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Is Photojournalism Art?

Gale Curcio
By Gale Curcio
Posted on Aug 18,2010
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,
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Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara<br /> <br />Alexandria's Vice Mayor Kerry Donley welcomes and thanks the 2010 Legends as Steve Wharton looks on. Wharton is immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Alexandria and a member of the Living Legends Board of Directors.
Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara
Alexandria's Vice Mayor Kerry Donley welcomes and thanks the 2010 Legends
as Steve Wharton looks on. Wharton is immediate past president of the Rotary
Club of Alexandria and a member of the Living Legends Board of Directors.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - With the passing of time and the issuance of history books which feature their bodies of work, are photojournalists more artists than journalists?
 
Last week, a few experts addressed this question. On Thursday, Living Legend curator and renowned Old Town photographer Nina Tisara hosted the "Art of Photojournalism," an interactive discussion between the audience and panelists Abby Sternberg, John W. Hiller, Mary Anne Weber and Kathryn Brown.

Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara<br /> <br />Panelists Abby Sternberg, Nina Tisara, John Hiller, Mary Anne Weber and Kathryn Brown participated in ‘The Art of Photojournalism’ at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery.
Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara
Panelists Abby Sternberg, Nina Tisara, John Hiller,
Mary Anne Weber and Kathryn Brown participated
in ‘The Art of Photojournalism’ at the Del Ray
Artisans Gallery.

This event was prompted by the question, "Is photojournalism an art?" The panelists all concurred that it was, but gave different perspectives on the subject.
 
Hiller, a staff cinematographer for 43 years at the Smithsonian, spoke about how the first photojournalist covered the Russian/Turkish War, and remarked: "I don’t see how it isn’t art.”

Brown, a professional photographer since 1983, said that she thinks that artists resented the fact that photographers could snap a picture and capture something that took them much longer to capture.
 
They all agreed, however, that photographers do much more than "snap" a photograph; in fact they are really capturing a moment in time.

Weber, the retired Editor of the Alexandria Gazette Packet, said that art is a form of communication and as such, anything that creates something – a mood, thought or opinion, is art.

Sternberg, video producer for Living Legends and owner of Media Masters, Inc., added that videotaping is also an extension of art.

Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara<br /> <br />Ann Reesman of the Alexandria City Pipes and Drums plays outside the Del Ray Artisans Gallery.<br />
Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara
Ann Reesman of the Alexandria City Pipes and
Drums plays outside the Del Ray Artisans
Gallery.

Marlin Lord said that all of the forms tell a story, and Tisara succinctly explained the difference between journalism and photography by saying: “Pictures hit your gut. Words have to be translated.”

The following evening, guests gathered for the opening reception for the "Gathering of the 2010 Legends" photo exhibition. The event had originally been scheduled earlier in the month, but was rescheduled because of citywide power outages caused by a powerful summer storm.

The exhibition of photographs by Tisara is the culmination of this year's Living Legends of Alexandria program that features 30 of Alexandria's recent history makers, many of whom were in attendance. The exhibit is on view through August 22.
 
Living Legends of Alexandria is an ongoing, not-for-profit program to identify, honor and chronicle Alexandria's recent history makers. The 2010 Gold Sponsors of Living Legends are The Rotary Club of Alexandria, McEnearney Associates and Dominion Virginia Power.  Media sponsors are The Alexandria Gazette Packet (founding media sponsor), Local Kicks and AlexandriaNews.org.
 
Visit the web site  (www.AlexandriaLegends.com) to nominate a Legend for 2011. 


Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara<br /> <br />The Del Ray Artisans Gallery is filled with visitors for the first public viewing of Tisara's photographs and the first screening of the
Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara
The Del Ray Artisans Gallery is filled with
visitors for the first public viewing of Tisara's
photographs and the first screening of the
"Highlights" videotape produced by Abby
Sternberg.


Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara<br /> <br />2010 nominees and Living Legends of Alexandria pictured here:  First row, John Renner, Joan Renner, Alice Merrill, Linda Odell, Nina Tisara (president), Lois Walker, Kathryn Brown, Marlin Lord, Pam Cressey and Pat Troy; Second row, Joe Shumard, John Porter, Chet Avery, Lynnwood Campbell, Rodger Digillio, John McEnearney and Charles Nelson.
Photo Courtesy of Nina Tisara
2010 nominees and Living Legends of Alexandria
pictured here: First row, John Renner, Joan Renner,
Alice Merrill, Linda Odell, Nina Tisara (president),
Lois Walker, Kathryn Brown, Marlin Lord, Pam
Cressey and Pat Troy; Second row, Joe Shumard,
John Porter, Chet Avery, Lynnwood Campbell,
Rodger Digillio, John McEnearney and Charles
Nelson.




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