By Jim Colton
The current state of photojournalism has often been described as a Digital Revolution. I prefer to describe it without the letter “r.” To me, we are experiencing a Digital Evolution. Our industry is constantly changing and those who are grasping on to the ghosts of the past will only lose out on the fruits of the future.
Over ten years ago, we transited from analog to digital photography and it rocked our world, even though there were many who resisted that change. Perhaps the same could have been said when color photography was first introduced and Black & White purists shunned the idea that we existed in a world of living color.
Today, we have an internet canvas that is being painted with digital brushes of all kinds. Supplementing the print form of newspapers and magazines are web sites and apps with a voracious appetite for images.
One artist who has deftly used his digital brush to paint his world is Ben Lowy. Lowy has been an ardent supporter and user of the iPhone for journalistic as well as artistic purposes since its inception.
His travels have taken him to the war-torn countries of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. He has covered domestic stories like Hurricane Sandy (His Instagram photo of a storm churned wave was used as the cover of Time magazine) and the BP Deep Horizon oil spill in the Gulf. And in all of those places his iPhone was always included in his camera bag’s arsenal. His work has been awarded every major photography prize from organizations such as World Press Photo to the International Center of Photography where he was presented with the Infinity Award for Photojournalism in 2012. He has even had an appearance on the Daily Show with John Stewart!
I have had the pleasure of conducting workshops with Ben and in addition to being a very passionate and talented photojournalist; he’s also a fascinating and often hilarious human being. This week, Lowy discusses several new projects including “Being a dad,” and everything from drawing cadavers in a St. Louis morgue to walking over bodies in Libya…all while using every tool available to him, including the iPhone.
Read the interview here: https://nppa.org/page/ben-lowy-embracing-change