Welcome to Viewfinder
Welcome to my new photo blog. It's the place where I'll be exploring photojournalism and pictures that make the news, highlighting interesting work by photographers on the web and most importantly, the place where you can share your views on the subject as well as your pictures.
You might have noticed that in the past few weeks, we have launched new-look picture galleries across the site. Here's one on the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico City by freelance photographer Trevor Snapp; another drawn from the wires on the first day of the Indian elections and finally one by our readers on the theme of closing.
The new format makes more of the powerful images we use from our staff, freelancers and agency sources.
Though the BBC runs the largest newsgathering operation in the world, our picture gathering is for obvious reasons based on the moving image.
So like the majority of the world's press, we subscribe to a number of news agencies who provide us with the latest still pictures from the big events of the day.
Many of the photographers who work for wire agencies - such as the Associated Press, Getty Images and, in the UK, the Press Association - are among the best in the world, and we use their pictures to illustrate, contextualise and at times add what Harold Evans, author of Pictures on a Page, describes as "depth of meaning". That is the way a picture can add information to a story: something that can't be captured by the written word, it can also encompass an emotional angle.
There will of course be lots more on how we use pictures in future posts, the mechanism of photojournalism, ethics and much more, but for now I just wanted to say hello.
Whether you are a professional photographer, amateur or student, please do let us have your thoughts on our new-look galleries and anything you'd like me to address.