My biggest problem with young photographers is that they don't think about context. They think about drama. You've got to know where to point your camera.
A photograph fills different needs, at different times in life. There are ideas and understandings that people can never fully experience without photography. It's not merely the camera you are focusing—you are focusing yourself. Then, when you touch the button, what is inside of you comes out. It's the most basic form of creativity. Part of you is now permanent.
The biggest difference between color and black and white is the separation of colors. When you're shooting black and white, you have to get contrasts, or else everything will look gray. I pushed the limits of black and white and I was looking for things with dramatic impact, with a lot of contrast.
Journalism schools try to teach their students to be 'unbiased.' They should use the word 'fair,' because most people know what it means to be fair.
Photojournalism is a combination of art and journalism—it's documentation in an artistic way. It's no different from what a good writer does. What I want to do now is pass this on, to be able to inspire young people to go into journalism.
The joy a photojournalist gets out of his work must be in the act of taking the photograph, solving the problem of the moment. You have to take pride in the actual picture when you're shooting it. To do this, you must be aware of everything around you; you must keep educating yourself as widely as possible; you must come up with ideas; you must keep abreast of the current market; you must keep well grounded in current techniques.
The camera is like a wall between you and danger, and you take chances... I reached a point where I decided that if I was going to risk my life, it had to be for something I truly, deeply believed in.
People always ask, 'How do you know when to take the picture?' The only way I can explain it is when it feels right. Always trust your gut instinct. A good picture is luck, a lot of times. But you have to be prepared for it. You make your own luck.
All my life, I've gotten bored if I shoot the same thing. I have never specialized and because of that I've been able to work for all kinds of magazines.
Once I was out there shooting, everything came back—the joy, the high of it. It was just like the old days.I want to communicate life as I see it. I'm still a journalist, and I still think journalism is the highest calling in photography.