Varauksella reportaasi. Laitan alalaitaan kirjoittamani pitkät perustelut, eli ne voi lukea jos kiinnostaa ja skipata jos ei kiinnosta. Reporyhmään tuli viisi hlöä, dokuryhmään 11. Meidän opettajallamme on siis ainakin enemmän aikaa per oppilas.

Huomenna alkaa hassu sivuainekurssi, Do It Yourself Electronics. Kurssin teemat:

  • Physical Computing
  • Art of Hacking
  • Sensitive Responsive Technology
  • Networks
  • RFID Chips
  • Robotics: stuff that moves

Kuulostaa suoraansanottuna ihan sikahauskalta. Kun vain jaksu riittäisi näiden kaikkien hommien ja projektien kanssa. Lisäksi hankin baantjen eli pikkuisen duunin. Tai oikeastaan sellaista tarjottiin. Koulu kun tietää, että en saa yli-ikäisyyden takia opintotukia, niin päätti tarjota minulle pientä hommaa. Databasejuttuja ja pientä säätämistä 15 euron tuntipalkalla, muutama tunti viikossa. Voi tehdä kotoa. Hyvä diili!

No tässä repodokupohdintaa sitten. Ja tiedoksi, että kyllä siellä Hesarin kuukausiliitteessä useimmiten on reportaasisarjoja. Dokumentaarikuvaajien työt ovat useammin kirjoissa ja gallerioissa, reportaasikuvaajien lehdissä ja kirjoissa. Mutta overlappia on paljon (ja minä niin väsynyt, että kirjoitan sekakieltä, of zoiets).

Kolme projekti-ideaakin jo on, plus muutama idea erikseen myöhemmille ajoille, mutta niistä enemmän tuonnempana...


Reasons for choosing Reportage

I cannot say that the choice for Reportage over Documentary is easy or completely clear for me, and in the future I naturally hope to be able to do both. But for this project, at this point in my studies, I choose reportage for the following reasons.

Practical reason is that I still have a lot to learn about the work process of reportage. I'm hoping to possibly be able to work in the media (magazines) field during my internship next year and for that I need more experience with the reportage work process.

My work has been characterized emotional or intimate and close to the subject by both myself and also by my comrades in class. Even though it seems that there are many different specifications for what makes photographic work documentary or what makes it reportage, I think these things are more in the reportage realm while documentary is perhaps more distanced. In some assignments I have been able to take a step back and distance myself, but mostly for me the interesting thing is to be close to the subject, engage the subject, and tell the story about them and show their point of view. With the emphasis on “their”.

When I think of what interests me most in photography, I think of telling a story. A story of ordinary life, perhaps, a person, a family, a group of people living their lives. A personal story, for which I am the observer and the means to bring the story to the others. And since I am a maker of images, I bring that story to the others via photography (although I've been known to dabble in writing as well). Someone, might have been William Stott, said that documentary photography always has an agenda, an axe to grind. At this point I want to tell someone else's story via photography more than to grind my own axes through it.

On the other hand, in their article written for the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, photographers Antonin Kratochvil and Michael Persson write that “There is a division in photo reportage. There is photojournalism and there are photo documentaries: Identical mediums, but conveying very different messages. Documentary photographers reveal the infinite number of situations, actions and results over a period of time. In short, they reveal life. Life isn’t a moment. It isn’t a single situation, since one situation is followed by another and another. Which one is life?”

In their terminology, reportage is clearly the common term, divided into documentary and journalism. Journalism, for them, is about moments. Documentary is about life. If documentary is the one telling stories of “life”, it should clearly be my choice. But we are not using their terminology, and perhaps by reading further I will only confuse myself?

One way to look at the difference is to consider the conceptual process. A documentary photographer already knows what she is aiming at, has an image - if not formally and visually, then anyhow contentually and conceptually - in her mind when she goes to meet her subjects and to create her photographs. A reportage photographer, however, goes to observe and to find the images which fit her story through investigation and observation. The process, for the reportage photographer, is more reactive and less self-driven.

I do think that reportage photography and documentary photography overlap a lot. What do you call a long series of 10 photos taken during 1.5 years in a dying industrial town? Because of its work process and timeline, it sounds like documentary photography. But what if it is published only in a monthly magazine, and accompanied by a news story about globalization and its effects? Would it then be reportage? From what I have been able to gather from reading and hearing other people make the distinction, it could be either-or. Or both.

So finally I will now go back to my practical reason. I would like to choose reportage, because I am trying to catch an internship position in the magazine media. For that, reportage photography experience is