New York Times Launches Photojournalism Blog

By Beacon Staff

The New York Times launched its new blog, Lens last week and they’re going big. Not just big photos, but also big intentions.

The New York Times introduces Lens, a photojournalism blog that intends to present some of the most interesting visual and multimedia reporting: in photographs, videos, audio slide shows and any other medium that fits — our format.


In time, we hope it will also become the center of a community of readers who are not just interested in photojournalism — in the broadest sense of visually chronicling the world around us — but actively involved in some way or other, whether professionally or informally. You can expect us to ask you for your photos on some topical subject or theme.

There is already plenty to look at. From the slide show on Bob Marley by David Burnett, the intriguing essay “What Has Four Legs and Follows Me?” by Todd Heisler about how he has been stalked by plastic chairs to a great short video “A Photo Op, More Like a Photo Hop” by Stephen Crowley in which we see a (well-edited) mad rush of photogs dashing into the oval office – I am already a Lens addict.

And unlike many photoblogs out there, the text is inspirational as well. Here’s what Stephen Crowley said about his “Photo Op:”

The “pool,” a White House staffer once told me, is a “thing.” If the thing is sitting in the briefing room for hours or in vans outside a restaurant, it doesn’t matter. It’s a thing, like the Secret Service or the Truman balcony. Give the thing a picture or two each day, preferably scripted. If the president is meeting with a head of state, the pool is part of the ceremony.

When a photo-op is scheduled, the photographers, camera operators and reporters gather in the colonnade outside the Oval Office and wait — sometimes it can be as long as an hour — shuffling feet and making nervous small talk until the flutter of the fingers of the young staffer who calls, “Pool.”

The meeting is ended, the serious discussion dispatched and now the closing ceremony. Into the Oval Office comes the pool; like a miniature car with dozens of clowns pouring out of it. Double-stepping, anxious — a quick look around to see if the secretary of state is standing in the corner. Focus, snap, check focus, snap again. The visitor stares in amazement and emits a small laugh, and must think, “All this for me?”

The president might make a remark to the photographers. (”I hope at least one of these work,” Mr. Obama said.) The young staff members shake their heads, tsk-tsk at the sloppiness of the whole affair and seven seconds later, amid the cacophony of clicking cameras, begin chanting, “Thank you, pool.”

Exit on the left.

Now go watch the video (here).
Lens homepage here.

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