Writing with


Writing with Light, the original meaning of photography, is a movement by visual journalists and documentary photographers to clearly differentiate their photographs from other images that appear to be photorealistic but are highly manipulated or generated by artificial intelligence systems. The icon, placed next to the photographer’s name in the credit, indicates to readers that the photographer upholds the Statement of Principles (below), striving for fair and accurate reporting of what they experience while acknowledging the subjectivity inherent in their work.

Just as a writer is an author whose credibility is based upon their skills and integrity as a professional, so too the credibility of a “writer with light,” the author-photographer, is dependent upon their own skills and integrity as interpreters of people, issues, and events, not solely upon the fidelity of the camera as a recording device. And just as a writer can quote what someone says, so too photographs can be considered as a quotation from appearances presented within the photograph’s frame. In both cases adequate context needs to be provided for the reader to better understand what is being said or seen, while in neither case can quotations, of words or image, be used that mislead.

If photography is to continue to function as a reliable witness, capable of provoking societal debates and interventions for those in need, differentiating between fact and fiction has never been more important.

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