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Author Topic: Morals..... high or low  (Read 1844 times)

Offline irv_b

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Morals..... high or low
« on: September 09, 2009, 11:20:29 PM »
Reading the article below got me wondering when does taking and exhibiting a photo step over the line
 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/ben_macintyre/article6828145.ece

 I know its the guys job, the picture is relevant to the news of the day and although you cant see the pic(i dont know if anybody here has I cant find it on the web anywhere) was the decision to publish the shot right. In fact does getting the shot overstep the mark, could describing it in words convey the scene as much as a picture.
 To move it away from the war would you ever take a picture that you know could be seen as distasteful to some but relevant to the situation of the day- I think I would and I think I have high morals


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Offline spinner

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 11:46:56 PM »
As the saying goes, all's fair in love and war. The photographer didn't know the young marine was going to die and there's not suggestion he in any way contributed to the soldier's death. I'd say it's fair game. There are however many instances where there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. War isn't one of them. If they're horrifying enough maybe war will stop one day.
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 12:19:21 AM »
Reading the article below got me wondering when does taking and exhibiting a photo step over the line
 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/ben_macintyre/article6828145.ece

 I know its the guys job, the picture is relevant to the news of the day and although you cant see the pic(i dont know if anybody here has I cant find it on the web anywhere) was the decision to publish the shot right. In fact does getting the shot overstep the mark, could describing it in words convey the scene as much as a picture.
 To move it away from the war would you ever take a picture that you know could be seen as distasteful to some but relevant to the situation of the day- I think I would and I think I have high morals

The picture is still at the top of the article.  ;D

As to your question only those involved can say. It's very easy to sit at our computer or see the picture in the paper or on TV and say he shouldn't have taken the picture. The picture of the young girl running down the road naked after been involved in the Naplam incident durning the Vietnam war, was one of the images that turned public support against it. Did the image do more to save lives than if the photographer hadn't done it and instead gone to help the girl?
Live Aid was created due to the coverage of the famine in Africa by the TV news. Was that crossing the line? A doctor can only save one of two live, so he chooses and his choice makes a full recovery, then he goes out and kills someone. Did the doctor make the wrong choice? No, of course not. Like the doctor, we all have to make choices in our lives, and none of us can know if it was the right thing to do. What most of us can say is, in that situation we made the best choice we could. So, you can't draw a line unless you are there at the time.  :tup:

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 12:38:06 AM »
Only by the photographer taking the picture can people really understand the attrocities of war - re the vietnese girl running naked from a napalm bomb.

Ultimately it is the editirowho prints the picture.

What i still consider the main subject of morals was the paps trying to get pictures of Diana Princess of Wales as she was trapped in the Merc dying.

Get the picture or render first aid? Good job i drive trains for a living!


Offline Graham

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 05:30:58 AM »
   The folks with low morals are those who suport the sending of others to a war zone and then get all offended when presented with the realities.
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Offline greypoint

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 06:50:05 AM »
The Princess Diana point seems the mose relevant - taking a picture like that would be of no help  except to the photographer's bank balance. The line is surely between horrific or lurid pictures that are genuinely reporting something that needs publicity and the same type of shots possibly of 'celebrities', in the widest sense, which are worth a lot of money. That would be my moral ground. Ultimately, of course, a photographer should try to get the shot and help if possible.

Offline hevans

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 07:00:09 AM »
   The folks with low morals are those who suport the sending of others to a war zone and then get all offended when presented with the realities.
                               Graham.

Hear Hear!!!

The choice of publishing is with the editor. It is at the publication stage where the damage is done. Not when the shutter is pressed. Between taking the photo and it appearing in numerous newspapers there are many many people involved. So if there is a guilty party, it would be with the editors deciding to run the photo, not with the photographer.

If it is a case of being alone with the victim and slowly watching them die while you take photos of the event. That IS immoral by my experiences. But that is a different case from this one.

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Offline ABERS

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 07:26:28 AM »
I don't suppose the photographer for one moment stopped to think about the morality of his actions anymore than the person who made the grenade. Both were/are doing a job for which they are paid.

Offline magicrhodes

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2009, 09:07:33 AM »
   The folks with low morals are those who suport the sending of others to a war zone and then get all offended when presented with the realities.
                               Graham.

Graham you are bang on with this point, if the public know what wars like perhaps we'll advise our politicans to think more carefully before the pack the youth off to die! The worrying thing is the trend in kids who think war is cool after playing computer games. My wife, as a teacher, hears this opinion on a regular basis!

My only stipulation is that perhaps an editor should check with the family involved first.

Offline hevans

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2009, 09:27:47 AM »
My only stipulation is that perhaps an editor should check with the family involved first.

In this particular case involving the photos of the death of the soldier, the AP editors did make contact with the family, and the family strongly requested that the photos not be published.

Again, it's the editors, not the photographer that took the responsibility to put the images in the public arena. The editors also had considerably more time to consider the implications of the images than the photographer did.

I don't think the issue is whether it's moral to take a photograph in these situations (although if you have the option of helping rather than shooting, that's a different argument), but rather an argument of is it moral to publish them.

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Offline minky_monkey

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2009, 06:25:28 PM »
I don't think the issue is whether it's moral to take a photograph in these situations (although if you have the option of helping rather than shooting, that's a different argument), but rather an argument of is it moral to publish them.

Absolutely, the photographer is in the midst of a war zone.  They don`t have the time to sit there going "um, morally should I shoot this.."

The decision to publish is the only one open to scrutiny IMO. 

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2009, 07:17:42 PM »
I don't say I hold this view, but the other argument regarding taking the shot or helping the soldier is this. If the tog wasn't there, taking pictures, then he wouldn't be there able to help, so not helping and taking the shot actually hasn't changed the cause of history, him helping and not taking the shot has!

Personally  I doubt I'd be there, but if I was I couldn't stand back and watch someone suffer and would help as best I could!
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Offline irv_b

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2009, 10:03:36 PM »
I don't think the issue is whether it's moral to take a photograph in these situations (although if you have the option of helping rather than shooting, that's a different argument), but rather an argument of is it moral to publish them.

Absolutely, the photographer is in the midst of a war zone.  They don`t have the time to sit there going "um, morally should I shoot this.."

The decision to publish is the only one open to scrutiny IMO. 
Of course the photographer knows what they are doing, they aren't naive, they don't upload the pic straight off to the paper within minutes (remember they are in a war zone its not like they are at a football match with their laptop connected to an isdn line) I suspect that the photo was sent back later that day. I agree the photo should be taken and published if its to achieve a worthwhile end but somehow I dont think that in this case it will make one iota of a difference (although as I said before I would have taken the shot if I was there).
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2009, 10:53:29 PM »
These photographers have satellite dishes and the image would be sent within minutes if required.  :tup:

Offline irv_b

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Re: Morals..... high or low
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2009, 11:14:03 PM »
These photographers have satellite dishes and the image would be sent within minutes if required.  :tup:
Even so OB, the point is the pics would have been reviewed before they were sent, so the photograpgher cant be totally blameless
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