THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS | A PRO PHOTO & VIDEO BLOG

Tim Hetherington on Subjectivity in Photojournalism

Posted in Photography by Nathan Lee Bush on February 16, 2011

Oscar-nominated filmmaker (Restrepo) and award-winning photojournalist Tim Hetherington sat down with us in December for a wide-ranging interview about his work and what it means to be an image maker today. Here he speaks about the need for photographers to open up their conception of photography to include other media (transmedia), if they are interested in gaining a wider audience. The transcript is below.

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Is the weight outside the photographer or inside the photographer? Not applying a good or bad, but just an idea. So, journalism is often weighted to what is outside of yourself. Art is a more subjective process. Those also relate to subjectivity and objectivity, but all journalists should realize that true objectivity is impossible. And therefore, what I’m always looking at in my work is this relationship between subjectivity and objectivity.

For me, the work is a mixture of the two, but it’s slightly weighted to what is outside myself. I put the weight on that thing because we all share this planet, and that we have to work out strategies… I need work out strategies to communicate to you. Because I share this planet with you, and it’s important that we don’t just look at the world through a subjective, nihilistic lens. That we try to look at the world through a kind of objective lens, because we have to share it.

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  1. […] build an wider audience than photojournalists usually enjoy, and he explains the boundary between subjectivity and objectivity in photojournalism; Jacqueline Allen shows a very cool feature on certain of our Phase backs, which allows you to […]

  2. […] had unverbalized, but incredibly lofty ambitions. He may have hinted at it during our discussion on subjectivity and objectivity in photojournalism: “I need work out strategies to communicate to you. Because I share this planet with you, and […]


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