For Love of the Shot

Javier Manzano/Agence France-Presse

Jesse Newman & James Estrin, New York Times, “Photographs of Syria Sweep Pulitzer Prizes”

World Press PhotoForeign Policy, Photo Essays & Foreign Policy, Slide Show

Burn MagazineVice, Photo

National Geographic, Photography

The Atlantic, In Focus

Boston.com, The Big Picture

I love photojournalism. As I’ve elucidated in the past, I think it’s one of the most important modern professions, utilizing the beautiful, sometimes brutal efficiency of a photograph to tell a tight, gripping story and connect people across time and distance to events and places around the world. And despite all of the technological advances and the advent of social media, the simplicity of photojournalism – a picture and a few words – is still the dominant means of understanding and accounting for humanity’s complexity.

I don’t have much more to say about the profession beyond what praise I’ve heaped on it before, so I just thought it relevant to note that the 2013 Pulitzer Prizes for photography were awarded yesterday, one of which went to the photograph featured (in cropped form) in my header image, taken by Javier Manzano, a freelance photographer with Agence France-Presse. There were a number of winners, all mentioned in the New York Times article linked above, but Manzano’s image seems to have done exactly what I mentioned earlier – vibrantly captured the tense situation and mood in Syria. The sniper’s intensity, the onlooker’s ambivalence, and the room’s eerie beauty: all of these elements together compose a very compelling photograph that tells a story in and of itself.

For anyone interested in exploring the world of photojournalism, the New York Times blog “Lens” is an excellent place to start. I’ve also included above a series of links to some of my favorite sites that feature excellent photojournalism and story-telling, all worth a look if you have a moment to examine unfamiliar faces, vistas, and experiences.

If I had the opportunity, I would love to one day pursue photojournalism as a career, or at least an enlightening hobby. Anyone willing to teach me how to take a competent photograph?

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