NEWSEUM Visitors

June 29, 2014

I've been to the NEWSEUM many times, and as everybody can image I love it. It's about journalism, media and the freedom of the press. It kind of celebrates the 1st amendment of the United States. It stands in stark contrast to the NRA museum, which in a somewhat unbalanced and incomprehensive way celebrates the 2nd amendment. Somewhat surprisingly, both rights claim to be the guarantors of individual freedom.

I wasn't really there to photograph but when I looked at my pictures after returning back home I noticed that I had often snapped visitors who were deeply touched by what they saw. No matter whether they were exposed to a documentary film about the 9/11 attack, visited the gallery of Pulitzer price winning photographs or read the story of Dan Bolles' built around his bombed car. Many looked in disbelieve at the images in front of them, as if they saw them the first time in their lives.

Showing reality, no matter how cruel it is, is what journalism is all about, isn't it? You might object, though, that NEWSEUM's huge collection of artifacts might simply be too much for the "untrained" observer. But everything on display at the NEWSEUM has been in mainstream news before, so how can any visitor be "untrained" then? At least those who discover the world with their open eyes and critical mind? 

Anyway, the human mind does not seem to have unlimited capacity for bad news. Some of us tolerate more, some less.  While I have always been an advocate for keeping the eyes open and preserving a critical mind, I have learned to tolerate (to a certain degree) the desire to pick good news instead of bad ones and to prefer entertainment over critical thinking. Everybody should position himself deliberately, and not being able to see the positive sides of life is certainly not desirable, either.

All images were taken with the Fuji X-T1 and either the 1.4/23 mm or the 1.2/56 mm primes. Optically, both lenses are fantastic, but the usability of the 23 mm is much better than that of the 56 mm. Not only is the 56 a bit on the heavy side. It has a sometimes struggling autofocus and the manual focusing experience is a lot less enjoyable than that of the 23 mm. On the plus side are its optical qualities and its incredible shallow depth of field that makes playing with out-of-focus areas a pleasure.

PS. I had another little post about the NEWSEUM a while ago, and sooner or later I'll find the time to write a whole Point-And-Shoot about it.