As part of the NOOR-Nikon Masterclass for Documentary Photography, Jon Lowenstein gave a public presentation at SALT Galata on Wednesday night. About 70 people from the wider photography community in Istanbul attended. Jon showed and talked about his long-term ongoing project on Chicago’s South Side, including his short film “A Violent Thread”. He touched upon how local communities and their problems are representative of bigger social issues on a larger scale. Jon also expanded how he uses photography to engage with the community and how he collaborates with the people from his own neighbourhood.
The next morning, Kursat Bayhan, one of the participants from Turkey, presented a project that his newspaper Zaman initiated, called “Time in Turkey”. This gave the group a good example of how a newspaper in the region understands the importance of photo features.
The group continued with a long debate about ethics in photojournalism, led by Benedicte Kurzen. She stressed that in every step that we are taking as photojournalists, from getting ideas to having your images published, mistakes can be made. The group discussed issues to do with setting up, preserving the identity of the people that you photograph and work with, privacy laws, the importance of caption writing, post-production, altering content and misuse of images by clients when they are taken out of context. Integrity, being transparent, being able to stand for what you are doing as a photographer, and taking responsibility are key in this process.
“It is good that we are bringing up these examples of ethical misbehavior, since it is happening all the time in this industry and it jeopardizes our credibility,” said Stanley Greene. “We need to be responsible because the public trusts us and we have to make them trust us.”
Images by Frank Zuidweg.