Photojournalist Benjamin Lowy talks to Richard Aedy, of the Australian Broadcasting Company Radio Network, about the virtues of using a mobile phone in the field. In the above video, Lowy, who has made mobile-phone images while working in Libya, Afghanistan, and his own backyard of New York City, explains how he chooses the right tool for the job. As for the question above, Lowy says:
When you shoot with an SLR or rangefinder or any type of camera, you’re taking this huge black box and throwing it in front of your face. And you’re blocking out your ability to interact with your subject. Sometimes that can be good if you need if you need to cut your empathy off, so like if you’re at a funeral and you need to pull yourself emotionally out of a situation. But a lot of times I’m just talking to someone out on the street, and all of the sudden I am cutting the level of empathy and the level of interaction and intimacy with people by putting a camera against your face. So by using the phone I can keep eye contact with the people I’m photographing.
Hear more segments from ABC RN’s ‘Media Report’ on the shows website.
Garry Winogrand’s 25-year retrospective, currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., includes Winogrand’s iconic images of everyday Americans—New Yorkers out on the street, lone figures in busy airports, and eerie scenes of western suburbia. But about one-third of the show comes from Winogrand’s vast stockpile of unpublished work. Winogrand, who died suddenly at age 56, left behind 2,500 rolls of film that had never been developed and 6,500 rolls of film that had been developed but never made into contact sheets. At 36 frames per roll, that’s well over a quarter of a million images that Winogrand made but never looked at.
Thousands of bodies—old men and women, young men and women, boys and girls, toddlers and infants—filled the entire sanctuary. “People piled on top of one another, four or five deep, on top of the pews, between the pews, everywhere,” he said.
Outside, the grounds were overgrown, and victims lay where they had fallen. “People had been hacked to death and left slumped against trees. I remember one woman with her underwear pulled down lying on the ground. You didn’t have to be a detective to see how people were killed,” he said.
An hour later, as they drove back to Kigali, Guttenfelder asked the taxi driver if he had known anyone in the village. “Oh yes,” he replied. “My father and mother are in that church. And my grandparents.” Photograph by David Guttenfelder
“In the same way that the transition from film to digital is now taken for granted, the shift from cameras to networked devices with lenses should be obvious. While we’ve long obsessed over the size of the film and image…
I think that there isn’t a photograph in the world that has any narrative ability… They do not tell stories—they show you what something looks like. To a camera, there is no special way a photograph should look.
N.Y. Times - My Selfie, Myself - “But it’s far too simplistic to write off the selfie phenomenon. We are swiftly becoming accustomed to — and perhaps even starting to prefer — online conversations and interactions that revolve around images and photos. They are often more effective at conveying a feeling or reaction than text.” - Jenna Wortham (self-portrait by Vivian Maier)