Thursday, March 1, 2012

An Eye-Opening Day at the Nat. Geo. Society

As a result of attending the WHPA judging over the weekend, I now have a new-found respect for the craft that is photojournalism. Prior to this event, I never went out of my way to explore into this field, confining myself to the world of pen and paper only (or, more appropriately, keyboard and MS Word). But the event turned out to be a real eye-opener, revealing just how intricate the thought process is behind using photography to report the news. I got a taste of this artistry from Friday's lecture, and so entered the National Geographic Society expecting impressive work-- and I wasn't disappointed. As the judges skipped quickly through the slideshows of photographs from various stories, I found each to be moving in their own respect. Some moved me to feel sorrow and empathy, others moved me to feel rage and indignation, and still others moved me to feel glee and happiness. The evocative nature these images carried speaks to just how well their photographers were at doing their jobs. In its truest form, photojournalism entails so much more than a simple point-and-click. Anyone can wield a camera, but it takes something more to capture a single moment that visually displays exactly what was going at the time. Photojournalists must capture the feeling of a scene in addition to just its physical appearance, and each of the photos displayed at the WHPA judging did that with stunning evocation. I hardly bothered to concern myself with the the judges' favorites, because to me, each photo carried meaning beyond a gold, silver, or bronze medal. From this entire experience, I can say I've at least got my feet wet with respects to what it means to be a photojournalist. If one lecture and a single WHPA event can enlighten me so much about the power of photography in the news business, I can only imagine what is to come as I advance further into this branch of reporting. I look forward to the insight, as well as the memories I will see captured in future. On a side note, however, I will most certainly be taking the Metro into D.C. next time I visit there-- parking was hell, to put it lightly.

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