Melissa Richards Jrn 340

Assignments and other posts

Into the Minds of Photojournalists: Robert Caplin vs Tewfic El-Sawy

on September 21, 2012

For the past week, I have followed two photojournalism blogs. The first blog is by Robert Caplin, which focuses on documentary and event photography. He is based in Manhattan, NY. The other blog I followed is the Travel Photographer. This is a travel and documentary photography blog, published by Tewfic El-Sawy. He is also based in New York City.

According to our book, Journalism Next, by Mark Briggs, there are several qualities a good blog should live by. Both blogs contain many of those qualities.

Caplin has a creative way of wording his headlines. They tend to pull the reader in to the rest of the story. For example, one post is called, “Bad, Icky, Nasty, Creepy Elmo. Parents Beware!” This, as you can tell, is about a creepy Elmo of some sort. It is about a man who used to run a pornography website, who is now dressing up like Elmo for children in Central Park. I know, it’s gross, but it was definitely an interesting story to read.

El-Sawy, on the other hand, does not have the most informative headlines. This is one of his blog’s weaknesses. He tends to post his location, and the day he is there, in his titles. For example, he has a blog post called, “In Hue….Day Two.”

Caplin tends to keep his blog posts at about 350 words. This is a perfect length, because it is short enough to keep interest, and long enough to be informative.

El-Sawy keeps his posts pretty short, at about 200 words. What he says, though, is very interesting. He really paints the story of his day. Something else that I feel makes this length okay, are his photos. They are so beautiful and interesting, that they tell the stories themselves.

Both photojournalist’s blogs link to other blogs and stories. This is great, because it lets the reader further read into a topic or story. Both blogs do this in different ways. Caplin tends to link to other articles or blogs from within his articles. This is good, because it lets the reader research different topics as they come up. El-Sawy does not link within his articles. Instead, he has a panel on the right side, which lists different blogs and websites.

An important part of a successful blog is the comments. When a writer receives critiques or compliments on their blog, it can further progress said blog.

Caplin’s blog allows Facebook comments, while El-Sawy’s does not allow any. While El-Sawy does not allow comments, he does not seem to comment on other blogs either. Caplin, on the other hand, does not reply to comments often. The only time I saw him reply, was to someone who did not agree with the Elmo post.


Both blogs are still active. El-Sawy posts more often than Caplin, at about once a day. Caplin only posts about once a month. What he does post, is very interesting. Something else I have noticed, is that Caplin’s Twitter is updated several times a day, with feature photos.

These are both great blogs. I would love to have something similar one day. The biggest thing I would do differently is the way comments are monitored. I would not only allow comments, but try to reply as often as I could.

Something I would like to leave you with, is a post by El-Sawy. The first photo on that post is stunning to me. If you have a chance, check out some of the photos on his blog. They can take you on an amazing adventure.


One response to “Into the Minds of Photojournalists: Robert Caplin vs Tewfic El-Sawy

  1. missannie says:

    I like how you tell the stories to the photojournalists’ different stories, however, I wanted to see the picture myself to know what you are talking about. You could probably add some of the photos to your text with a photo credit underneath it. I checked out the two photo blogs and they are pretty amazing!

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