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Assignment: You are required to produce a single image for World Picture Network or Xinhua on the theme of Migrant Workers . For this assignment there are no specific instructions on meta data. The image should be related to a positive news story about the benefits of migrant workers and you should consider protecting the image against being used for a negative story on the same subject. There is a lot of guidance to WpN photographers at http://www.wpneditorial.com/Newsletter.htm. For Xinhua you need to follow the corbis guidance and China Features caption guidance
On New Hall in Preston is a small shop, Polski Sklep.
Balal, an Afghanistan, owns it and another in Preston, plus a hairdressers. I chose him as the subject for this assignment.
Biggest problem was, you had to try and produce an image that could not be manipulated and turned into a negative story.
I think that, in an effort to achieve this, I produced an image stunningly bland. Boring equals little chance of being misused – though it also means little chance of being used at all, in my opinion.
Still, we learned about some stunning misuse of photography by photo agencies – most notably Reuters. This company (and they’re not the only ones – seem happy to let their photographers falsify a picture before it is taken and after it is taken. Reuters themselves will start changing details if they think it will make the photograph more likely to be bought. The examples were quite staggering.
The main point I took from the discussion was the importance of captioning. If a photographer does his best to be whiter than white and does a full caption, he is kind of protecting himself from the flak – even if his agency change it at their end. That’s the way I’d be looking at it anyway if I was in the field.