'No Future in Photojournalism' Interview: Dan Chung
|Dan Chung is an award-winning photojournalist who made his name
shooting for The Guardian newspaper in the UK. In recent years he has
shifted his focus away from still imaging and towards video.
Dan, you made your name as a stills photographer but you’re mainly shooting video now, what changed?
'Photojournalism as a profession has taken a bit of a nosedive in recent years. Although I’ve been fortunate enough to be in continuous employment, I’m not immune to the longer-term trend, which is pretty desperate if you’re talking about make a living. I took a strategic decision to get more into video and it’s been reasonably successful.'
What sort of work are you doing now?
'Initially I was shooting a lot of web video for The Guardian which I still do, but now I’m shooting more and more for TV, news, plus the odd advert here and there. I took the decision to stay basically within documentary and news shooting rather than go off and try and be a Hollywood filmmaker just yet!'
'I don’t really see a future in photojournalism, if I’m completely honest, as a way to earn a living. But also there are a lot of creative opportunities with moving images that you couldn’t possibly dream of doing with stills. I’m surprised though that relatively few other photographers have made that conversion.'
Why do you think that is?
'I divide my time between the UK and China and it seems to me that photojournalists in the UK have been really slow to adopt video whereas China and in fact Asia in general there’s a much higher take-up and the same is true of the US.'
'A lot of it has to do with what editors are asking photographers to do and my impression is that editors are basically asking for video more in the US and Asia than they are in the UK. I’ve been running DSLR video workshops in the UK now for a year and they’re always packed out, so there’s obviously an appetite there, but it’s early days.'
Was moving to video a hard choice for you?
'It wasn’t really a choice at all. The way I look at it is convert or die. It’s a very steep learning curve but once you get into it, it’s like anything - you get into your stride and away you go. I’m constantly amazed by the fact that amateurs seem to do a much better job of adapting to new ways of working than professionals.'
'If you look at Vimeo.com there’s a lot of really good stuff on there, shot by amateurs. A lot of them have come from a stills photography background, and might have never shot a movie before, haven’t been to film school, and don’t know one end of a video camera from the other, but that doesn’t stop them from going out and shooting great-looking videos.'
What does the future hold?
'The arrival of DSLR video has been a great creative revolution and in the long run I think the beneficiaries are actually amateurs. Maybe they don’t know it yet, and maybe not all of them realise the potential of video. Things like Nikon’s Motion Snapshot mode on the V1 and J1 might seem kind of wacky right now, but maybe in a few years time functions like that will be perfectly normal.'
'I’m very upbeat about DSLR video actually, and I think it’s here to stay. The functionality is getting better and better, and it’s giving lots of people an opportunity to start doing some really creative multimedia shooting, mixing stills and video and everything else.'
'We're looking at the tip of the iceberg really. Broadcast professionals have already figured out what to do with this technology and are using it, and are investing in a new generation of more expensive, pro-oriented cameras. For the rest of us, the increase in quality in DSLR video from a new generation of cameras like the Nikon D4 and the Canon EOS 1-DX means is that you don’t need to go out and spend tens of thousands of dollars in order to compete.'
'Increasingly, as an enthusiast or semi-pro videographer, the quality of DSLR video is getting so good that it really doesn’t matter what you shoot on. The technology isn’t the barrier any more, the barrier is imagination.'
About Dan Chung
Award-winning photojournalist and videomaker Dan Chung made his name working as a staff photographer at both The Guardian and Reuters news agency, and has since pioneered the use of DSLRs in filmmaking, particularly in news coverage.
|Iraqi families leave Basra via a bridge manned by British soldiers, in March 2003. This photo earned Dan the Photographer Of The Year Award at The Picture Editor Awards 2004. (Dan Chung, Pool Photo)|
Dan's many accolades include the Picture Editors' Guild Photographer of the Year 2004, the Nikon Press Photographer of the Year awards in 2002 and he also won the Digital film category in the 2011 Press Photographer's Year.
Dan now lives and works in China, but travels the world on assignment. He also runs the industry blog www.dslrnewsshooter.com
Jan 26, 2015
Jan 22, 2015
Feb 6, 2015
Jan 13, 2015
|2014_1211_140657AA by old shutter bugger|
from The Bride
|Overloaded by NZ Scott|
from Your City - Delivery Boy
|Barley by Will B Milner|
|APPLE & ROACH by TX Photo Doc|
from Delicious - Unpalatable
Try your hand at this blind portrait shootout between the Canon 1DX Mark II, Nikon D5 and Sony a9. With all bias removed, you might just rank your favorite camera brand worst.
Photo sharing site 500px has just added support for wide-gamut color profiles such as AdobeRGB and ProPhotoRGB, even allowing users to filter their searches by color profile.
DJI just released a mandatory firmware update for the DJI Spark. If you own a Spark and don't update your firmware by September 1st, DJI will remotely ground your drone.
Affordable flash manufacturer Godox has updated its smartphone app so that it can be used to control all of its wireless X flash units, not just the A1 smartphone flash.
Western Digital's new My Book Duo external desktop storage system offers up to 20TB of storage capacity, and comes with RAID-optimized WD Red hard drives.
Version 1.04 of the Sony a6500 firmware can be downloaded from the Sony Support website now.
Not sure how to choose your first drone? In this article, the second of a 3-part series, we discuss what factors you should consider when deciding what drone is right for you.
NASA photo editor Joel Kowsky didn't just capture the solar eclipse from his vantage point in Wyoming, he also managed to capture the ISS buzzing across what remained of the sun.
In these videos, talented photographer and filmmaker Daniel DeArco breaks down several tips that will help flash photography newbies start experimenting with artificial light.
Photographer and master potter Steve Irvine makes incredibly intricate, functional ceramic pinhole cameras that look like robots and monsters.
Chinese gimbal manufacturer Gudsen has released a firmware update for its Moza Air that lets you control the direction and angle of the head remotely just by moving a small handlebar-mounted control unit.
Curious how the Sony a9 performs underwater? Our friends at Backscatter took the camera diving off the Baja California coast, to find out how it handled shooting great white sharks.
While most of the DPReview crew put away our cameras and just watched the celestial event, Rishi decided last-minute to hack together a rig and capture a few shots.
Defunct Russian camera maker Zenit is making a comeback, and they're planning to release a full-frame mirrorless camera in 2018.
The days where you're more or less locked into premium or first-party flash units has gone. They're less than $50 now, so there's one less excuse not to get one. Here's our case for adding one to your kit, and a few pointers to get you going.
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."