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Magnum 62 : 1970s – 1990s, the mutation

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The emergence of photojournalism always depended hugely upon technological development of the camera. With the introduction of the 35 mm Leica camera in the 1930s, it was made possible for photographers to move with action, taking shots of events as they were unfolding. The years from the 1930s until the 50s have often been described as the ‘golden age of photojournalism’. The Vietnam War has often been described as the last ‘photographer’s war’, and since the 1970s the influence of photojournalism has gradually declined – the sense in an image could improve current living conditions was questioned and the belief that the camera does not lie and present a completely transparent view has gradually declined. This directly affected picture magazines such as Life, Picture Post and Paris Match and photographers were faced with fewer opportunities to disseminate their work through these avenues.

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