Saturday, July 12, 2008

City Daily Photo Portal and Blogs

Written by Eki Qushay Akhwan

Following the introduction of BANDUNG DAILY PHOTO (BDP) yesterday, let me now introduce you to the network that links the city daily photo blogs (of which BDP is a member), how it began, and some characteristics that its members share that are of note to those who are interested in discussions on photography and photography issues.

City Daily Photo, the portal that links blogs that meet the criteria of covering a single area/city and posting a picture a day about that area/city, began its existence with Eric Tenin’s PARIS – ONE PHOTO A DAY blog in 2005 (Source: Gerald). The blog attracted so many visitors who were interested in seeing or remembering Paris, that it soon began to inspire others to do the same about the place/city where they live. Thus what began as a single blog covering a single city has since brought about a sort of “movement” (if I may call that a movement) in the world of blogging, photography, and citizen journalism.

What’s interesting about this type of photo blog is not, in my opinion, the photographs’ quality. Although the name of the blogs aggregated at the portal has the label ‘photo’ in them, the emphasis is not on the photographs (read: quality photographs), but on the places which they cover and the blogs’ individual owners’ perspectives, of whom many are not photographers or even photography enthusiasts.

As expected, the pictures’ quality on these blogs is secondary. (I am not saying that none of them have good quality pictures; quite a number of them do have great and professional quality pictures and are managed by pro photographers/photo enthusiasts. But this lack of photo quality is, in my opinion, decently compensated by the theme (the place) and the owner’s perspective. Visiting these blogs is like taking a visual tour of a place with a personal guide who has intimate knowledge of it and, unlike taking a tour with a professional guide or travel agency, you will not only be shown of the usual tourist stuff but also the day-to-day ordinary life of the city as the owner experiences it.

In one way, what these city photo bloggers do, can be categorized as citizen journalism which involves a practice of documentary photography. (More on this on the next post. For now, check them out and see if you like them. You can begin here, if you like.)

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