Photography as a profession is in changing times, with the rise of cheap photography technology breaking down the barriers between professional and amateur. Nowhere is this felt harder than in the news industry, where media companies with dwindling profit margins are desperate to cut costs.
Anyone who has spent time with a true photojournalist, however, knows how much skill and passion it takes to be a professional in the field, and anyone who works in media or design knows how much difference there is between a mediocre photograph and a great one.
To publicize just how important photography is, French newspaper Libération yesterday decided to publish an entire issue sans photographs — the first time they had done so since it was founded in 1973. Here’s how they justified it:
Libération vows an eternal gratitude to photography, whether produced by photojournalists, fashion photographers, portraitists, or conceptual artists. Our passion for photography has never been questioned – not because it’s used to beautify, shock or illustrate, but because photography takes the pulse of our world.
Interestingly, this is the second time this sort of thing has happened recently — Following the Russian detention of a photographer aboard a Greenpeace protest ship in late September, a number of Russian news websites changed all their pictures to black squares in protest.
These strangely beautiful photographs of the Libération edition without photographs are published courtesy of Olivier Laurent, the Acting Deputy Editor of the British Journal of Photography. And yes, it may sound strange to say that images of a newspaper without photographs are beautiful, but remember this — these images were taken by a skilled photographer.
These pages, included at the end of the newspaper, show what photographs had been removed:
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