The photo is the message (Part 1 of 2 series)

WORDS are mere grace notes, all my life I’ve dealt with words. They are adequate for many of our purposes, even indispensable for most. They can (of course) be immeasurably beautiful and graceful.

But they can’t do everything.

Testimonial to the power of the photograph to present a tapestry of history, told to the eyes are in images that capture each event in a split second of its happening.  Words cannot do that.  They can tell us about people and events that shape one’s daily word, but the news photograph brings reality to life in a very special way.  The skills of the photographer grabs for us the instant, spontaneous electricity, when they cap off a collection of visual delights of nostalgia, history and drama in whose story needs few words — a paragraph or two in the news columns — for photos, volumes here.

Active photographers of the Fil-Am newsville.

The role of the newspaper, then and now, is essentially the same: to provide readers with vivid communication about the world they live in.  Photography, with its vivid communication of reality, is ideally suited to the aims of journalism.

But today, photographers are different than before, with visual sophistication: more composed and artful, and less liked poised tableaux.  They are better educated and trained not only in technique, but also in visual expression — and there is more competition.

In a broad range of subjects, photojournalists have covered wars and wonders, entertainers and athletes, fads and fashion, presidents and their celebrations, disasters and discoveries with their skills and extraordinary versatility; not merely by recording an event.  They conveyed a larger meaning combining information with emotion, even comment. Old timers had their quality instinctively, the new ones roaring with their new vigor, have it bred in the bone and polished by training.


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