Over the past few weeks, the necessity and power of photojournalism to dig a little deeper as been widely covered. 

The photojournalism community was rocked with a massive 20% of images withdrawn from the final round of judging of World Press Photo. The Photo of The Year award was revoked from Giovanni Troilo for misrepresentation and Tim Matsui questioned the relevance of his Documentary of the Year award, saying “A documentary project about social issues is worth nothing if it doesn’t improve the lives of its subjects.” 

Head On Judge James Estrin’s profile of Shehab Uddin reconfirms this position, criticising a growing trend in photojournalism to simply generate ‘reaction’.  Uddin lived with his subjects whilst shooting them, worked with them to select the images exhibited and then exhibited the show in their neighbourhoods. He believes this took his work out of the abstract, rejecting the desire t‘to photograph (situations) in a dramatic way that could give me good mileage”

The importance of veracity in photojournalism and the power of photography to give voice to the voiceless are certainly important messages at all times. As we finalise our own program for 2015 and digest the wealth of extraordinary photography submitted to the Head On Awards, it served as a great reminder of our own values and an important measure of the quality of work we exhibit. 

Dig a little deeper into the issues through these fascinating articles:

Tim Matsui: https://medium.com/vantage/i-just-won-a-world-press-photo-award-and-a-poyi-but-i-m-not-celebrating-b662ed8c5e8f

James Estrin: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com//2015/02/24/an-embedded-photographer-empowers-the-poor/


Image Credit: Shehab Uddin, Sourced from The New York Times

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 are open now. $80,000 prize pool including finalists exhibition.

Image detail: Gary Ramage