Leica White 3

Photography is a technology through which the world is visually performed, and we are seeing major transformations in both the visual economy and our understanding of the world. The new media economy has expanded our understanding of “the photographic,” such that “photography” includes all images, whether amateur or professional, still or moving, lens-based or computational. Imaging devices have proliferated with the rise of smartphones, video-enabled DSLRs, GoPros, drones, Google Glass, Oculus Rift, and more. I analyse the visual practices that contribute to visual storytelling in this context, including documentary or editorial photography, mobile imaging, photojournalism, video journalism, and satellite imagery. The pictures they produce are not isolated or discrete objects, and have to be understood as being part of networks of materials, technologies, institutions, markets, social spaces, emotions, cultural histories and political contexts. These writings explore the changes in the way images are produced, distributed, consumed, their effects, how we should read them, and how compelling visual stories can be constructed…



“Afterword: Abundant Photography, Discursive Limits and the Work of Images,” in The Versatile Image: Photography, Digital Technologies and the Internet, edited by Alexandra Moschovi, Carol McKay and Arabella Plouviez (Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2013).

“The flood of images and the performance of rights: The changing function of photojournalism in the new media economy,” in The Flood of Rights, edited by Tom Keenan, Suhail Malik and Tirdad Zolghadr (LUMA Foundation, 2015).


The World Press Photo multimedia research project, supported by the FotografenFederatie (Dutch Photographers Association), is a major statement of the transformations in the visual economy. I was research director for the project, which ran from July 2012 to April 2013 and was conducted under the auspices of the World Press Photo Academy. The project reviewed the global emergence and development of multimedia in visual storytelling, especially photojournalism. The final report – Visual Storytelling in the Age of Post-Industrial Journalism – was presented at a lecture in Amsterdam on 25 April 2013.

The report was previewed in my interview for the Canon Professional Network (April 2013). World Press Photo has a web page for the project. There are five 10-minute video conversations with some of todays leading multimedia producers, who offer their own personal insights into the practice. And I did an interview for DW Akademie on the findings: Visual storytelling and moving beyond ‘multimedia’: Part 1 and Visual storytelling and moving beyond ‘multimedia’: Part 2.

Here you can get the full report, a podcast of the lecture presentation, the slides used in the presentation, as well as links to follow-up posts:

The report

Visual Storytelling in the Age of Post-Industrial Journalism  (PDF, 66 pages)

The presentation


Photo © Michael Kooren/ Koorenphoto.nl

This podcast runs for 60 minutes, and the lecture follows a 3 minute introduction by Maarten Koets, Deputy Managing Director of World Press Photo.

Here are the slides (PDF, 16 pages) used in the presentation.

Follow up posts and interviews

The aim of these posts is to highlight aspects of the report, and keep the conversation going:

My thoughts on a lot of these topics were aired in an interview I did for a BBC World Service documentary on Media Futures, especially part IV on the Internet, which you can listen to here:



During my time at Colgate University in Spring 2012 I was interviewed by Colgate President Jeffrey Herbst about my research in photography:


Top photo credit: Leica IA 1925, by Alessia Glaviano.

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