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As a professional photographer or photojournalist, it is critical to understand the ethics of picture taking. Those ethics differ according the genre of photography. Because photojournalism is supposed to be as authentic a reflection of reality as possible, the bar on ethics in that genre is set very high. In fashion photography, however, there is likely to be more latitude for creativity and the application of creative techniques. In essence it is important to understand the difference between photography and photo illustration…

Find out more on Shutha in the article on Ethics.

Although it is made up of a number of photographs, that would be considered photographs if presented on their own, this composite image is likely to be considered a "photo illustration" since it is illustrating something more than the simple reality of the moment. It was taken of a paddler on the Potomac River in Great Falls Park in northern Virginia near Washington DC. PHOTO: David A. Larsen

Although it is made up of a number of photographs, that would be considered photographs if presented on their own, this composite image is likely to be considered a “photo illustration” since it is illustrating something more than the simple reality of the moment. It was taken of a paddler on the Potomac River in Great Falls Park in northern Virginia near Washington DC. PHOTO: David A. Larsen

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One important income stream for photographers is stock photography. As I interact with professional photographers around Africa and in my own country, South Africa, I am often surprised at how misunderstood the stock photography market is. As a professional needing to survive in a market where there is currently a glut of photography, understanding various photo income streams is of vital importance so you can place yourself and your work appropriately in those markets. Rosanne Larsen, who founded and runs the Africa Media Online picture library, provides a succinct introduction to the world of stock photography in this Shutha article, What is Stock Photography?

This picture of the Aids Ribbon monument in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa has sold again and again because it is representative of an issue that needs to be illustrated again and again. PHOTO: David A. Larsen

This picture of the Aids Ribbon monument in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa has sold again and again because it is representative of an issue that needs to be illustrated again and again.

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You may be an award winning photographer with a great ability to tell visual stories, but if you don’t know how to handle yourself as a professional, you won’t survive as a photographer for long. This article on Shutha introduces you to the 4 essential elements needed to become a consummate professional: Competence, Community, Conduct and Communication.

Read the article on Professionalism

Durban-based photographer, Kim Thunder, runs a professional studio operation in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Durban-based photographer, Kim Thunder, runs a professional studio operation in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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You may or may not know that Africa Media Online hosts a Facebook group geared specifically at informing and empowering African photographers. While we do have some international photographers subscribed to the group, the resource is really there primarily to further the work and careers of African photographers.

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So if you are an African photographer (by that I mean anyone who carries an African passport), or you have an interest in and the ability to further African photography, I would like to invite you to join the group. You may be a curator of a gallery or museum, a photo editor, an educator or an academic working on African photography – you are welcome. We are strict about who joins, so if your Facebook profile does not lead us to conclude you are a professional photographer or seriously engaged in related activities, you are unlikely to crack the nod and gain entry into the group. If that is the case and you feel there is a legitimate reason you should be included, please feel free to email me on editor@africamediaonline.com and let me know you’ve attempted to join the group and why.

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If you are a photographer or are considering generating an income from photography it is worth paying a visit to Shutha.org a free online resource that we created with funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery via World Press Photo. The site was created specifically to be an open resource for professional photographers and students of photography living and working in the Majority World.

Award-winning Kenyan photographer Boniface Mwangi in his studio in Nairobi, Kenya. While Boniface has won awards for his photojournalism, like many photographers, his bread and butter comes from work that fits more into the "retail" genre. Most financially successful photographers have learnt to understand the markets for photography and place themselves and their work well within those markets.

Award-winning Kenyan photographer Boniface Mwangi in his studio in Nairobi, Kenya. While Boniface has won awards for his photojournalism, like many photographers, his bread and butter comes from work that fits more into the “retail” genre. Most financially successful photographers have learnt to understand the markets for photography and place themselves and their work well within those markets.

A fundamental aim of the resource was to not just educate photographers about technical matters, but rather to assist photographers to understand the markets for their work, how to place themselves in those markets and how to deliver to those markets at the standard that will keep the markets asking for more. One of the first steps in understanding the markets for photography is to understand the genres of photography and the varying ethical expectations of those various genres. Below is a link to the discussion on the Shutha site that I trust will be food for thought. I divide photography into four basic genres – Creative, Editorial, Retail and Personal and look at the expectation in each to be fiction or non-fiction. It is in no way comprehensive, but I trust it will initiate some discussion and reflection: Understanding Photo Genres

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Last year I had the privilege of being a judge at the 9th CHIPP Awards in the beautiful lake side city of Hangzhou in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. The China International Press Photo Contest is closely modelled on the World Press Photo contest and certainly has the prize money to match with the equivalent of USD16,000 prize for the overall winner. It was not just the lucrative purse that caused me to come home to Africa determined to encourage as many African photojournalists as I can to enter the competition. Here are my main two reasons:

The amount of press attention that the competition gets from press all over China is significant, not just for the winners and for the judges, but primarily for getting stories across to this massive audience. CHIPP gives us as Africans a great opportunity to have Africans tell Africa's story!

The amount of press attention that the competition gets from press all over China is significant, not just for the winners and for the judges, but primarily for getting stories across to this massive audience. CHIPP gives us as Africans a great opportunity to have Africans tell Africa’s story!

Firstly, as a judge in last year’s competition I saw very few entries from Africa. That means there is a very significant open door of opportunity to bring to the competition material that is unique and different and will make the judges sit up and consider. As I said in my blog post in March 2014 immediately after the trip, “The categories I would encourage African photographers to aim for in particular are the “Arts, Culture & Entertainment News” and “Nature & Environment News” categories as the number of entries in these categories is smaller than in other categories and as Africans we can certainly perform in these categories.”

While in China I had the privilege of spending a day with DJ Clark in Beijing and captured this stereotypical image in Tiananmen Square. The trip helped me to see that China can't be reduced to such stereotypes. It is a vibrant society bursting with energy, a society well worth engaging with as Africans

While in China I had the privilege of spending a day with DJ Clark in Beijing and captured this stereotypical image in Tiananmen Square. The trip helped me to see that China can’t be reduced to such stereotypes. It is a vibrant society bursting with energy, a society well worth engaging with as Africans

While I do want African photojournalists to walk away with significant prizes in the competition, and the more the merrier, my second reason for wanting you to enter the competition is that in China it is a huge deal… it really is. So winning this competition and the messages that are carried in the images that win go far and wide in that society. Africa is very much on China’s agenda in terms of geo-politics and what China thinks about social and environmental issues is already having a significant impact on us here in Africa. So here is a very significant opportunity to speak to a new power in the World about the issues that affect us as Africans. Can you imagine the impact on Chinese society if a story about the Rhino slaughter here in Africa won first prize in China?

So I would urge you to consider submitting work to this competition, both for yourself and for the platform it gives us as Africans to have our say in a society that is mad about photography and photojournalism.

Here is more information about the contest

Download the entry form

It does not cost anything to enter and the closing date for entries is 15 February 2014.

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Legacy of the Mine

Ilan Godfrey has recently published his first book. Focused on the consequences of mining on the South African landscape and its people, I believe Ilan’s “Legacy of the Mine” is an important work for us in South Africa to reflect on the place and the true cost of the mining industry.

Swimming in the ‘Long Sea’, Diamanthoogte, Koffiefontein, Free State, 2013

Swimming in the ‘Long Sea’, Diamanthoogte, Koffiefontein, Free State, 2013

Ilan was the 2012 Ernest Cole Photographic Award winner and he used the award to complete the work which resulted in an exhibition and the book. Ilan was born in Johannesburg in 1980 and upon completing his schooling he studied in the UK at the University of Westminster in London where he completed a BA (Hons) degree in Photography and was awarded The David Faddy
Scholarship to continue his studies, gaining a MA degree in Photojournalism. In 2011 he returned to South Africa to continue to conceive and produce photographic projects on a full time basis. He has participated in the Focus on Monferrato Masterclass in Italy and was the recipient of the Ivan Kyncl Memorial Photography Placement.

The book can be purchased from Kalahari here.

 

Congratulations to Graeme Williams who is the winner of the 2013 Ernest Cole Award. His submission ‘in da city’ explores Johannesburg’s inner city. The announcement on the Ernest Cole Award site says:

The study explores Johannesburg’s inner city which has served as a first stop for many new arrivals since its formation as a mining town many years ago, yet is a city that has always been vibrant and is in a constant state of flux. Graeme portrays ‘da city’ in a dreamlike, tourist way as if one were a tourist that is approaching a foreign place with the associated disorientation that comes with this. The body of work is an attempt to avoid a critical observational photojournalistic approach and to rather approach the subject with a softer outsider’s gaze. Williams has a long history of looking critically at issues in South Africa and the continent. He has published and exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad.

Graeme managed South Photographs for a number of years in the 2000′s where I has a lot of interaction with him as we built South’s first online archive. He then turned to focus on his own photographic work. I look forward to seeing the output from this grant.

View Graeme’s website

You might also want to view Eva-Lotta Jansson’s fascinating interview with Graeme about his work on Photography and Democracy.

Youth and police in Tokoza, 1991. PHOTO: Graeme Williams / South Photographs / Africa Media Online

Youth and police in Tokoza, 1991. PHOTO: Graeme Williams / South Photographs / Africa Media Online

 

I have just returned from the beautiful city of Hangzhou in China’s eastern Zhejiang province where I had the privilege of being one of 13 judges at the 9th China International Press Photo Contest.

The Winner of the 9th CHIPP Awards. A Palestinian man kisses the hand of a dead relative in the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Nov. 18, 2012. © Bernat Armangue/AP

The Winner of the 9th CHIPP Awards. A Palestinian man kisses the hand of a dead relative in the morgue of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Nov. 18, 2012. © Bernat Armangue/AP

And what a contest it was! Over 30,000 images from over 3,000 professional photojournalists around the world were entered in to the competition. A preselection was made by Chinese judges and we had 3-and-a-half days to go through over 7,000 images and come up with the winners in 8 categories. Needless to say we worked from early morning to late at night each day coming up with gold, silver, bronze and excellence awards in each category. From all the gold medalists – both the singles and stories – the final day saw us selecting the overall winner of the competition. That honour went to Spanish photographer Bernat Armangue who works for the Associated Press (AP). His was a powerful image of a moment of heartbreak and tenderness in the midst of the brutality of war in Gaza.

The experience of being involved in the judging panel was rich in every way. For me there were a number of points that emerged.

The first was the excellent hospitality of the China Photojournalists Society. It was a culturally rich experience with so many things so different to home – the food, the language, the writing, the transport systems. As fellow judge, Maria Mann, Director of International Relations and Creative Photography at European Pressphoto Agency, said, never in her over 40 years of involvement in the photo industry has she experienced such honour and respect. I would certainly echo that. Never have I experienced so much press attention either.

Chinese press photographers take images of the judging panel at the 9th China International Press Photo Contest. PHOTO: David Larsen/Africa Media Online

Chinese press photographers take images of the judging panel at the 9th China International Press Photo Contest. PHOTO: David Larsen/Africa Media Online

The second was  the privilege of working alongside colleagues from all over the World – China, Argentina, Germany, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, United States, Thailand and India. Spending three and a half days selecting and at times in intense discussion (sometimes disagreement) with such esteemed colleagues proved to be a more significant learning experience than I had anticipated. This was hardly surprising with the likes of Maria Mann, Ruth Eichhorn Director of Photography for Geo Magazine Germany and Ricardo Mazalán photo editor at the Associated Press in Bogotá, Columbia. In spite of the language barrier there as healthy and positive working relationship between Chinese and international judges. This was particularly thanks to the excellent translation done by the competition secretary Huang Wen.

Judging the 9th China International Press Photo (CHIPP) Awards. A panel of 13 judges spend long hours over three-and-a-half days judging the awards. PHOTO: David Larsen/Africa Media Online

Judging the 9th China International Press Photo (CHIPP) Awards. A panel of 13 judges spend long hours over three-and-a-half days judging the awards. PHOTO: David Larsen/Africa Media Online

Thirdly the experience opened my eyes to China. There were so many fascinating stories from all over China and our Chinese colleagues were often able to give in-depth background to the stories that were presented. It was a tour of the issues facing the World’s most populous nation given by five of the most prominent photo editors in the nation. I certainly came away with a far greater appreciation and understanding of China. With so much more influence of China in Africa these days it was an honour to gain this perspective.

Young Workers From The Rural Areas. This is an image from a portrait picture story that won Gold in the People in the News and Portrait (Stories) in CHIPP 2012. Wu Jian, born in 1990, is from Anhui Anqing. He dropped out of junior high school and works in a garment factory in Hangzhou as a iron worker. He has a monthly income of 3,000 yuan. According to the statistics, about 200 million peasant workers in China have moved into cities from the countryside. Of these about 40 million were born after the 1990s. The lives of this generation of workers has not been improved in comparison with their Fathers. PHOTO: Li Zhenyu/Zhejiang Daily, China

Young Workers From The Rural Areas. This is an image from a portrait picture story that won Gold in the People in the News and Portrait (Stories) in CHIPP 2012.
Wu Jian, born in 1990, is from Anhui Anqing. He dropped out of junior high school and works in a garment factory in Hangzhou as a iron worker. He has a monthly income of 3,000 yuan. According to the statistics, about 200 million peasant workers in China have moved into cities from the countryside. Of these about 40 million were born after the 1990s. The lives of this generation of workers has not been improved in comparison with their Fathers. PHOTO: Li Zhenyu/Zhejiang Daily, China

Fourthly the competition itself has great significance. It has significance in encouraging quality photojournalism in China. We have certainly seen that over the last number of years with Chinese photographers claiming more and more awards in World Press Photo. It also has significance in honouring photojournalists all over the world who risk their lives day in and day out to document life and death in all corners of the globe. CHIPP does this by presenting the stories these photographers tell to the World’s most populous country – a massive audience for their work. I was just thinking about the impact that could be made on the illegal trade in rhino horn if a story on this won top honours at CHIPP!

An Ultra Orthodox Wedding. This story was awarded a silver medal in the category of  Daily Life (Stories). Ultra-Orthodox Jewish bride Nechama Paarel Horowitz fulfills the Mitzvah tantz during her traditional Jewish wedding to Chananya Yom Tov Lipa, the great-grandson of the Rabbi of the Wiznitz Hasidic followers, in the Israeli town of Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv, Israel, Early Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. The Mitzvah tantz, has family members and honored rabbis invited to dance in front of the bride, often holding a gartel, and then dancing with the groom. PHOTO: Oded Balilty/Associated Press

An Ultra Orthodox Wedding. This story was awarded a silver medal in the category of
Daily Life (Stories). CHIPP Awards draws entries from all over the World.
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish bride Nechama Paarel Horowitz fulfills the Mitzvah tantz during her traditional Jewish wedding to Chananya Yom Tov Lipa, the great-grandson of the Rabbi of the Wiznitz Hasidic followers, in the Israeli town of Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv, Israel, Early Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. The Mitzvah tantz, has family members and honored rabbis invited to dance in front of the bride, often holding a gartel, and then dancing with the groom. PHOTO: Oded Balilty/Associated Press

Fifthly, being involved in judging the competition opened my eyes to the fact that this is a genuinely international competition with prize money to match. A lot of the winning entries came from the international wire services such the Associated Press, European Pressphoto Agency, Reuters and AFP. I saw very little work by African photographers and there are no African photographers among the winners. I myself was not aware the competition was open to professional photojournalists all over the world. I should imagine that was the situation for most of my fellow African photographers. I trust in the future African representation will grow significantly. The categories I would encourage African photographers to aim for in particular are the “Arts, Culture & Entertainment News” and “Nature & Environment News” categories as the number of entries in these categories is smaller than in other categories and as Africans we can certainly perform in these categories.

This image won Gold in the Nature & Environment News, Singles. A puppy stands by remains of a dog local residents said was its mother, days after it was killed in an area burnt in violence at East Pikesake ward in Kyaukphyu, Myanmar. Picture taken November 6, 2012.  PHOTO: Minzayar/ Reuters

This image won Gold in the Nature & Environment News, Singles.
A puppy stands by remains of a dog local residents said was its mother, days after it was killed in an area burnt in violence at East Pikesake ward in Kyaukphyu, Myanmar. Picture taken November 6, 2012. PHOTO: Minzayar/ Reuters

Private Troupe Dilemma  This picture won the sivler medal in the category of Art, Culture and Entertainment News  (Singles)  Actors of Shaanxi Suide Youth Jin Opera Troupe make up before a performance in Suide county of northwest China's Shaanxi province, August 23, 2012. The Suide Youth Jin Opera Troupe is a private local company, with nearly 40 employees. It has nearly 600 performances every year and its income barely covers its basic expenses. PHOTO: Jin Liangkuai/ Xinhua News Agency

Private Troupe Dilemma
This picture won the sivler medal in the category of Art, Culture and Entertainment News (Singles)
Actors of Shaanxi Suide Youth Jin Opera Troupe make up before a performance in Suide county of northwest China’s Shaanxi province, August 23, 2012. The Suide Youth Jin Opera Troupe is a private local company, with nearly 40 employees. It has nearly 600 performances every year and its income barely covers its basic expenses. PHOTO: Jin Liangkuai/ Xinhua News Agency

 

HURRICANE SANDY - House Dragged into Marshland Bronze Medal, Nature and Environment News (Singles) 9th CHIPP Contest. A house rests after being dragged through marshland in Staten Island, after the New York borough was left devastated by Hurricane Sandy on November 28, 2012. PHOTO: Adrees Latif/ Reuters

HURRICANE SANDY – House Dragged into Marshland
Bronze Medal, Nature and Environment News (Singles) 9th CHIPP Contest.
A house rests after being dragged through marshland in Staten Island, after the New York borough was left devastated by Hurricane Sandy on November 28, 2012.
PHOTO: Adrees Latif/ Reuters

Finally being involved in judging – spending half a week giving long hours of dedicated attention to photojournalistic images from all over the world – brought home to me again the weight and importance of photojournalism for the World today. There is an immediacy of communication that great photojournalism carries with it – more immediate than any other media. It can be a powerful force for change. We often see ourselves and our own circumstance in the pictures and it can galvanize us to action and bring about sustained protest and working for change. Apart from the winning picture by Bernat Armangue one of the most powerful images in the competition for me was this one from Afghanistan by Qais Usyan from AFP. Perhaps it is because South Africa struggles with a culture of rape. The New Age newspaper reported the other day that there are estimated to be over 1 million rapes in our country every year. The fact that there is no father present and the mother and children are having to deal with the crisis alone in this picture is powerfully representative of our circumstance in South Africa. We need such images in our nation to galvanize us to change.

Tragically Qais Usyan, an Afghan himself will never know of his award. He died after a brief illness on February 9, 2013. He was only 25. It is wonderful to be a part of honouring his memory in this way.

Raped Girl  This picture won a Gold Medal, General News (Singles) in the 9th CHIPP Contest The family of a five-year-old Afghan girl who was allegedly raped by a 22-year-old man, looks on as she lies in a hospital bed in Kaldar district of Balk Province of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, on November 12, 2012.  The alleged rapist who was a neighbour was later detained by police.  PHOTO: Qais Usyan / AFP

Raped Girl
This picture won a Gold Medal, General News (Singles) in the 9th CHIPP Contest
The family of a five-year-old Afghan girl who was allegedly raped by a 22-year-old man, looks on as she lies in a hospital bed in Kaldar district of Balk Province of Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, on November 12, 2012.
The alleged rapist who was a neighbour was later detained by police.
PHOTO: Qais Usyan / AFP

If you can read German Ruth Eichhorn of Geo wrote this report.

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It is wonderful to be able to announce that the winner of the World Press Photo Multimedia Award 2012, Elles van Gelder, will be one of the mentors on the two-week multimedia journalism masterclass in April.

ELLESILVYWORK 004

The Introduction to Multimedia Story Telling: The fundamentals of multimedia journalism masterclass is being run at Michaelhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands from April 2-13. Participants will be mentored in the production of short-form multimedia journalism. Each participant will be hands on producing multimedia stories over the two week period and by the end should be able to turn around quality multimedia pieces within two-to-three days feeding print, web, television and radio. The course will be led by Sharron Lovell and Elles van Gelder.

Sharron will be leading the masterclass over the two weeks. Sharron Lovell is multimedia journalist and educator based in Asia. Equipped with a camera and other gadgets she attempts to explore some of the less represented sides of the places she works. She works both individually and collaboratively, focusing on features rather than single images or spot news.

Sharron lectures on the MA International Multimedia Journalism at Beijing Foreign Studies University (in collaboration with the University of Bolton, UK) and has led photographic workshops and training for photographers and journalists in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, as well as multimedia training for the Malaysian Press Institute and UNICEF Bangkok. Sharron is represented by two international photo agencies, Polaris Images (US) and Shoot the Earth (UK) and holds a BA (First Class Honours) degree in Photography, and an MA Degree in Photojournalism & Documentary Photography.

Her work has been published in National Geographic books, PBS, Newsweek, The Guardian, Global Post, Berlinske, Politiken, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist & The Economist’s Intelligent Life,  China File, The Irish Times, Forbes, The Independent, Grazia, Ms. Magazine, Adbusters, Le Monde and The Financial Times as well as UNICEF UK.

Multimedia Story Telling Masterclass

Elles van Gelder will be supporting Sharron in the second half of the masterclass. She is a Dutch multimedia journalist based in Johannesburg. She moved to South Africa in 2007 to work on projects and assignments in sub-Saharan Africa as a writer, radio journalist, and videographer. Elles works as a freelancer and mainly focuses on features and has a love for long-term projects. 
While using her journalism skills individually, she also believes in merging the different ways you can tell stories in combining video, stills and audio.

As a videographer she made the multimedia film Afrikaner Blood together with photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien, for which they won the World Press Photo Multimedia Award 2012, a Picture of the Year International Award (POYI) in the category Issue Reporting Multimedia and the Lumix Multimedia Award 2012.

Elles’ work has been published in many international publications, including Time Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine (UK), Mail & Guardian (South Africa), Le Figaro (France), L’Espresso (Italy) and National Geographic (The Netherlands).

There are just 12 places for participants in the masterclass. While the cost of the course is not inconsequential, for working photographers the ability to earn out of every story up to three times what they currently earn, means the investment is made back within months. For photography and journalism lecturers and for news organisations in South Africa it also makes perfect sense as an institutional investment. Bookings for this masterclass close next week Friday March 22, 2013.

For more information…

Multimedia Storytelling Full Course Outline

Shutha Digital Campus (multimedia) 2013 Booking Form

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