Despite its traditional objective vocation, today documentary photography needs a high dosage of creativity to remain relevant. An honest and objective documentary image merely captures attention anymore; most of the time its record vanishes in the readers mind as soon as they turn the page.
We are floating in an endless flow of visual information. The flow has become an ocean deepened with the coming of TV, satellite and Internet; this immense exposure has immunised its viewers. Is photography still an adequate tool to depict these times? What's its place among other newer media? How can it be more effective than such powerful competitors? What does photography have that makes it irreplaceable?
A photograph can express a visual statement, sparkle a flash of light in darkness, casting a link to other images floating in the big sea. A still picture, as opposed to a motion picture, gives us the time for some mental work/out. It can question our opinions, provoking us to keep our reality/check mode in the on position.
To resist the current that drags images into oblivion, documentary photography needs to anchor on the weight of a personal vision. Databases are already better than humans in collecting RAW data. Nowadays reality doesn't need to just be documented, it needs to be represented.
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