Photojournalism: Graphis Master Brent Stirton and Gold-Winner Debra Jansen Reveal Natural Habitats

Photojournalists are often under appreciated, but Graphis is committed to bringing their work to light. After all, their photography shines a light on the truth of the world around us.

Excellent photojournalism brings viewers’ attention to particular details in order to tell a story. Sometimes, a shot zooms in on an emotional face or something typically missed by the naked eye. Other times though, a wide shot allows the viewer to discern the important details themselves. In Graphis Master Brent Stirton’sRed Elephants, Kenya (ABOVE), elephants appear as the size of small rodents and their watering hole becomes a mere puddle at first glance. However, as the eye scans the image, one is faced with an overwhelming sense of nature’s vastness. Sometimes, the illuminating detail is the big picture.
Writer/producer Mika Chance told us, “For [Stirton], photography’s a responsibility, a joy, a curse, and a refuge – but above all, it is an obsession. Stirton’s work shows us that everything that happens in the world is interconnected.” With his wondrous shot of elephants in their natural habitat, it is easy to see how they are connected to each other, to the other species in the image, and to nature on a whole.


Debra Jansen is another invaluable member of the photojournalism community. Specializing in location portraiture, her Gold-winning series “Rio Favela” (ABOVE) capture people in their habitats. Seemingly content, their bodies have aged alongside their unkempt dwellings. In her own words, Jansen remembers her personal project: “My goal was to capture the every day moments in the favela. Even in extreme poverty, the people are resourceful, genuine, and friendly. All creature comforts are minimal.” Jansen plays with the traditional use of sepia to emphasize the poor conditions of the area and allows the characters to take the spotlight.

Submit to the Photography Annual 2019 competition by December 18, 2018. Winners will have the opportunity to see their work published on our website, blog, newsletter, and social media platforms!

Author: Graphis

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