Documentary, reportage and moral responsibility

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Real Name
bart
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.
 

Boid

All-Pro
Location
Bangalore, India
Real Name
Rajiv
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."
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
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 :confused:

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.
 

Landshark

PhotoDog
Location
SoCal
Real Name
Bob
Two thoughts:
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
 

jhowell39

Veteran
Location
norcal
Real Name
Jim
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...
 

jhowell39

Veteran
Location
norcal
Real Name
Jim
I would never the pass judgment on the photographer in these cases. I'm passing judgment on the people responsible for the acts.

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.
 
Location
Milwaukee, WI USA
Real Name
Luke
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.
 

Lightmancer

Legend
Location
Sunny Frimley
Real Name
Bill Palmer
Until any of us have the misfortune to be in such a situation we simply cannot judge. I was once the target of an attempted mugging - on a cold, wet night in Amsterdam. A man asked me the time and tried to grab my watch when I looked at it. He managed somehow in the ensuing struggle to get his arm around my neck. I went nuts and ended up putting him on the ground and hitting him hard enough to stay there. I fled and went straight back to my hotel, where I called the police. They took a statement and I thought that was the end of it. The following morning I told the tale to my Dutch colleagues. One asked if I had been threatened with a dirty needle. This was common at the time because of the threat of AIDs. I have never run so fast, to the gents to strip off and check myself all over.

None of my actions were planned - everything was instinct, fuelled by adrenaline. Like I said, you do not know how you will react in a given situation and I would not like to judge others without "being there"

Sent from another Galaxy
 

Gary

All-Pro
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Gary Ayala
As a former news photog, I've been there. I have and will dropped my gear and assignment(s) to help others in dire need. I do know other journalist and photojournalists who would never interfere and actually look down at me for not doing my job and for losing my status as an observer.

I feel for Carter. What they don't teach you in school is that you are as responsible for what you see as you are for what you do. Ultimately, all journalists/war correspondents will learn that lesson but, by the time it is learned it's too late to save themselves from all the faces from the stories. Like slivers of shrapnel from an old wound, working its way to the surface, the faces and images which are buried deep in our sub-conscience will slowly work their way to our conscience and the light of day. No rush, those faces have a lifetime, your lifetime, to remind you of what you saw. As a volunteer, you never really had to be there, you didn't have to be at that place, at that time, just to see what you thought you had to see.

Gary
 

pdh

Legend
wow Gary that's quite a way to land here ... strong and heartfelt.

thanks.

if you've joined to stick around (or even if you joined to add to this thread only), you're very welcome here ... there is a "welcomes and introductions" thread if you like that sort of thing.
 

Gary

All-Pro
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Gary Ayala
wow Gary that's quite a way to land here ... strong and heartfelt.

thanks.

if you've joined to stick around (or even if you joined to add to this thread only), you're very welcome here ... there is a "welcomes and introductions" thread if you like that sort of thing.

Thanks pdh. I'm active over at Amin's other site µ4/3. I heard a lot about Serious Compacts so I'm here taking a peak. The closest thing I have to a compact are a couple of OM-D's (I guess that works for here).

Gary

PS- The OP of the guy slapping his wife ... I would have shot that also, lol ... now if he starts to pummel her ... I'd interfere.
G
 

Gary

All-Pro
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Gary Ayala
Just so you know Gary, I'm in charge of slapping around here. Welcome! Glad you found the place.:wink:

Wow, now-a-days they'll give anybody a badge (lol) ... Yes sir, I'll take that as a fair warning, sir.

28693897_RA9kR-L.jpg


Gary

PS- How about those Dodgers ... neck-to-neck with the Giants as they turn into the final stretch.
G

PPS- Good seeing you here.
G
 

Gary

All-Pro
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Gary Ayala
Yes, Luke and I play "good cop, bad cop" :) And it's a welcome from me too, Gary. Hope you find much here to stimulate you - and please do contribute!

Obviously you're the 'Good Cop' ... thank you for the warm welcome. As many of the players are the same, I found much redundancy between here and µ4/3, so I'll try not to duplicate my content.

Gary
 

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