Shifting to Photoblog – Documentary Photographers

At this point in the course Edtech 597 we are to establish a consistent theme to our blog entries. I have chosen to shift the focus of this blog to that of a Photoblog. The content of subsequent blog posts will focus on the world of Photography.

Today’s post if a List/Link Post on some of the world’s greatest documentary photographers. A documentary photographer uses the camera, and the still image to tell stories , and often to evoke change. James Nachtwey, one of the worlds greatest and most famous documentary photographers, has talked about using his camera as a weapon while covering armed conflicts. His images have had the power to assist in the process of forcing change.

“I have been a witness, and these pictures are

my testimony. The events I have recorded should

not be forgotten and must not be repeated.” – James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey’s searing photos of war

The distinction between a photojournalist and a documentary photographer is blurry, however it is often thought that the documentary photographer covers long term, complex stories while the photojournalist reacts to breaking news. Here are a few other modern documentary photographers with links to their websites.

Marc Shoul

(b. 1975, South Africa) graduated from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 1999. Since then, he has been a freelance photographer, having worked for various publications such as Time, Colors, and Monocle etc. His works have been exhibited in Australia, Switzerland, Italy and South Africa. His ‘Brakpan’ series won first prize in the Winephoto competition in 2011. Marc has worked on stories ranging from HIV to energy solutions to Rhino preservation.

John Vink

(b. 1948, Belgium) studied photography at the fine arts school of La Cambre in 1968 and began working as a freelance journalist three years later. He joined Agence VU in Paris in 1986 and won the Eugene Smith Award that year for his work ‘Water in the Sahel’, an extensive body of reportage on the management of water in the Sahel. Between 1987 and 1993 he compiled a major work on refugees around the world; the book ‘Réfugiés’ was published in 1994.

Antonio Bolfo

(b.1981, United States) attended the Rhode Island School of Design. He majored in Film/Animation/Video and became the senior animator at the video game development company Harmonix.  After leaving the video game industry he attended the ICP Photojournalism program in 2009.  He is the recipient of the New York Times Foundation Scholarship, 1st place winner in the 2011 NPPA Best of Photojournalism, winner in the 2009 World Wide Photography Gala Awards, and 2011 participant in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. Antonio’s work has been published in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, MSNBC, American Photography, and Communication Arts. He is based in New York City and is represented by Reportage by Getty Images.

Taryn Simon

With a large-format camera and a knack for talking her way into forbidden zones, Taryn Simon photographs portions of the American infrastructure inaccessible to its inhabitants.

Taryn Simon – The Stories Behind the Bloodlines


Photographer Biographies Courtesy of:

Taryn Simon Biography Courtesy of:


4 thoughts on “Shifting to Photoblog – Documentary Photographers

  1. Barry, just want to make sure that you know that the links entry and the list entry should be two separate entries. You’ll see in the samples over the next two days. I would suggest that this entry is closer to a links entry.

  2. As a social studies teacher, photographs are a valuable tool in telling the story and the impact of human decision and action throughout history. Your links were not only interesting, they may be a new source for primary/secondary documents for my social studies department! As a government teacher, I especially enjoyed Bolfo’s portfolio of photographs of Joe Biden in action.

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