When news broke of the violent earthquake that shook Haiti in January 2010, hundreds of press photographers from around the world packed their gear and made their way to the devastated Caribbean island. For the most part, they were all chasing the same thing: that defining image that captures the imagination and makes its way to the front pages of newspapers and websites.
The job’s harsh working conditions are often not the biggest challenge facing the modern photojournalist. This is an intensely competitive business and getting a good price for a great picture is frequently the biggest obstacle. Under this kind of pressure, the temptation to take a short cut can be very alluring. In this age of Photoshop and digital technology, it only takes a few key strokes to artificially transform an image from ordinary to extraordinary.
Digital ethics are among the key topics at this year’s “Visa pour l’Image” International festival of photojournalism in the southern French town of Perpignan, by the Mediterranean. The festival runs from August 28 until September 12 and brings together some of the best photojournalists in the world to display and discuss their work. Renowned photographers Robert Schmitt, Corentin Fohlen and Olivier Laban-Mattei are among those who are exhibiting their work in Perpignan.
Among the key world events on display at this year’s festival include exhibits on the
Haitian earthquake, the “red shirt" rebellion in Bangkok, Thailand and a photo essay featuring the lives of U.S. combat soliders who fought in Iraq.
The festival also goes beyond the headline-grabbing global news events to explore far less prominent social phenomena that range from the consequences of selective abortion in India and Mormon polygamy in the United States to a journey down the Congo river in Africa.
More information about the festival and its various exhibits are available on the “Visa pour l’Image” website at www.visapourlimage.com.