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What We Learned This Week: Reuters Merges Photos and Video

By David Schonauer   Thursday December 6, 2018


Call it visual journalism’s grand unification theory:

This week we learned that Reuters is combining its photography and video news staff into a single team. “Many of our photographers already shoot video - and videographers produce pictures. This mode of working is becoming normal throughout the industry as video and photo technologies grow closer,” noted John Pullman, global head of visuals for Reuters. “We will be taking a structured approach to merge our pictures and video teams. We will look at technology, training and workflow - and introduce single leadership where appropriate.”

As The Baron noted, the move comes with an unspecified implication that jobs across the combined operation will be cut. Some staff affected by the changes were notified last week, but the whole process will unfold over the coming months, Pullman said.

A news pictures staff member, who asked not to be identified, told The Baron: “This is essentially the end of Reuters Pictures, going down the tubes in a very sad way. Pix has won a score of Pulitzers and other prestigious awards under Reuters but it seems that is not enough to save it from what appears to be the terrible end of what was a great run over more than 30 years which brought the world some of the best photojournalism it has ever seen.”

The change follows the October spin-off of a majority stake in Thomson Reuters financial and risk business, which is now controlled by private equity investors and rebranded Refinitiv. Reuters remains part of Thomson Reuters but is being re-organized as a stand-alone business. In the new arrangement, Refinitiv will pay Reuters at least $325 million a year for news coverage over the next 30 years.

Here are some of the other photo stories we spotlighted this week:
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1. Stephanie Pfriender Stylander Captures "Beauty Fueled By Character"

What the world wants now, we noted this week, are the 1990s — a time when the high gloss of the '80s bumped into alt-rock grittiness and a new kind of glamour emerged. In fashion, the face of the era belonged to Kate Moss, who happens to be featured on the cover of a new book by photographer Stephanie Pfriender Stylander. The book, titled The Untamed Eye, brings together Pfriender's distinctively moody, sexy, and cinematic fashion work from the past 25 years.


2. "Upstate Girls" by Brenda Kenneally

Troy, New York, was once a wealthy industrial city, the kind of place that “embodied the idea of America as a land where every person’s dreams were realized,” notes photographer Brenda Kenneally in her book Upstate Girls. That changed as factories left the area. Kenneally, who was born in Albany, NY, first visited Troy for a magazine assignment in 2002. Her images of teenagers growing up in the post-industrial city paint a portrait of forgotten lives and dashed dreams in 21st-century America, noted The New Yorker.


3. Nat Geo's Best Pictures of 2018

National Geographic Director of Photography Sarah Leen estimates she has looked at as many images “as there are stars in the sky,” so it’s hard to narrow down her favorites. But she does that every year, and this week Nat. Geo. featured her favorite 100 images of the over two million submitted to the magazine this year. The work ranges from Lynsey Addario’s shot of children in South Los Angeles celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, to Laurent Ballesta’s photo of gray reef sharks in French Polynesia.


4. A Disabled Photographer's Education in Discrimination

A little more than two years ago, documentary photographer Nolan Ryan Trowe suffered a spinal injury while cliff diving in Northern California. Paralyzed from the waist down, he began a new life in a wheelchair, then gained the ability to walk again. “That was when I moved to New York to attend school. The layout of the city pushed me to walk even more,” he wrote recently at The New York Times. Ordered by doctors to stop walking, Trowe decided to show people what New York looks like from a wheelchair.


5.  Arnold Newman's Art of Environmental Portraiture

Arnold Newman, known as the “father of the environmental portrait,” was not interested in the details of his subject’s surroundings, but the symbols he could create with them. A new book, Arnold Newman: One Hundred, published in conjunction with the Howard Greenberg Gallery in honor of the centennial of Newman’s birth, shows the range of his symbolic approach, noted The New York Times. Take, for instance, his 1978 photograph of painter Willem de Kooning (above), or his 1959 photo of urban planner Robert Moses (at top).

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