• Morning Edition6:00 am to 8:00 am

Menu Schedule Links

Signal Status

There are currently no events to display.

1410_Snap

From Photojournalism to Fine Art

By | July 21, 2014

15,000 people participated in Anchorage's first Color Run on June 15, 2013. The run is a 5k race where colored powder is thrown on participants every kilometer.

15,000 people participated in Anchorage’s first Color Run on June 15, 2013. The run is a 5k race where colored powder is thrown on participants every kilometer.

Click for the full audio story:

Today we’re going on a ride along with a photojournalist. Loren Holmes works for the newly rebranded Alaska Dispatch News.

Both Holmes’ father and grandfather were photographers. In fact the first room his dad built in his childhood house was a dark room. But when Holmes graduated high school he took a different path. He majored in philosophy.

“I think philosophy is sort of a prerequisite to life. It teaches you how to think critically, explore something from different angles,” Holmes says.

But Holmes could only hold out so long before he got the photography bug. Luckily, he was able to apply those philosophical principles to his new career.

“Your life experiences will influence your photography. So the more you can think critically and differently, the more interesting I think your photos will be,” Holmes says.

Holmes originally fell in love the tradition of photojournalism; the planning, the editing, the ethics. But he says the profession is changing, and it’s changing fast.

“Where I work social media is so important. I’m expected to post on Twitter, post on Instagram and Facebook. I’m supposed to post photos that people will like and share,” Holmes says.

Holmes says he likes apps like Instagram, and the seemingly infinite number of great photos you can find on them. But he says there’s a trade off; a drop in what he calls “visual literacy.”

“I think people don’t think about photos they way they used to, I don’t think they think about their meaning, and I don’t think they give them enough mental time as they used to and as they probably should. It just gets lost so quickly now, and that’s a little concerning,” Holmes says.

Today Holmes won’t be posting to Instagram or Facebook. He’s driving out to Palmer for a portrait series he’s working on.

“It’s a project on Alaska’s centenarians: Alaskans that are over 100 years old. So I’m trying to interview as many as I can, make some portraits of them, and just find out about their lives and how they’ve seen Alaska change,” Holmes says.

Holmes isn’t working on a daily deadline for this project. That gives him time to interact with his subjects; something he rarely gets to do.

A portrait of centenarian Margaret Lucas that Holmes captured:

Margaret Lucas, born February 14, 1914 in Denver, Colorado. Photographed in her Palmer, Alaska home on July 16, 2014.

Margaret Lucas, born February 14, 1914 in Denver, Colorado. Photographed in her Palmer, Alaska home on July 16, 2014.

Holmes tells me that in addition to his job with the Dispatch, he sits on the board of the Alaska Photographic Center, a group that deals mostly with fine art photography. He says the contrast between that role, and this one might seem stark.

“Photojournalists don’t stage events. They don’t manipulate the scene. They don’t Photoshop things out of or into the photo. So a lot of those things that are common and expected in the fine art world wouldn’t be accepted in a newspaper,” Holmes says.

Holmes says he is constantly trying to incorporate the “wow” of fine art into his daily pictures.

“The great power of photography is the emotional impact it makes. A photojournalist is recording the facts before them, a moment in time. But it’s not just what’s literally in the photo that makes it a good photo. It’s the emotional impact you get when you see that photo that makes it a great photo,” Holmes says.

For more information on Alaska Photographic Center’s Rarified Light 2014, including the upcoming lecture by Joyce Tenneson, visit: www.akphotocenter.org

More photos from Loren Holmes:

Karan Nixon's disabled rabbit, Tubby, seen here on May 21, 2012, inherited his wheeled cart from George, who was killed by a black bear last year in Nixon's yard. Nixon became famous for chasing after the bear in her slippers.

Karan Nixon’s disabled rabbit, Tubby, seen here on May 21, 2012, inherited his wheeled cart from George, who was killed by a black bear last year in Nixon’s yard. Nixon became famous for chasing after the bear in her slippers.

Jake Berkowitz passes by an old truck on his way into Anvik during the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 8, 2013.

Jake Berkowitz passes by an old truck on his way into Anvik during the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 8, 2013.

A coronal mass ejection from the sun created stunning northern lights on March 16, 2013.

A coronal mass ejection from the sun created stunning northern lights on March 16, 2013.

Children play on the sea ice in Diomede, Alaska on March 13, 2013. They can't stray too far from the village, lest they either meet a polar bear or cross the International Date Line, a mere 1 mile away.

Children play on the sea ice in Diomede, Alaska on March 13, 2013. They can’t stray too far from the village, lest they either meet a polar bear or cross the International Date Line, a mere 1 mile away.

Charles Brower, Jr helps butcher Kaktovik's first whale of the year, a 44 foot long bowhead on September 6, 2012.

Charles Brower, Jr helps butcher Kaktovik’s first whale of the year, a 44 foot long bowhead on September 6, 2012.

A spectacular early spring sunset over downtown Anchorage, Alaska's largest city on April 25, 2012.

A spectacular early spring sunset over downtown Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city on April 25, 2012.

Iditarod winner Mitch Seavey's headlamp creates a streak of light as he crosses the sea ice before dawn near Koyuk during the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 11, 2013.

Iditarod winner Mitch Seavey’s headlamp creates a streak of light as he crosses the sea ice before dawn near Koyuk during the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 11, 2013.

The Iñupiat Eskimo village of Kivalina, seen on December 11, 2012, sits on a narrow barrier island off Alaska's Chukchi Sea coast. A new stone seawall has helped curb erosion from winter storms, but it is only a stopgap, at some point in the near future the village will have to move.

The Iñupiat Eskimo village of Kivalina, seen on December 11, 2012, sits on a narrow barrier island off Alaska’s Chukchi Sea coast. A new stone seawall has helped curb erosion from winter storms, but it is only a stopgap, at some point in the near future the village will have to move.

From left, Jonas Mackenzie, Eddie Rexford and Karl Brower prepare to butcher a bowhead whale head on the beach in Kaktovik, Alaska on Sept 6, 2012. The predominantly Iñupiat Eskimo village is allotted 3 whale strikes per year as part of their subsistence harvest.

From left, Jonas Mackenzie, Eddie Rexford and Karl Brower prepare to butcher a bowhead whale head on the beach in Kaktovik, Alaska on Sept 6, 2012. The predominantly Iñupiat Eskimo village is allotted 3 whale strikes per year as part of their subsistence harvest.

A stump burns on Monday, May 26, 2014 near the Upper Killey River, a tributary of the Kenai River. The Funny River fire burned through the area overnight.

A stump burns on Monday, May 26, 2014 near the Upper Killey River, a tributary of the Kenai River. The Funny River fire burned through the area overnight.

Sam Werner walks a fire line near Browns Lake, looking for hot spots, on Saturday, May 24, 2014. The Funny River fire had burned up to the line three hours before.

Sam Werner walks a fire line near Browns Lake, looking for hot spots, on Saturday, May 24, 2014. The Funny River fire had burned up to the line three hours before.

An airplane prepares to drop retardant on a fire burning on the edge of Browns Lake in the Funny River neighborhood of Soldotna on Saturday afternoon, May 24, 2014. The Funny River fire burned over 100,000 acres on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula.

An airplane prepares to drop retardant on a fire burning on the edge of Browns Lake in the Funny River neighborhood of Soldotna on Saturday afternoon, May 24, 2014. The Funny River fire burned over 100,000 acres on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.

A musher nears Shaktoolik on March 9, 2014. Norton Sound, behind, is usually frozen this time of year.

A musher nears Shaktoolik on March 9, 2014. Norton Sound, behind, is usually frozen this time of year.

Dallas Seavey mushes on the Yukon River between Ruby and Galena on March 7, 2014. Seavey won his second Iditarod race a few days later.

Dallas Seavey mushes on the Yukon River between Ruby and Galena on March 7, 2014. Seavey won his second Iditarod race a few days later.

A group of Sandhill Cranes flies in formation above Alaska.

A group of Sandhill Cranes flies in formation above Alaska.

Comments

Please read our comment guidelines.