Rwandan Refugees – Sebastao Salgado
When I was a kid, my parents had a book, The Family of Man by Edward Steichen.
It was a photo book to accompany an exhibit of photojournalism as art that Steichen had promoted and that had opened at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955.
At that time, it was rather radical to think of photography, let alone photojournalism as an art form.
But that book and that exhibit changed the world.
Above is a photo by Sebastao Salgado, my favorite photographer today. I own a few of his prints and they hang in my living room (or will as soon as the work is done), as a testament to the power of photography to capture and convey ideas and impressions as an art form.
What unleashed photojournalism as the combination of a new technology (small cameras like Leicas, roll film, faster speeds and so on) and talented people taking up that technology and creating great work.
Salgado in Sudan
Salgado is a member of Magnum, a cooperative of some of the best photographers in the world.
A few weeks ago, Mike Yamashita, a photojournalist for National Geographic was at my house with his wife Lil.
Mike had just come from a conference of Asian Journalists, and he said the hottest topic in the room was the discussion of video, as still photogs make the conversion to video. The talent is there, he said, and so is the technology. What is missing, of course, is how exactly to make a living doing this.
People will percolate into new field. My friend PF Bently, former White House photographer for Time Magazine has found a very lucrative niche in corporate videos and documentaries. Dirck Halstead, his companion at the White House from Time has founded Thedigitaljournalist.org
They were there early.
As more and more photographers and others enter the video field, it will no doubt shake itself out to be commensurate with the market’s demands.
All of this brings me to CTZN.TV, our embryonic website.
It has gotten the attention of the investors.
Their interest, and mine, is in the chance to create a ‘Magnum’ for video. A cooperate where the best videographers in the world could both show their work and share in the profits.
The investors are ready to commit.
The site is up.
What I need now are videos to demonstrate the potential that is out there, and people who would want to participate.
I don’t need a finished business – just the scent of what is possible.
Photographers and videographers would retain all credit and all rights to the videos posted.
At this moment, I am only trying to prove a point.