Here’s a sample of Giulio Saggin’s new book we have published today:
Giulio Saggin began his career as a news photographer in 1989, at a time when newspapers had photographic departments with photographers, both staff and freelance.
In the ensuing years the media modernised but photographers always had their place.
The onset of the digital age changed all this and the media world is being transformed at what seems to be an exponential rate.
While there might be several million photographers around the world, there are several billion citizens with digital cameras and smart phones on hand to capture news as it happens.
This has resulted in an explosion in citizen photographers, where anyone can lay claim to being a photographer, and whose photos are largely free, or inexpensive, for media outlets to use.
Included in the several billion are journalists who, at the very least, have a mobile device with a camera. In an ever-expanding media market, the economics of one journalist with a camera has dictated they take on the role of photographer as part of their reporting duties.
The phenomenal rise in citizen journalism (photography) and journalists with cameras has had a detrimental effect on photographic departments and photographers around the world.
Many media outlets have chosen to do away with photographic staff and arm their journalists – many of whom side with the photographers – with cameras or smart phones and given them the task of taking ‘photos’ with minimal training at best.
As a result, the vast majority of images produced have been inferior to those produced by trained photographers (who study their art at college for at least 2-3 years, or the equivalent on-the-job training for older ‘pre-college’ photographers).
In most cases the journalists taking photos don’t have anyone to tell them right from wrong, so they have little or no idea if what they are doing is correct or otherwise. They have no way of learning. Photography is a discipline and a lack of discipline in any facet of life leads to chaos.
Visual stories are as complex as their written counterparts. Giving someone a camera/smart phone doesn’t make them a photographer, just as giving someone a laptop doesn’t make them a journalist.
It’s hard to say what the future will bring but it appears one thing is certain. If media outlets are going to want their journalists both to write and take photos, those with skills in both areas will be the ones getting the jobs.
While journalists are being made to take photos, photographers wanting to work in the media will have to learn to write.
The future may well see the traditional roles of journalists and photographers meld into the one term – photo-journalist.
It’s a term that has been in use for decades by those who already write and take photos, and many photographers because of their visual story-telling skills.
If the current trend is any guide, the term will become the ‘norm’ in the not-too-distant future.
Went to see The Water Diviner yesterday and came away feeling greatly inspired. Had an idea this would be so, as we’re big fans of Crowe’s acting. Turns out he can direct masterfully too. See it … and in a nice touch, we understand US audiences will get their first taste on Anzac Day 2015.
Our friend and client Dr Leonie Ryder has just launched her major new book Ginger in Australian Food and Medicine through the Melbourne imprint Australian Scholarly Publishing ($39.95, paperback).
The book cover says it all: “This book traces the history of ginger, one of the oldest, most popular and versatile of spices, focusing on ginger growing and the use of ginger in Australian food and medicine from 1788 to the mid-20th century. The story is set in the context of ginger’s long history in China and India, ancient Greece and Rome, and Britain. Ginger was grown in the first garden in Sydney in 1788. As settlements were established further north, the spice thrived, and large quantities were also imported to meet ever-increasing demand. Including recipes and historical anecdotes with detail from specialist sources, Ginger in Australian Food and Medicine is for a wide readership.”
Strictly Literary is very proud to represent Dr Ryder. I met Leonie in 2010 when she was finishing work on the book and tracking down evidence that ginger was imported to Australia with the First Fleet in 1788.
She is one of those rare individuals to hold not one but two Doctorates — one in Aviation Psychology and one in Food History: that’s a major achievement! She is also an accomplished artist, as the sketches in this delightful volume demonstrate.
Brisbane shoppers can meet Leonie at Riverbend Books on Wednesday May 7 at 6pm (193 Oxford Street, Bulimba). More details here.
Cooks, historians and health fans will find much to love in Ginger, including recipes. You can order one here or in discerning bookshops.