Going Beyond Illustration

An iconoclastic exhibition examines photojournalism as an art

Photojournalists tend to stay aloof from talk about camera aesthetics. Something about dodging gunfire in Beirut seems to discourage ruminations on style -- understandably enough. More to the point, no one who catalogs bloodshed and catastrophe wants to be thought of as one more vendor to the senses. Some news photographers spend half their lives chasing war, so who can blame them if, when they hear the word art, they make for the door?

Yet even with "soft" news pictures, the benign shots of a street festival or a spelling bee, to look for converging lines or the distribution of shadows...

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