A poignant relationship to the world as a whole


General Photography

I found a very interesting thought about photojournalism in a short essay written by Daido Moriyama, which can be found in Setting Sun - Writings by Japanese Photographers. Thinking about why Horst Faas and Michel Laurent’s photographs from Bangladesh don’t take him “anywhere beyond the scenes they depict,” Moriyama writes “Perhaps it’s this: Perhaps the cameramen lost themselves in the Bangladesh photographs and became an intrinsic part of the recording device, so that the only effect that the photographs could have was illustrations of the misery of war. Photographs such as those by [Robert] Capa and [William] Klein, on the other hand, contain the living pulse of the human being behind the camera. The former is nothing more than a journalistic photograph of an atrocity, while the latter is a framed portion of the world that bears a poignant relationship to the world as a whole.” (p. 36, emphases in the original) I can’t help but think that in this short passage Moriyama captured the essence of the problem.