Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – 7 February, 2020

This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – the 10th annual Women’s show at Magnet Galleries, Melbourne, plus a review of Dr. Lauren Walsh’s exceptional book, Conversation…

For those of us who work in journalism the myth of the cavalier photojournalist who rushes toward conflict with zeal is well established. Robert Capa’s famous comment about photographers needing to get close to the action in order to capture the best picture is part of industry folklore. Don McCullin has spoken about the adrenalin rush of going to war, likening it to drug addiction. Tim Page’s antics during the Vietnam War have been immortalised in pop culture, Dennis Hopper’s character in the movie Apocalypse Now modelled on the British photographer. Yet while there are those who are lauded as celebrities, the vast majority of conflict photojournalists work in the background, committing themselves to covering some of the world’s darkest moments, to bearing witness to history, largely invisible to the outside world. Glory and money do not motivate them. In fact, these days it is more difficult to make ends meet than ever before. So what drives an individual to the frontline or to document the depths of human misery?

The photographer documenting war with a cell phone

An early adopter of mobile technology, Benjamin Lowy was the first person to have a cell phone photo make the front page of a major magazine. He has since taken this fresh approach to the front lines in Iraq and Libya.

People don't like to be confronted with something outside of their everyday little world.

Eyewitness To History

In conversation with Benjamin Lowy

When I first started photography, I carried a ton of cameras and I wanted everyone to know that I was a photographer. Now I just want the smallest camera and I want everyone to think I’m just another tourist. I don’t want to stand out, I don’t want any attention. I don’t need anyone to know that I’m a photographer. I make better images if I just blend into the background. So using smaller equipment helps me blend in better

Kathy Ryan, Kira Pollack, and Benjamin Lowy Discuss Their Use of Instagram

Ryan and Pollack began by speaking about different ways in which their publications have used smartphone images in the last few years. For a 2010 New York Times Magazine cover story about twentysomethings, Ryan said, she commissioned smartphone images because she felt they fit the subject matter. “We never had any objections…we see it as one more way of making pictures,” she said.

Benjamin Lowy: War Photographer

The photographer Benjamin Lowy was recently awarded the Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography for his book “Iraq …

The photographer Benjamin Lowy was recently awarded the Duke Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography for his book “Iraq | Perspectives.” The book documents Lowy’s time covering the war in Iraq and reveals the U.S. soldiers’ experiences as seen through their night-vision scopes and their armored Humvee windows. Recently Lowy sat down with me to talk about both his book and his life as a conflict photographer. Here’s a selection of his photographs and what he had to say.

Interview with Benjamin Lowy @ NYPH’11

This work is from the ongoing project, ‘Serenity’, in which he writes, ‘In the early spring of 2008 Aimee and her husband Jeff decided they were fed up.  They wanted to free themselves from the constraints of the mundane, routine everyday lifestyle in urban America that so many have become conditioned to call normal

Haiti by VII

Haiti has always been a land of beauty and pain, of light and darkness. When a catastrophic earthquake hit the island on Tuesday, January 12th, the world was shaken by the magnitude of the destruction and human suffering. In this story for VII The Magazine, photographers James Nachtwey, Ron Haviv, Lynsey Addario and Benjamin Lowy provide a heart-wrenching look at this disaster and its aftermath.

Worth a Look: Benjamin Lowy’s “The Afghan High” | dvafoto

I’m usually wary of photo essays about poverty and drugs. Eugene Richards has unleashed a torrent of imitators, and the results are often voyeuristic and exploitative–unless there’s an underlying story, photos of depraved debasement do little more than serve as a vehicle for gawking at the unmentionables, grotesques without empathy. Benjamin Lowy’s “The Afghan High” does the opposite.

Benjamin Lowy: Iraq | Perspectives


PDN Photo of the Day:

Here are 14 photographs from Benjamin Lowy’s ongoing Iraq | Perspectives project which he began in 2005. Shot from the confines of a Humvee, Lowy creates a tableau vivant of life in Iraq offering a glimpse into the bleakness and desolation of a country ravaged by war.

Interview: BEN LOWY


Benjamin Lowy received a BA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002 and began his career covering the Iraq War in 2003. Since then he has covered major stories in Afghanistan, Darfur, Haiti, Indonesia, and Libya among others. In 2004 Lowy attended the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass and was nominated for the ICP Infinity Award. He was named in Photo District News 30 and his images of Iraq were chosen by PDN as some of the most iconic of the 21st century. Lowy has received awards from World Press Photo, POYi, PDN, Communication Arts, American Photography, and the Society for Publication Design. Benjamin’s work from Iraq and Darfur have been collected into several gallery and museum shows, and his work from Darfur appeared in the SAVE DARFUR media campaign. In 2008 Benjamin joined the VII Network.

Check it out here.