July 29th, 2012, 06:04 AM
Documentary, reportage and moral responsibility
Here's an article designed to provoke some thinking about the position photographers adopt in response to the scenes they witness and capture, and how that affects them as well as the protagonists ...
The Bystanders: photographers who didn't step in to help - in pictures | Media | The Guardian
My photostream at Flickr.com is here
"We can not shake the illusion of the truthfulness of photography" - William Gedney
July 29th, 2012, 06:30 AM
this is one of the reasons I'd rather become a well travelled amateur photographer, hopefully with a job where I can make some sort of immediate difference, rather than a professional photographer.
July 29th, 2012, 07:11 AM
The photographer who shot the iconic picture of a starving child stalked by a vulture, just killed himself. His name was Kevin Carter.
"I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners ... I have gone to join Ken [recently deceased colleague Ken Oosterbroek] if I am that lucky."
"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd" ~ Voltaire
July 29th, 2012, 08:36 AM
After seeing those photos it just reinforces my belief that humans are the lowest form of animal life on the planet. The things we do to each other make me sick.
July 29th, 2012, 10:42 AM
Sorry I can't recall the name, but there was a wonderful book of fiction that explored this topic. It was about a documentary photographer who is visited years later by someone he took a picture of. That picture was recognized by a regime and the guy was jailed and tortured for years because of it. So the guy came to kill the photographer, but only after a few days of tortuous conversations. They discuss the impact and moral obligation of documentary photography. It turns out that the photographer's wife was killed while standing beside him while they were documenting a war, so he had his own personal losses. I would divulge what happens to the photographer
Without such documentary photography some events may never come to light, but the photographer is rarely in a position to assist. Their own lives are at times on the line.
July 29th, 2012, 02:11 PM
One the photographer is assisting the victims by recording the event and publishing the images to the rest of the world.
Without the images the rest of the world can ignore these horrendous events and victims.
Secondly how come only the photographer who records the activity is the one criticized for a non-physical response, what about all the others at the scene. All the unknowns who do nothing, but watch or run
July 29th, 2012, 03:30 PM
I think that unless a person has found themselves in personal, imminent danger and understand the adrenaline overload that goes with, their opinion of others actions, or inactions, should be left as merely retorical. None of us should be passing judgement in any case. Our own harshest critic lies within...
July 29th, 2012, 03:38 PM
I would never the pass judgment on the photographer in these cases. I'm passing judgment on the people responsible for the acts.
July 29th, 2012, 04:45 PM
I should have been more clear. I was referencing the critics of the photographers. Sorry for any confusion! This is one of the most civil and thoughtful forums on the worldy-wide interweb.
Originally Posted by Luke
July 29th, 2012, 04:55 PM
I didn't think you were questioning me...I just wanted to clarify. Obviously, there's no telling what we would do in such tumultuous situations. I think in one or two of them, I'm pretty sure I'd set down the camera and get in a fisticuffs. In others, I fear I may just do the easy thing and do nothing. But I go out of my way to not be in situations like this to start with.
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