Visual Histories

Collected Thoughts

Original Words written for the Eddie Adams Workshop

by Jonathan Foster


In pre-literate times, the record of human history was archived in oral histories and traditions. With the on-set of digital technology, the pace of human life is ever-increasing. Our story has descended from utterances, to bison on the walls of French caves, to illuminated manuscripts, to dime novels, to morse code, to radio broadcasts of "Oh the Humanity!", to colored television and America Online, and now social media, video conferencing, and smartphones.Although the role and evolution of communication are important, I sought out photojournalism because conveying a message effectively is paramount. I have watched photographs overcome language and cultural barriers through an intrinsic human element, one that can be found relatable even in the most despairing moment. That element informs us about our histories, our collective past and our self identities. All of that can be surmised within a photograph.


I have spent the last five years of my life developing my skills as a visual storyteller. Ironically, most of what I have heard about Barnstorm has been through the lore passed down from past attendees and upperclassmen at school. But, I have heard the stories and I have seen the product. I want to go through the experience, for it to inform me as a photojournalist and for that to be reflected in my work as a human being. I did not become a photographer to offer a well-packaged commodity, but rather to offer my voice in the course of human events that represent this time in history.

Using Format