Not so lazy Sunday

So this Sunday didn't turn out lazy which I'm quite glad about. I spent last night alternating between a Ridley Scott action movie on the telly and tweaking some photos for an album cover which is turns out to be so much fun. Since I'm not often doing these types of jobs but rather stick to the photojournalistic side of things, I rarely get to retouch images this way. Interesting, challenging and quite fun. A question though, will it turn into something problematic retouching and editing these types of images in this elaborate manner for jobs like this but not for others, will people mix the genres and will the line between the does and don'ts blur? Another question, do I really care?

Some months ago the debate popped up (yet again) when NY Times published some images taken by a fine arts photographer who had retouched and altered the images. Problematic due to NY Times image policy and obviously to some other issues as well. But for me this gets me to think of my own tiny dilemma - is it easy to jump between the different genres and the different rules that apply to them without putting my own photographic integrity in question (when such an integrity is necessary)? Ok, so now you could callously call out "But hey Petter, you don't have any integrity, so no worries there mate!" And maybe the worries are non, and maybe I don't have any integrity, and maybe this entire debate starts to really go on my nerves. Nevertheless, it seems to be ubiquitous. It keeps popping up from time to time. But wouldn't it also be quite interesting if the debate on what we photojournalists covers for stories was being voiced as ferociously as the debate on retouching. Because isn't this what will keep our profession alive and interesting in the time to come? In a time where the newspapers seem to cut down on everything and where it seems to be harder to finance any type of story unless Michael Jackson would rise from the dead - or maybe that wouldn't generate as much coverage as if he subsequently died/got killed yet again. Listen to this talk from Stephen Mayes, managing director for VII Photo Agency and who's served as Jury Secretary for the World Press Photo Award between 2004-2009, for some rather more insightful thoughts about photojournalism.

But yeah, this Sunday wasn't so lazy. Got to bed really late (or early) due to the exciting retouching I'm discovering. This morning I managed to get up early to go climbing, socializing and then to get some work done. Ok, so I'm at the latter stages now i.e. trying to get some work done. Nevertheless it was a good start to a good day. Hope to get more of these in the years to come.

Following images are from a story I did for Dagens Industri, the largest financial newspaper in Sweden, about some of the impoverished people in Latvia whose life are becoming increasingly desperate due to the economic crisis. What's special about Latvia in a Swedish context is the high level of Swedish involvement , especially our banks, that has been rather devastating for the Latvian people. The photos were taken in the countryside around Jelgava, Latvia in May this year. All images ©pettercohen/DI


Another new beginning.

And a new beginning it is. This week saw me starting as a photo intern at the swedish weekly magazine Fokus. Think Newsweek but Swedish and you got it. After one week at the new place everything feels great and I even managed to get one shot in the magazine. What a feat.

Ok, irony aside, it feels great to be on the go again. And judging from the first week at Fokus I hope to be getting around quite alot. Yesterday saw me traversing the country and I must have clocked up more than 1100 km. The Swedish railway system might not be the best in the world but at times it does the job. The trains weren't even delayed which is the first time in I think a few years for me. Pure luck perhaps but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it wasn't only me who got to a new fresh start this week. Maybe SJ is finally getting its act toghether, one can only hope!

Fredrik Göthe and his brother Henrik Johnsson, students; businessmen;
and WWII re-enactors. Shot for the Swedish weekly Fokus.