iPhone war photos: photojournalism or photography?

by

Damon Winter/The New York Times

Damon Winter’s ‘A Grunt’s Life‘, a photo essay capturing the daily life of US troops in an Afghanistan war zone with the use of the photographer’s iPhone, has won recent praise and an international photojournalism award. It has also stirred up some surprising controversy. The flap is not over the content — standard
photojournalism — or Winter’s use of an iPhone — also not unusual for photojournalists.  Rather, journalists and photojournalists are questioning whether Winter’s ‘fauxlaroids’ are telling the ‘truth. Winter relied on the iPhone app Hipstamatic which applies visual filters resulting in color-shifting and some distortion to create a moody atmosphere. For more on this debate about authenticity and photojournalism, go here, here and here.

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