Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Untitled Magazine' Photography E-Zine: Showcase Web Site Launched by Chicago Tribune Staffer

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Untitled Magazine' Photography E-Zine: Showcase Web Site Launched by Chicago Tribune Staffer

Article excerpt

Has technology taken over the process of taking

pictures? You wouldn't know it from the Web

site of Patrick D. Witty, staff photographer for

the Chicago Tribune.

Witty unveiled his site--"Untitled Magazine"

--at the beginning of 1998. The monthly e-zinc

is on its second issue and is well on its way to

proving that the Web and the technology it

employs haven't materially changed the

requirements for successful photojournalism.

Tools are helpful, but they can't get you into

position for the shot and tell you when to click

the shutter. Only experience

can do that.

You'd expect to

learn this from a news

photographer with 20

years in the field, but

it's surprising and

heartening to get the

same impression from

Witty and his

collaborators, most of

whom are no more

than a few years out

of college.

"Untitled

Magazine" gets off to

a strong start in the

first issue with shots

Witty brought home

from an Alabama chain gang. The pace keeps up

with Andrew Cutraro's shots of Detroit's Arab

community. Then it builds to a zany zenith with

Chris Stanford's shots from the Burning Man

Arts Festival in the Nevada desert (must've been

the heat that inspired all those folks to shed their

clothing; I imagine they still haven't gotten all the

grit out of their private parts).

Cutraro shows up again in the second issue,

with a series of wrenching photos detailing how

a young, black woman, Keisha Thomas, saved a

middle-aged white guy from a severe beating at a

Klan rally which drew a large, angry contingent

of protesters. Seems the guy made the mistake

of wearing a Confederate flag T-shirt while

walking through a crowd of folks just asking to

be provoked.

Cutraro was so close to the action, it

begged the familiar journalist's quandary. At what

point is the newsman obliged to stop being a

photographer and start being a fellow human and

lend aid to someone stricken? Whatever the

ethical issues, Cutraro came away with some

great shots.

The other highlight in the second issue is a

series of shots by Stephanie Sinclair documenting

how a mom and dad care for their two children,

who suffer painful attacks of sickle cell anemia.

Sinclair showed how the great shots start to

emerge when the photographer becomes invisible

to her subjects,

when shutters and

lenses no longer seem

foreign and

intimidating.

The remainder of

the photo essays are

worth a look, though

they seem like filler

material when

weighed against the

really good stuff. …

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