Lens

The New York Times gets photojournalism

Too often, photojournalists get the shaft. Not only are pictures a crucial component to luring readers into a story, but the work photographers spend getting that perfect shot can sometimes take as much time as researching and writing the story itself (and more), and the methods for getting that shot can be life threatening.

The New York Times seems to recognize the value of photojournalism, and that’s why it’s started this site, Lens, which gives a home to all the amazing images that can’t fit in the paper—or sometimes do, but deserve a story all their own.

Take this one, which made the Times front page, causing “pink boxers” to become on of the most highly searched terms on the paper’s site.

“Specialist Zachary Boyd of Fort Worth, Tex., left, fighting the Taliban, alongside Specialist Cecil Montgomery and Specialist Jordan Custer.”
“Specialist Zachary Boyd of Fort Worth, Tex., left, fighting the Taliban, alongside Specialist Cecil Montgomery and Specialist Jordan Custer.”
David Guttenfelder/Associated Press

Or this fragment from a documentary on Iowans trying to survive the economic climate.

Danny Wilcox Frazier

Or this picture, taken from a long series that highlights American racism.

“Mr. Holdt's caption: ‘Girl with Cuban Maid. Palm Beach, Florida.’ “
“Mr. Holdt's caption: ‘Girl with Cuban Maid. Palm Beach, Florida.’ “
Jacob Holdt

It’s the kind of site one can get lost in for hours, even days. Because photos, unlike words, can open worlds in an instant, without coaxing.