i think i have a new hero. funny how this is the third time this week i am using that term.
i’ve always admired the works of photojournalists. actually, i’ve always admired the fact that they get to do what they do. telling a story through pictures may sound easier than writing, but that is far from the truth. imagine trying to capture the essence of a scene rapidly unfolding while thinking about composing the picture and adjusting the camera. harder still – getting the main editorial shot that has to succinctly represent the vast expanse of a place, its people and their story.
there are not many photojournalists in the industry who have accomplished what ed kashi has. his works span continents and issues, from domestic ones like ‘aging in america’ to the coverage of the ‘niger delta slaughter’ on the international stage. viewing his pictures, one notices the technical perfection in lighting and composition. what really jumps out at the viewer though, is a vividness that arises out of the vibrant colours captured as well as the candidness of the shots. with these, the viewer is drawn into the scene, forging a metaphysical connection between him/her and the subject.
when questioned about the power of his photographs in an interview, kashi was dismissive of the suggestion that his pictures will bring about massive change. he sees his role as the giver of voice to those who are left uncovered by the mainstream media. he has no qualms about profiling dictators or radicals, even if he doesn’t agree with them on a socio-moral level. he sees people for what they are – human beings with histories and stories to tell. and those are the stories he wants to tell.
ed kashi = an inspiration as aspiring photojournalists. to view his works, click here. (a word of caution – some of the pictures are visually disturbing.)
for more posts on photography, click here.