Thursday, 30 June 2011

POV: Photo Assignment RAW FILE

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved
Through Twitter, I've noticed a post by RAW FILE, Wired magazine's blog, which is starting a new series of posts called Assignment Wired, where the magazine will hand out photo assignments to its readers, and then eventually choose some submissions to publish and critique.

WIRED's expertise and interest is in reportage and photojournalism, and it expects its participating readers to get quotes, do some writing, do some research and take emotive photos.
"We want gritty, real and human stories. We want to throw you into new situations and give you a chance to sink or swim."
It actually just launched its first assignment, and it's to feature the corner store where the participating photographer buys his/her daily Coke, milk, doughnuts...whatever. It wants the story of this local corner store through photos and reporting. The assignment "sheet" lists the skills required for such a project, and there's a deadline of July 7th.

I think the experiment (as they call it) is a damn good idea! It will provide an impetus to budding photojournalists (and others) to go out there and actually work on a local project. As it says, it's hardly sexy or glamorous, but it's an interesting project that will teach basic photojournalism skills to those interested. I only wish they included audio recordings, and even expand it to short audio-slideshows...but perhaps that will come in time.

As always, comments from naysayers, cynics and skeptics have come in fast and furious....some accusing WIRED magazine of using this experiment to get work for free. To those, I say you don't have to participate...or participate and don't send in your material. Just take the time to learn something new...or refresh your skills, and if you do a good job, you might get a critique from the magazine. It will surely be worth it.