objectivity"? what are the requirements for their material to be considered usable in an "objective" journalistic context?
I suspect these agencies maintain the respect of news consumers by spending a lot of time and money fact-checking. Of course, no fact-checking is perfect, especially within the time constraints of modern news consumption. But I trust these agencies more than independents, like I trust the New York Times more than independents… they spend more time on the fact-checking.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-27-2013   #9
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
I suspect these agencies maintain the respect of news consumers by spending a lot of time and money fact-checking. Of course, no fact-checking is perfect, especially within the time constraints of modern news consumption. But I trust these agencies more than independents, like I trust the New York Times more than independents… they spend more time on the fact-checking.
i wouldn't rule out independents like The Guardian. i have worked for both and The Guardian has been the most stringent i have encountered.
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-27-2013   #10
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
as per agency trust...

http://duckrabbit.info/blog/2013/12/...ters-in-syria/
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-27-2013   #11
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
another blunder...

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journal...aq-photo-Syria

the BBC was aware there were professional journalists in Houla at the time and chose to run archive photos versus paying for up to date and verified work. i know this as i was one of the journalists in Houla.
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #12
Addy101
Registered User
 
Addy101 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,522
re. Molhem Barakat: photographers die in war - it is the hard truth. At 17 he was young, but it doesn't make Reuters responsible for his death nor does it say anything 'bout the trustworthiness of Reuters.

re. Houla: The BBC made a misstake. I believe it to be an honest mistake and I think it won't happen in the foreseeable future. They will have their rules improved. Like Jamie said: "Of course, no fact-checking is perfect, especially within the time constraints of modern news consumption."

Both Reuters and BBC live off their reputation - they will go the way of News of the World if they didn't try to be reliable (I think btw that reliability and trustworthiness are in this case better terms then objectivity).
__________________
Das Bild ist ein Modell der Wirklichkeit - Wittgenstein
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #13
Sparrow
Registered User
 
Sparrow's Avatar
 
Sparrow is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Perfidious Albion
Age: 65
Posts: 12,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by emraphoto View Post
i wouldn't rule out independents like The Guardian. i have worked for both and The Guardian has been the most stringent i have encountered.
... not their spell checking though
__________________
Regards Stewart

Stewart McBride

RIP 2015



You’re only young once, but one can always be immature.

flickr stuff
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #14
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
re. Molhem Barakat: photographers die in war - it is the hard truth. At 17 he was young, but it doesn't make Reuters responsible for his death nor does it say anything 'bout the trustworthiness of Reuters.

re. Houla: The BBC made a misstake. I believe it to be an honest mistake and I think it won't happen in the foreseeable future. They will have their rules improved. Like Jamie said: "Of course, no fact-checking is perfect, especially within the time constraints of modern news consumption."

Both Reuters and BBC live off their reputation - they will go the way of News of the World if they didn't try to be reliable (I think btw that reliability and trustworthiness are in this case better terms then objectivity).

on the contrary i think it says a lot about Reuters and many experienced and accomplished journalists agree. the age of Molhem is only the beginning of where the credibility chain breaks. his past behaviour would have eliminated him from any 1st year journalism students list of credible examples. Reuters is also being scrutinized as there are/were many credible journalists/photojournalists working in the region yet Reuters chose to run with the cheapest option versus paying what this work actually costs, to trustworthy and experienced folks. this is a widespread problem within the industry. from friends i understand he was being paid $100 for 10 images per day. that is far below what someone like myself would be paid and i would have a day rate guaranteed. Reuters was DEFINITELY responsible for Molhem's death the minute they sent him cameras and lenses and began to license his images on to The New York Times. Reuters failed to sent a stage 4 vest or helmet along with the cameras. Reuters also failed to relay to it's audience that Molhem's brother was a fighting FSA member which again, would immediately call into question his position.

FROM REUTERS OWN GUIDEBOOK FOR CONTRACTED PHOTOGRAPHERS:

You may move into a dangerous environment only with the authorisation of your superior. Wherever possible the senior regional editor for your discipline should be consulted. Assignments will be limited to those with experience of such circumstances and those under their direct supervision. No journalists will be assigned to a danger zone unless they have completed a Hostile Environment training course.

this is only a small portion of the guidelines however Molhem's eligibility is clearly deficient. combine this with his direct family link to the FSA and yes, many journalists are questioning Reuters trustworthiness, including former long-term Reuters employees.

i will not go into details about the BBC mistake other than to say they had direct access and contact with experienced and credible journalists on the ground and chose to run stock.
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #15
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
... not their spell checking though
indeed. copy editors seem to be suffering a similar fate as photojournalists.
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #16
Jamie Pillers
Skeptic
 
Jamie Pillers's Avatar
 
Jamie Pillers is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 3,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by emraphoto View Post
i wouldn't rule out independents like The Guardian. i have worked for both and The Guardian has been the most stringent i have encountered.
I've not read the Guardian, but I don't think it fits in the category of "independent" I'm thinking of. I meant by independent, someone freelancing their work for hire.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #17
Sparrow
Registered User
 
Sparrow's Avatar
 
Sparrow is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Perfidious Albion
Age: 65
Posts: 12,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
I've not read the Guardian, but I don't think it fits in the category of "independent" I'm thinking of. I meant by independent, someone freelancing their work for hire.
... independent as in not owned by an australian megalomanic, fascist aristocrat or other vested interest



that statement in no way represents the author's views and any resemblance to real press barons, alive or dead (or both) is purely coincidental
__________________
Regards Stewart

Stewart McBride

RIP 2015



You’re only young once, but one can always be immature.

flickr stuff
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #18
Michael Markey
Registered User
 
Michael Markey's Avatar
 
Michael Markey is online now
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Blackpool ,England
Age: 66
Posts: 3,419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Pillers View Post
I've not read the Guardian, but I don't think it fits in the category of "independent" I'm thinking of.

Its just a tax dodge

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Trust_Limited
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #19
Jamie Pillers
Skeptic
 
Jamie Pillers's Avatar
 
Jamie Pillers is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Oakland, California
Posts: 3,797
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparrow View Post
... independent as in not owned by an australian megalomanic, fascist aristocrat or other vested interest



that statement in no way represents the author's views and any resemblance to real press barons, alive or dead (or both) is purely coincidental
I still trust that the New York Times is trying to put as much 'truth' on their pages as possible. I don't trust Rupert and don't read his papers.

I guess you have to put me in the camp of "old fashioned" news consumer. I trust, to some degree, news institutions that appear to place a lot of emphasis on getting their facts correct and double-checked. I don't at all trust tabloid-style knee-jerk spur-of-the-moment news sources. So I stick with NYTimes and PBS Newshour as my main sources of information about what's going on in the world. I'm sure there must be other news sources that can be trusted, but I haven't sought them out.
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #20
Addy101
Registered User
 
Addy101 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,522
Quote:
Originally Posted by emraphoto View Post
on the contrary i think it says a lot about Reuters and many experienced and accomplished journalists agree. the age of Molhem is only the beginning of where the credibility chain breaks. his past behaviour would have eliminated him from any 1st year journalism students list of credible examples. Reuters is also being scrutinized as there are/were many credible journalists/photojournalists working in the region yet Reuters chose to run with the cheapest option versus paying what this work actually costs, to trustworthy and experienced folks. this is a widespread problem within the industry. from friends i understand he was being paid $100 for 10 images per day. that is far below what someone like myself would be paid and i would have a day rate guaranteed. Reuters was DEFINITELY responsible for Molhem's death the minute they sent him cameras and lenses and began to license his images on to The New York Times. Reuters failed to sent a stage 4 vest or helmet along with the cameras. Reuters also failed to relay to it's audience that Molhem's brother was a fighting FSA member which again, would immediately call into question his position.

FROM REUTERS OWN GUIDEBOOK FOR CONTRACTED PHOTOGRAPHERS:

You may move into a dangerous environment only with the authorisation of your superior. Wherever possible the senior regional editor for your discipline should be consulted. Assignments will be limited to those with experience of such circumstances and those under their direct supervision. No journalists will be assigned to a danger zone unless they have completed a Hostile Environment training course.

this is only a small portion of the guidelines however Molhem's eligibility is clearly deficient. combine this with his direct family link to the FSA and yes, many journalists are questioning Reuters trustworthiness, including former long-term Reuters employees.

i will not go into details about the BBC mistake other than to say they had direct access and contact with experienced and credible journalists on the ground and chose to run stock.
I thought Molhem was a freelancer and not contracted by Reuters? If so, those rules don't apply.

And the fact that BBC had direct access and contact with experienced and credible journalists doesn't mean that they have to use those pictures - the editors choose different. As I said, I don't expect BBC to repeat this mistake.
__________________
Das Bild ist ein Modell der Wirklichkeit - Wittgenstein
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #21
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
I thought Molhem was a freelancer and not contracted by Reuters? If so, those rules don't apply.

And the fact that BBC had direct access and contact with experienced and credible journalists doesn't mean that they have to use those pictures - the editors choose different. As I said, I don't expect BBC to repeat this mistake.
a freelancer who filed everything with Reuters, who then licensed work on to others for a profit most certainly implies a 'contract' of some degree. the addition of sending him pool gear, at Reuters expense underlines this. Reuters also clearly chose to acquire work from someone who was without any training and/or experience, bypassing the more experienced and credible professionals.

perhaps my point needs more clarity (and i say this with respect and no hint of sarcasm). this is a very large and serious problem Industry wide and we are beginning to witness direct consequences of the wider 'citizen journalism'. all across the board outlets are relying on the cheapest form of acquiring art, a journalism phrase for visual material to support articles.

serious consequences arise from the Barakat story, not least being a young boys life. we cannot overlook the connection this boy had with the FSA. this direct, familial connection and Al Quaeda ties essentially draws a target on other journalists as the regime will see him as an active participant. Reuters was aware of this connection. depending on where you were working, most journalists entering Syria do it through shared contacts. as a result, many of them, questioning why Reuters would facilitate this, had direct contact with Barakat in the past.

you are correct about the BBC mistake i suspect. i hope so. unfortunately the number of large scale outlets that are side-stepping the cost of reporting on conflict by having editors make choices such as that, is concerning to say the least. putting your life on the line for $100 a day is ludicrous. yes Barakat chose that path however the industry wide acceptance and thus support of this suggests some serious soul searching needs to take place.
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #22
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
PS the Reuters guidelines i posted were from their freelancers agreement. written by a former bureau chief of over a decade, who is now publicly calling on Reuters for an explanation and re-think of their policies.
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-28-2013   #23
Addy101
Registered User
 
Addy101 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 1,522
Quote:
Originally Posted by emraphoto View Post
a freelancer who filed everything with Reuters, who then licensed work on to others for a profit most certainly implies a 'contract' of some degree. the addition of sending him pool gear, at Reuters expense underlines this. Reuters also clearly chose to acquire work from someone who was without any training and/or experience, bypassing the more experienced and credible professionals.

perhaps my point needs more clarity (and i say this with respect and no hint of sarcasm). this is a very large and serious problem Industry wide and we are beginning to witness direct consequences of the wider 'citizen journalism'. all across the board outlets are relying on the cheapest form of acquiring art, a journalism phrase for visual material to support articles.

serious consequences arise from the Barakat story, not least being a young boys life. we cannot overlook the connection this boy had with the FSA. this direct, familial connection and Al Quaeda ties essentially draws a target on other journalists as the regime will see him as an active participant. Reuters was aware of this connection. depending on where you were working, most journalists entering Syria do it through shared contacts. as a result, many of them, questioning why Reuters would facilitate this, had direct contact with Barakat in the past.
Get it, it is wider then just this one case.
__________________
Das Bild ist ein Modell der Wirklichkeit - Wittgenstein
  Reply With Quote

Old 12-30-2013   #24
emraphoto
Registered User
 
emraphoto's Avatar
 
emraphoto is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,448
http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/artic.../#.UsGTkjkcjl2
__________________
www.johndensky.ca
@eastofadelaide
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 22:56.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.