Monday, July 30, 2012

'I became a photographer and not a person'





In case you missed this, a must read, via The Guardian:


'I was gutted that I'd been such a coward': photographers who didn't step in to help

What's it like to witness a mob attack, a starving child or the aftermath of a bomb, and take a photograph instead of stopping to help? As two journalists are under fire for recording rather than intervening in a sex attack in India, we ask people who know


In pictures: the photographers who stood by (contains some graphic images)


One view: "I became a photographer and not a person" ~ Photojournalism as Morally Troubling?


Bill Eppridge, on photographing Robert F. Kenedy after being shot: In 1968 while five feet in front of his subject and friend, Robert F. Kennedy lay on the floor of the kitchen of Los Angeles's Ambassador Hotel, mortally wounded by a bullet fired by Sirhan B. Sirhan. Eppridge went into the crowd and began holding people back, but every once in a while, he would reach down and click his camera. “Everything I saw and everything I heard, it's still there inside my head, like a slow-motion movie," photojournalist Bill Eppridge has said of that night—June 5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. “When the gunshots went off in that kitchen...I realized what it was. I had been in riots and wars and revolutions, and I knew the sound of gunfire, especially the sound of gunfire coming at me. There were eight shots, I counted them. It went through my mind not to take the picture, but this was history…I made three frames: the first one was totally out of focus; the second was in focus, it was pretty good, the busboy is looking down at him; and the third one, with the busboy looking up as if he were saying, 'Somebody help".


Eddie Adams, on the Vietnam Execution photograph:  'I just followed the three of them as they walked towards us, making an occasional picture. When they were close - maybe five feet away - the soldiers stopped and backed away. I saw a man walk into my camera viewfinder from the left. He took a pistol out of his holster and raised it. I had no idea he would shoot. It was common to hold a pistol to the head of prisoners during questioning. So I prepared to make that picture - the threat, the interrogation. But it didn't happen. The man just pulled a pistol out of his holster, raised it to the VC's head and shot him in the temple. I made a picture at the same time. The prisoner fell to the pavement, blood gushing." "