I do my best thinking, dreaming and creating while riding my bike along the levee roads in Sacramento. This winter has been long and rides have been few (spin class is good but it’s not the same) so the idea of an issue grounded in the philosophy and vision of black and white photography was born during a ride back in September. But I always ask close friends about ideas hatched during an endorphin rush.
“Am I crazy? Is black and white photography vibrant today for different reasons than it was decades ago or for the same reasons?” And then the film “Roma” was released. It seemed like a question worth exploring – so here we are.
Some of the best moments I experience as editor of News Photographer magazine is when people say “Yes, I can do that.”
Photojournalist Dave LaBelle said yes when I asked if he would write about black and white photography. His perspective is of the best kind: deeply grounded in experience that looks back, yet also looks forward, which is a reflection of Dave.
Maggie Steber and Matt Black said yes to a collaboration. I have known Matt for years and his work never ceases to amaze me. Maggie’s comments on Matt’s Instagram posts revealed that we felt similarly. If you have seen the work of these accomplished photographers, you know it reflects their hearts. So I asked if they would be willing to have a conversation about Matt’s “Geography of Poverty” project. Despite their full schedules, they said yes.
Jonathan Carroll’s pictures kept popping up on my radar. I felt that was a sign. Ross Taylor loves his work. They both said yes.
Last fall, two photography books from the archives of the Louisville Courier-Journal surfaced that are predominantly black and white. Stephen Wolgast said yes to reviewing these books that preserve an incredible collection of historical images from one of the finest photo staffs in newspaper history.
Introducing Eric Maierson and Julie Elman to one another seemed like a no-brainer. Would they like to collaborate on an illustration about the creative process? I hope you enjoy their results. What they produced is suitable for
framing – and suitable for the classroom of life.
The story “Broken” by independent photojournalist Erik Castro is a lesson in navigating a personal project no matter the challenges. He was determined and kept telling himself that, yes, the story of Michelle and Steve had to be told.
I am also saying yes in response to indirect criticism about the lack of content reflecting our broadcast and video brethren. I hear you. But I need your help and Katie Schoolov’s voluntary assist represents that spirit.
Katie, a producer for CNBC Digital in San Francisco, volunteered to write about the News Video Workshop and Joe Mahoney contributed his photography. Katie’s knowledge, enthusiasm and connections have already helped develop a feature “30FPS” – aptly named by Mike Schuh, a storyteller at WJZ-Television News in Baltimore, who said yes to writing the first profile that will appear in the July/August issue.
It has been a challenge to visually represent video storytelling in a print publication (The Daily Prophet anyone?). But with 4K video being the norm, we can publish this work in print and be mindful of the stories about video and broadcast photojournalists. Do you have a story to tell or an issue to write about? Please contact me.
My vision for the magazine is strong visual impact with timeless, thoughtful and meaningful stories that resonate across the chosen tools and platforms. Held in the hands of a student or in the hands of a retiree, the content should reflect the work being done, the work from the past and the work that is yet to be accomplished.
Sue Morrow is the editor of News Photographer magazine. She can be reached at [email protected].
Note: the May/June issue of NP will be the 2019 Best of Photojournalism results, which will showcase the first place awards (all of the results can be found on nppa.org).