Tom Reichner wrote in post #18226954
But the photoraphers that Allen mentioned are not really photojournalists, they are fine art and/or street photographers. Street photographers are attempting to create art. Photojournalists are attempting to document meaningful events. These are completely different objectives and have completely different emphasis. I see no way in which these two disciplines are similar, other than the fact that they each use camera gear to capture images and that their subject matter usually (but not always) includes humans. .
I like your distinction between street photographers and photojournalists, but I think all photographers endeavor to create art. Each photographer is in pursuit of his own [art]. But like I said earlier... they're just labels. As WaltA points out, people get distracted by labels - but on that point, some of the photographers Allen mentioned were photojournalists, too. In his thirties, Winogrand was a photojournalist with his images published in commercial magazines. Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange were documentary photographers, and I'd argue more "photojournalist" than "street." Again, these are labels and I think the lines between them are blurred, especially considering the influences of others' works on one's own personal style.
I think that as photographers, we are all documentarians. Like writers, we interpret reality. The only real division is that between fact and fiction. There are those of us who record reality for what it is and then there are those who challenge the notions of what's there. We can create a record of events and memorialize them as they were. Or we can write a fiction as a novelist might, blending what is real and what is not into a creative expression of what we see. We can either capture a scene for all of its natural and untouched state. Or we can manipulate lights, adding props, costume and processing to achieve our visions. As photographers, we can document what's real as well as what's not. Fact and fiction are the only true categories and even between them the lines are blurred.
All else, whether documentary photography, photojournalism, landscape, portrait, commercial or fashion... these are all constructs we've created because we feel the need to compartmentalize and sort. In order to understand something, we feel the need to describe it. In describing it, we begin to label it. The consequence of that is we tend to forget that there's more to a thing than the category in which it was placed. Just as in taxonomy, we've sorted organisms into genus and species but have to be reminded that they are connected by family, class and order and, even broader, by kingdom and phyla. How many of us even think about domain? The difference, however, between science and photography is that the lines around science are more readily drawn. Photography is an art and, as such, those lines are not as clear.