Recent Documentary Articles

How Todd Hido Creates His Landscape Photographs

I recently was introduced to photographer Todd Hido in Jason Momoa’s docuseries on HBO. Momoa has a real affinity for Todd. I wish I had a fan like that; if you watch the show, you will see what I mean.
Important Photography Lessons We Can Learn From 'Tish'

There is an incredible documentary about one of my photographic heroes, Tish Murtha. Tish was a documentary photographer who grew up in the abject poverty of England’s Northeast. There are important lessons we can all learn from her work.

Photography and Death: A Major Taboo Explored

Dive into the intriguing world of photography's exploration of death and crime scenes, from Victorian post-mortem photography to modern-day coverage with documentary photography. Discover what drives this morbid curiosity and where the line between respectful documentation and exploitation lies.

A Plea to Document Your life

In the age of selfies and having a camera in your pocket, it seems more and more young people have an endless camera roll of photos that will hardly, if ever, be looked at again. But is there a better way?

National Geographic Flips the Camera Around in a New Series Spotlighting Photographers

National Geographic is heralded as "the top of the mountain" when it comes to photographic journalism, or photography in general. This new six-part series gives us a glimpse into what it takes to be at the top of the mountain. As a landscape photographer, something I constantly hear from friends and family when they see one of my images is, "Wow, this could be in National Geographic!" If photography was a scale from never having taken a photo to being a photographer for National Geographic, I'm certainly closer to the "never taken a photo" side. Most of the time, these remarks happen...

His Last Photograph on the Last Day: Hugh F. McHugh

In the waning days of World War II, the German army unleashed a massive, surprise attack on the Allied forces in the Western Theater with the hope of extending the lifeline of their military forces. This attack created a bulging salient in the Allied lines along the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. This battle, forever known as The Battle of the Bulge, lasted from December 16, 1944, to January 25, 1945, and is considered by historians as one of the largest land battles the United States ever engaged in. In the chaos of all this, US Army Signal Corps photographer, Hugh Francis McHugh, would be there to document the battle. Sadly, it was here on the snow-filled fields, on the last day of the battle, where McHugh would capture his last photograph.

Do You Know Earth's Hidden Stories?

Photography, at its essence, is a pursuit that is more than the mere act of capturing images; it is a journey into the heart of the world's hidden stories. In landscape photography, the scenery before our lenses often serves as a subject for stories written not by pen but by the patient hands of geological forces. This exploration takes us beyond the actual beauty of landscapes, urging us to unravel the details of Earth's geological history.

Portraits of a Place: An Exclusive Interview With Simon Murphy, Photographer Behind the Must-See 'Govanhill' Exhibition

We catch up with photographer Simon Murphy who currently has a major exhibition of his work, having cast his lens on the Govanhill area of Glasgow over the last 20 years. Learn key insights into his methods, how he connected with members of this diverse community, and what advice he would pass on to photographers seeking to embark on long-form documentary projects.

A Photoshoot at the Edge of Space

A number of years ago, while still an ambassador for Hasselblad, I received a fateful phone call from a gentleman asking if he could pick my brain about the newly released Hasselblad X1D. I agreed, and we proceeded to talk about cameras, both past and present, along with the photos we had taken with them. It was a jovial conversation, but it wasn't until we were talking about the Hasselblad 500 that he said the line: "That is the camera I used to photograph the Mir Space Station."

Daido Moriyama: A Retrospective Comes to The Photographers Gallery This Autumn

Coming to The Photographers’ Gallery in October: the first UK retrospective of one of the world’s most innovative and influential artists and street photographers. If you are interested in documentary or street photography, Daido Moriyama's work is definitely something you should familiarize yourself with.

The Gamble and Reward of Seascape Photography

As a seasoned seascape photographer, I've learned that capturing the beauty of the ocean is a thrilling yet unpredictable pursuit. Each time I venture to one of my favorite locations, Ballycotton Lighthouse, I'm reminded of the gamble that is seascape photography.

When Landscape Photography Adventures Go Wrong

As a landscape photographer and van owner myself, I know just how much goes into every shoot that I head out on, plus the ever-present worry that exists in the back of my mind, where I see myself stuck in the middle of nowhere after my trusty steed has broken down. Recently, I had the misfortune of this exact thing happening, and let me tell you, not only does it pull the handbrake on any adventures, it also adds the complexities of where it can be fixed, if it can be fixed, and finally, how much will it cost to be fixed!

What Is Fine Art Photography ?

As I stood at the edge of the tranquil beach, a sense of both calm and disappointment washed over me. Having checked the weather forecasts closely, I was once again feeling let down as instead of crisp morning light, I instead had low clouds and very little light.

From the Archives: Stories From Life Magazine's Greatest Photographers

Life magazine was known for its large format photojournalism. In 1984, filmmaker David Hoffman made this not-to-be-missed television documentary about the history of Life, which included interviews with some of their greatest photojournalists. It's just as interesting today, if not more, than it would have been back then.
How to Become a DOP for Sherlock, Game of Thrones, and Justice League

As I began my interview with Fabian Wagner DOP, he sits there, totally relaxed and easygoing. Describing himself as just an ordinary guy, it quickly becomes clear that my conversation was going to be a very relaxed affair, without pretenses, and totally open to all questions I threw at him.

What to Think About When You Want to Photograph in a War-Torn Country

I get questions like these daily, mostly from inexperienced or new photojournalists who want to get into documentary photography. I often repeat the same answers, so I figured it might be useful to put it all into a single article. So, here are the bare basics of high-risk documentary photography.

5 Documentaries Every Photographer and Creative Should Watch

I love all types of documentaries, and I think it's very important that artists and photographers educate themselves on the past greats and present ones working today. I watch documentaries on photography, fashion, art, and anything else I find interesting. It’s an education coming from a very successful person in that field that everyone can learn from, and I find them to be very inspirational. When I don’t feel inspired or I'm frustrated with things not working out for me, I put on a photography or artist doc and learn about their past struggles and their process that they go through. It’s always a great way to remind myself that everything is going to workout and to create that crazy idea.

Why Ireland Is Underrated for Landscape Photography

When it comes to landscape photography, certain destinations immediately come to mind – the dramatic landscapes of Iceland, the majestic mountains of the Canadian Rockies, or the iconic landmarks of the American Southwest. However, there is one country that often gets overlooked as a photography hotspot: Ireland.

The Worst Photographer Ever?

William Eggleston is best known for his color documentary photography, but the photos really just look like snapshots of the mundane. This is a great documentary to give you a little insight into his work.
33 Days Among the Bears

I'm sure some of you have seen the magnificent photos and videos of a polar bear sleeping in a bed of fireweed by Martin Gregus Jr. When I first saw it, I thought it wasn't real - it was just too perfect. But as this video documentary shows, it is, and taking those photos involved a significant amount of time, preparation, and effort.

How to Speed Up Your Photography Career by 10 Years

Believe it or not, I have been a freelance photographer for six years. Looking back on it, I have been struggling to make it, truly learning the meaning of the term starving artist. I wish I would have received this bit of advice so many years ago.

Toy Shopping in Ukraine: War Toys Founder Brian McCarty Shares His Vision

Brian McCarty, a self-proclaimed toy geek and an incredible photographer, tells the stories many people don’t want to hear in a way familiar to the world. He depicts children’s accounts of conflict and loss through toys as an advocation against the horrors of war.

Photography Can Change the World: Farnaz Damnabi

Can photography change the world? Iranian artist and journalist Farnaz Damnabi's new exhibit, "UNVEILED," set to open at 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS, would seem to suggest yes, at least in part. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that shifts in power structures can be turbulent. Even minor revisions in social identities can lead to conflict. Damnabi's exhibit is a document of the transformations in the identity, visibility, and recognition of women as equal and free participants in Iran, an unveiling of a new Iran, if you will.

What Surveillance Photography Alone Cannot Show Us

As a medium, photography is all about sight. If you can’t see it, you can’t really take a photograph of it. The alternative is, of course, things like art, music, or prose where you don’t need to see something to make something about it.

Documenting a Nation in Mourning

Queen Elizabeth’s passing has received quite a bit of coverage here in the United States. Millions of people turned out not only in London but all over the UK and the globe for various services held in her honor. The coverage has shown the sincere outpouring of respect and affection that the people of her country have for her, but there is a noticeable emphasis on the scale and spectacle of the event.

What It Is Like To Be a White House Press Corps Photographer

Imagine being tasked with photographing press events featuring some of the most famous people in the world, on a regular basis. Are you confident that you can come away with photographs as strong or better than those of your peers? Can you find the small, personal moments taking place in the chaos to create images that are unique? Christy Bowe is a photographer who has successfully accomplished these tasks for the past three decades.

Kodak’s Magical Film Factory (Part Two of How Film Is Made)

This video is the second part (of three) of Smarter Everyday's in-depth tour of Kodak's film production line in Rochester, New York. In the first video, we saw how the base of the film is made out of pellets, as they're melted down and formed into uniform, thin, clear sheets.

How You Can Win Part of $85,000 in Getty Images Grant Money

If you ever get the feeling that photography is not valued today, it might interest you to know that Getty Images is offering $85k in three new editorial grants to support photojournalists and organizations, with an emphasis on supporting photographers whose work shines a light on important issues of our time.

Are Photos Supposed to Show Reality?

In this video, MIT Associate Professor Ramesh Raskar says that photo-realism is dead. They're discussing machine learning and technologies working to give us evenly exposed night-time images on our mobile phones. If these technologies are not available in professional cameras today, will they ever be, and would you want them as a professional photographer?

A Deep Dive Into How Kodak Makes Film

With film photography once again becoming popular, photographers who wish to take it up must wonder where the current film stock is coming from. Is it from the remnants of film stock that was made years ago? Well, you'll be happy to know that Kodak still has production lines running at its factory and even happier to watch this deep dive into how they make the film that you shoot today.

What Can Photographers Learn From Why People Go To The Cinema?

Have you ever heard someone say: "you have to watch it at the cinema"? This is usually when it's a movie loaded with action, special effects, and sound design that captures your imagination. Is this all that gets the cinemas to sell seats? If your answer is yes, this video might make you consider your opinion.

Is It Colder in Color?

Non-photographers often complain about black and white images: they’re dated, they’re just a gimmick, or they’re elitist and boring. These are personal preferences; however, we live in a color world, so you can't discount that black and white images can create a disconnect for modern viewers. To bring history alive, is colorization a solution?

How to Say Something With Your Street Photography

A street photographer’s task is to observe the mundane human interactions that take place throughout the day and turn them into something worthy of being preserved and shared through photography. This is not an easy task.

The Long Process of Capturing Time-Lapse Footage of Growing Mushrooms

The entire genre of time-lapse photography is a game of patience and preparation, but creating short films involving the life cycle of a mushroom is on an entirely different level. When 24hrs worth of frames can equate to only a few seconds of footage there is not a lot of room for mistakes.