Photography in the media today

As a consequence of the growth and consolidation of newspapers with mass circulation, the international news trade that prevails to this day with the dominance of large agencies (which had previously distributed the world as a cake is distributed). These are the ones that provide each country with the news that is broadcast on television, radio and newspapers. Obviously, before reaching the public, they are filtered by the corresponding international and governmental policies.
Technical progress makes the appearance of photography possible. The industries see in it a new form of commercialization and soon they make available to many the adequate tools (cameras, utensils, developing and fixing chemicals, manuals, etc.) for their production and consumption. With the arrival of photography, the easel painting is replaced.
The painters of that time viewed the new invention with reserve, but due to monetary need, many of them decided to become photographers since the bourgeoisie was apt to request their services to immortalize their class and prestige.
Then the artist is supplanted by the photographer. Once again capitalism exchanges individual labor for the industrialization of the product with a view to commercializing it.
Today photography is a means of expression available to many, including the masses. Through it the images of our time are captured, which has turned it into a historical document. Photography is a specialized technique closely linked to other media, such as film, the visual arts, television and the press.
Photography gives rise to the so-called seventh art: cinema. In its origins, cinema was used as a way to archive historical and social events. But very soon it industrialized.
As communication is the means by which a society is organized, it is thanks to it that human relationships develop. Communication is not only made up of physical elements such as the word, the writing or the expression of the face; it is also made up of symbols and devices by means of which it is preserved and transmitted, such as the printing press, television, photography, etc.
The media give rise to the exchange and circulation of messages and ideas. This is used to create symbolic forms that will be transmitted through the media. Symbolic forms are all those ideas and concepts produced by mass culture, which are represented through words and images.
The emergence of the media radically changed the way in which symbolic forms were produced, transmitted and received by individuals. This process is called mediatization of modern culture.


Despite the fact that photography showed an early interest in capturing the various events, thus demonstrating its high informative value, only at the moment when its trajectory converges with the technological development of large-scale printing procedures was the birth of the press photography. This innovation heralds a revolution in the transmission of events, at the same time that it marks the beginning of the massive use of photography in the media, which will result in its expansion and acceptance throughout society.
It is curious to note how the appearance or inclusion of photography in the press historically coincides with the development of modern journalism, which has largely contributed to establishing part of the constants that define mass journalistic discourse, such as the assumption of a role modeling and at the same time mobilizing by the press, where it is about deciding and deciding what is convenient for society, and how it manages to influence the transformation and formation of its collective identity. The close relationship that photography has maintained with the press has been seen as a phenomenon of capital importance in the internal evolution that the mass media and communication have experienced.
Since the beginning of this pairing, the photographic image has meant a new dimension for newspapers, both in its informative function and in its business aspect. The press undergoes a momentous change, information journalism began to be conceived and the opinion press, which had hitherto had an evident predominance, adapted to this new function. It is the prelude to journalism in the modern sense of the term, the moment when the party and political newspapers were displaced by the company or industrial press. The search for economic profitability began and important print runs were achieved and thanks to photography, information was democratized, which had previously been controlled by the social and economic elite. The incorporation of photography in the press begins to extend the conception of the image as news. During this process, the assumption of photography responded to the needs of an era in which the press became an open window to the world, an expression undervalued today by its continuous use, but which then meant for society the radical expansion of its visual horizons and easy access to the perception of the unknown.
In an inverse sense, thanks to the press, photography reaches modernity and maturity, the discovery of its true dimension that will result in its expansion and acceptance throughout society. Among the possible supports in which photography could achieve a universal projection and a temporary validity was the press, without granting it greater powers than it represents, which collaborated in the development of photography, deepening its informative performance and the elaboration of a new visual language that would enrich the gaze of an increasingly crowded society, and to limits that we cannot suspect that could have been achieved by other means.
The press took the photograph out to the world, freed it from its artistic consideration, from museums, cultural academies and from the studios themselves, to settle the nineteenth-century discussions definitively with respect to other visual means of manual representation. In turn, the introduction of photography in the press represents the evolution of the photographic act itself, the achievement of the moment, which gave it an informative consideration that until then was reserved exclusively for the text, thus breaking the boundaries of the book. Finally, at present, the press has preserved photography over time, despite the fact that other visual media have addressed some of its functions, such as the cinema with the cinematographic newsreels, remember for example NO-DO, or television , by broadcasting televised news.
The function of press photography is to report, document and report a fact, focusing mainly on events and at all important moments in society at all times. The introduction of photography in the press represents the evolution of the photographic act itself, giving it an informative consideration that until that moment was reserved exclusively for the text or the word. Therefore, photography as a document in the periodic press is presented as a primary source from which historians can take much advantage and work, since the history of the second half of the 19th century and that of the entire 20th century is found in the Photographs.
Photojournalism in Spain. From graphic news to press photography
The time and ample space required for a historical description is transmitted to us by a photograph in an instant through each of the images taken by the photojournalists. With the introduction of photography in Spain, our history remains in the first photographic experiments of marked scientific interest, in the daguerreotypes that arouse the curiosity of society towards the photographic medium, through the performance of salon and street portraitists , in the representations of the popular scenes or in the illustrations of the most important geography and monuments. But it is thanks to the development of the graphic press when photography reaches its true value as a historical document. It is the moment when history enters photography, the event in the press,
It is undeniable that photojournalism in Spain, understood as a strand within the profession of journalist in charge of graphic tasks in the press, has reached levels of qualification and professionalization equivalent to those developed at the international level. But despite its maturity and consolidation as a result of many years of experience, the development of this profession should not be understood as something exclusive for photographers who have specialized in this medium. This work is completed with the work of a large number of portraitists, reporters and popular artists who, in a professional way or by sharing this work with other people, knew how to capture the image of people in those memorable years. Spanish photojournalism has undoubtedly been nourished by the work of press photographers,
This particular manifestation in the history of photography in Spain is the one that allows us to understand that, together with reporters of the stature of Alfonso (one of the most prestigious pioneers of press photography), artists such as Luís Escobar or Jaime Pacheco coexist, who took advantage of the popularity of the graphic press to publish some of their temporary works. Like many other photographers, such as Centelles, Catalá Roca or Ramón Masats, they share their author work with those they do for a press specialized in social reporting. This behavior allows that, after all, despite the differences and the different training received, the photographs of Marisa Flórez and those of Cristina García Rodero can be compared.
This singularity will allow us to understand and compare the career of the photojournalist in Spain, and therefore we are going to start in the photography of the Spanish press, attending to the contribution of a type of photojournalist who captured the most relevant and decisive events with their cameras. of the history of the 20th century in Spain. In the course of this tour, we will recover all those moments that have shaped the profession of photojournalist since the beginning of the 20th century until ending in the years of the Spanish democratic transition, to project the different ways of understanding the news, of photographing the history.

The beginnings of the graphic press
Unlike what was happening in Europe and the United States at the beginning of photojournalism, when in newspapers and illustrated magazines there was a media specialization and a careful concern to publish illustrations and photographic reports on certain events, in Spain the relationship between the press and Photography was very rudimentary, conditioned by the technical limitations that the newspapers carried in terms of their ability to reproduce images and, above all, because the first photographs did not present the attractiveness that the snapshots later showed in the press. In short, it was a similar situation to what happened in the rest of the countries in terms of technological evolution itself,
The first newspapers in which these technical deficiencies are manifested are, however, publications that today are revealed to us as the forerunners of press photography. The most notable antecedent is found in the Diario Mercantil de Valencia, in 1852, which illustrates its pages with a daguerreotype obtained by Pascual Pérez Rodríguez. A breakthrough for the press, since this daguerreotype was one of the first to use the paper negative, with the advantage of being able to obtain multiple copies without damaging the original, a task aimed at enhancing the ability to reproduce infinitely and reach to a wide audience. In this process of adapting photography to the press, the simplification and progressive lightness of the techniques and equipment greatly helped.
This newspaper, along with others such as the Universal Museum or The Chronicle, in which well-known photographers such as Laurent or Clifford participated on time, was one of the first witnesses of press photography, during a few years in which the press distributed its space between traditional engravings and photographic improvisations. Until then, Spanish graphic journalism had experienced great advances despite the fact that the magazine Cartas Españolas included several illustrations for the first time in 1831, or that the political newspaper El Español commissioned, in 1835, several engravings on the Carlist war1. But, progressively, photography was relegating engraving to other practices related to the reproductions of paintings,
However, photographers are not yet interested in showing the scenes and the protagonists of the events that could have provided us with invaluable information. It will not be until the end of the 19th century when photography prevails in the press to provide truthfulness to the collected news. As already happened in the rest of the countries, the wars aroused unusual attention in Spain, both in the editors and in the reading public. That is why the first images refer to the war in Morocco, in which the presence of Enrique Facio stands out, and to the Carlist wars, among which the reports by Charles Monney and Antonio García stand out. But as was the case worldwide with other examples, such as the Fenton Crimean War,
The photographs in the press followed one another at the rhythm of the main events and this correspondence is reflected in the most important publications of the time. In 1869, the weekly The Spanish and American Illustration was created, in which the most recognized reporters of the moment collaborated, as is the case of Juan Comba, who based on various reports on events and ephemeris, such as the fire in the Alcázar de Toledo in 1887 and the visit to Spain of Queen Victoria of England, has been considered one of the forerunners of Spanish graphic reporting. But it was not until the appearance of magazines such as Blanco y Negro, in 1891, founded by Torcuato Luca de Tena and Nuevo Mundo, that it was launched almost three years later, when photography was fully integrated into the Spanish press.
The importance of these weeklies does not reside exclusively in their own contributions to the consolidation of photography as part of the news, but in the influence they exercised in other magazines of the time. In all of them, as well as in La Revista Moderna, there were reports by the most notable photographers in the trade, among which we must mention Christian Franzen, with his photographs on the social rooms and the nightlife in Madrid, and the first collaborations by Alfonso Sánchez García, Vicente Gombau, Alejandro Merletti and Francisco Goñi.
In these initial years, the career of the photojournalist is consolidated in the press, in turn promoting the development of photography, since thanks to this context of prosperity in periodical publications, many photographers managed to redirect their activity to continue living from their job. But press photography had not reached the fullness that photojournalism later contributes to the written medium. At that time the press did not have graphic reporters on staff, but instead hired the services of the best professionals to cover certain information on politics, crimes, society, bullfighting or local issues. The starting point is marked by all those studio professionals who go out into the street to obtain newsworthy images,
At the beginning of the 20th century, the necessary conditions were developed for reporters to make the leap in quality compared to previous years. On the one hand, they demonstrate extensive experience as reporters of the nineteenth-century scenes; on the other hand, technological innovations, which in those years were very scarce due to the traditional dependence on foreign material2, allow the reporter to demonstrate his ability to capture the moment, to tackle the most relevant aspect of each event. These conditions give these photographs greater merit at a time when Spanish photojournalism, and more specifically some of its greatest exponents, receive great recognition from society and in a context in which Spanish newspapers, such as ABC , The graphic,
These isolated photographs are often the works of local photographers who, in addition to working in the studio, used their cameras to travel the most remote points of the Spanish geography or even dedicated themselves exclusively to this last activity, especially when the advances allowed lightness. of equipment and the greater ease of development tasks, a phase that coincides with a major transformation in communications in Spain. With this type of snapshot, history enters photography, but not because previously reporters had not captured aspects of political and social life, quite the contrary, but because from this moment on, events are captured in time and space in which they happen, detaching from the immobile liturgy imposed by the traditional photographic technique.

All commercial strategies that have the purpose of selling any service or product have something in common, they need an image to be effective and attractive. This fact has made advertising photography the most important activity in the professional photographic sector.
Advertising photography requires technique and creativity in equal parts, but always at the service of functionality that requires adaptation to commercial interests, the purpose of which is none other than increased sales. If we can increase the number of sales after the campaign, we can positively assess the advertising capacity of the photograph.

Compared to other photographic genres, advertising photography can be inspired by reality, but what it represents is a reality designed, and subsequently built, according to a series of indications. Unlike other photographic genres, advertising photography builds, the moment, the scene, and the photographer strives to capture them, using all the techniques at his disposal. This way of constructing the images is associated with a tolerant and open character, accepting all the necessary resources, so that the image is the most appropriate for the success of the advertising campaign. Unlike other photographic genres, you can resort to different techniques and tricks in order to achieve the desired image, manipulating it, if necessary, without this being seen as something negative, since,
Advertising photography must take into account two aspects: the creative limitation that advertising functionality supposes and the need for a dose of originality sufficient for this functionality to prevail, so there will be a wide margin of creativity, even despite functionality restrictions.
We cannot forget the aesthetic resources within advertising photography, as elements used in the search for originality, being necessary to pay attention to the aesthetic changes that are constantly taking place in our society. Without forgetting the positive values ​​of aesthetics, because in most cases, the beautiful attracts much more attention than the ugly, causing a cult of beauty within advertising discourse.


The photographic genres. Photography, like television, specializes in a number of specific fields:
Reportage. The photographer works by selecting snapshots that capture human events. The expressiveness of the photographer does not predominate, but that of the subject. But we must bear in mind that the subject’s attitudes or behavior or events are interpretable. There are different types of reporting and in all of them the informative function predominates, since it is usually subject to the text.
Scientific photography. It is fundamentally descriptive. The photographer does not show his feelings, but wants to demonstrate or teach something. The photograph is asked to be clear and clean. Photography has become a very valuable work for science, since it allows capturing images that the human eye cannot perceive, from microscopic images of microorganisms, to macro-images taken from satellites through naturopathic and underwater photography.
Advertising photography. The photographer subordinates his expressiveness and technique to a purpose, which is to persuade the viewer. They require careful elaboration. They are not snapshots. It does not matter that the object is artificial or that it appears to be. They can never do without the text. Advertising photography occupies a wide field of application, taking care of all the details, lighting, colors, staging, all adapted to the idea of ​​the advertiser.
sometimes are full of intent and suggest all kinds of ideas.nThe photographer creates aesthetic messages, which
Psychological portrait. The photographer portrays the subject as he sees it, as he thinks he is.
Surreal abstraction. The image moves away from reality and new expressive environments are created where the objects unfold.
Formal realism. It takes place when an investigation of form, texture, light, color, perspective, framing, composition, is done … without abstracting reality and without showing the author’s feelings.
Formal abstraction. The form loses its connection with the model that originated it (it loses the referent with reality).
Scientific-artistic. Study space, time, movement and relief scientifically and for aesthetic purposes.
There is another series of images that are considered artistic because they are beautiful, but they are casual. They are the so-called chance find.


The first news agency in Spanish and the fourth in the world, with more than seventy years of experience that guarantee its impartiality, its power, its credibility and its immediacy.

A multimedia information company with a worldwide network of journalists, where more than three thousand professionals of 60 nationalities work 24 hours a day from more than 180 cities in 120 countries and with four editing tables in Madrid, Bogotá, Cairo (Arabic) and Rio de Janeiro (Portuguese), to offer its products to customers on the five continents.

EFE distributes 3 million news a year on the different information media: text, photography, audio, video and multimedia, which reach more than two thousand media outlets worldwide every day.

Instantly offers from its worldwide network of delegations and correspondent offices, the Latin vision of the world in Spanish, Portuguese, English, Arabic, Catalan and Galician.

It has offices in Spain in the capitals of the 17 autonomous communities, in addition to Ceuta and Melilla, and sub-offices in other Spanish cities.
It has a greater number of readers than any national newspaper.

More than forty percent of the international agency information published in Latin America is from EFE.

EFE has 884 clients in America.

EFE’s graphic archive stores a total of 15 million images, of which 12 are glass plate, negative and slide documents. Another 3 million photos are already in digital format and are part of the photo library, accessible from the internet and a gateway to one of the largest photojournalism collections in the world. A material that is enriched with more than fifteen hundred daily photos.

Its text file (EFE Data) constitutes the largest database of journalistic information, biographies and documents in Spanish, which in turn has historical text in Portuguese, Arabic, English and Catalan. An intelligent memory with more than 11 million files and that, soon, will have a version for America and another for business. (EFE Data America and EFE Data companies).

EFE’s video library contains 15,000 video tapes that have stored images and programs since 1989.

Since February 2005, EFE and BBVA have sponsored the Fundación del Español Urgente (Fundéu), an institution that helps the good use of Spanish in the media.

EFE walks with force towards the future and faces the digital present prepared for the great technological challenges.

It has already launched new products specially designed to meet the information of today and tomorrow:

Digital World Agenda
Exclusive product of EFE that offers a database with the events that are going to take place in the future in a small town or in a whole continent, with a double approach: of informative and leisure interest.

EFE Channel
A true multimedia information channel that integrates photo, text and video, divided into thematic sections with advertising space, ready to be broadcast via ADSL on any type of television screen.

EFE Collections
The new technologies used in EFE, with new image cataloging, documentation, processing, treatment and selection systems, allow us to create online collections available to customers.

Collections aimed at the publishing market or exclusively for exhibition use, where EFE offers a complete service that ranges from creating the collection together with the client, conceptualizing the space to publishing the catalog.

Thousands of directors, editors, editors-in-chief, department heads and media writers, EFE subscribers worldwide, receive communications from their clients.

Text and photo communications, written and managed by the client, and on video, produced entirely by EFE and in collaboration with the client, and which are disseminated to EFE subscribers through its distribution channels. These distribution channels are specific and different from those dedicated to news information.
EFE has had a new logo since March 2006 that accompanies the motto of this company for the future: “That’s it”.

United Press International (UPI) UPI
Headquarters in Washington, DC
United Press International (UPI) is an international news agency based in the United States founded in 1907. It is a pioneer in many areas of news coverage and distribution, for which it has headquarters throughout the world including Europe, America and Asia .
This internationally recognized agency generated its own formula to compete with foreign agencies, establishing two new principles in the operation of news agencies: News organizations that independently cover international interest, and news events destined for newspapers in any part of the world interested in buying this news.
It also highlights the delivery of fast, complete and objective information on its journalistic coverage. With this, UPI broke with traditional journalism schemes with a new style and method of reporting. It was the first news service to emphasize to the letter what a reporter wrote in his office, introducing interviews done to important personalities and developed articles and chronicles as a vital part of daily news.

Associated Press (AP) AP
building in New York
Associated Press is a United States news agency founded in 1848. It is a business cooperative. The information generated in AP is distributed among more than a billion people.
Associates have the possibility to access any AP information on any of the supports. In the US alone, it has up to 5,000 radio and TV stations and nearly 1,700 newspapers among its subscribers. It also has 8,500 subscribers worldwide, with more than 250 offices distributed in 250 countries around the world with nearly 10,000 employees, transmits more than 1,000 information a day (20 million words).
She has 47 Pulitzer Prizes and 27 Photo Pulitzer. AP grows little by little, so much so that at the beginning of the 20th century it has its own network of correspondents throughout Europe. It is installed in the most important countries, shading the European agencies. AP doesn’t just work in English.

Reuters is a British agency founded in 1851 by the German Julius Reuter, who decided to dedicate himself to selling news to newspapers. Originally it was about economic information from Europe, although later it also went on to deal with general information. It stands out for having introduced the teletypewriter as a means to disseminate its information. Currently, its 2,300 journalists and photographers send press releases in several languages, from the 220 offices that Reuters has spread throughout the world. This public news agency since 1984, is specialized in economic and financial information. After the Associated Press, it is the second largest agency in the world.

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