New Lincoln Photo

Some of you may have seen the news that a “new” photo of President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg was found. Now, the New York Times has a column about the photo and it asks some questions we, as photojournalists, should be thinking about.

In class this week we talked about the differences between “general news” photographs and “documentary” photographs. How one shows the here-and-now and the other deals more with time and space, with the era in which it was created. I particularly like how the writer, Verlyn Klinkenborg, wraps it up:

And this is somehow the inherent bias of the camera. It always directs us toward the center of attention, never away to the periphery, even though that is where our attention eventually wanders.

Mark E. Johnson

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