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AcadieLibre
01-09-2010, 12:52 AM
I am not sure if any of you have seen this image, it is Mickey Mouse doll laying on his back after and Israeli Air-strike during the 2006 Israeli/Lebanese War. NY Times writer and Academy Award Winning Film maker Errol Morris interviews the Reuters war Photographer Ben Curtis about that picture as there had been allegations he had staged the shot. Great in depth interview. Well worth the read. I gives a very interesting perspective about being a current day War Photographer.

Part One (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/03/it-was-all-started-by-a-mouse-part-1/)

Part Two (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/it-was-all-started-by-a-mouse-part-2/)

Michaelaw
01-09-2010, 02:01 AM
Good stuff, thanks for the link.

Marko
01-10-2010, 12:37 PM
Yup a very good read. Thx for the link.

I think lots of war shots are likely embellished/staged by the photographer's own actions. I'm not sure that's s big deal though so long as the "whole" scene was not staged.

I mean there was an explosion, people died rubble everywhere. The photographer finds Mickey mouse in point A and puts it in front of the rubble at point B. The rubble was still there, the explosion still happened, people still died. But now the photograph is more compelling because Mickey is in the foreground...

For me that's way less dishonest than cloning in a second fighter plane to make the shot more interesting.. Then again, reality and honesty are very personal concepts these days.

kat
01-10-2010, 01:19 PM
Very interesting!

AcadieLibre
01-10-2010, 07:41 PM
Well glad some of you enjoyed it, I really do not think it was staged based on what he said and if he was going to stage it would have been a far better placement, but we all come to our own conclusions and unless proved otherwise I always take the side of the photographer.

Marko
01-11-2010, 12:46 PM
I don't think THIS photographer staged the shot...I totally give him the benefit of the doubt.

But look at all the 'other' near identical shots...I'd bet hard that some of those were staged. Let's be real...It's like the other shots copied this guy's successful formula. You see this in movies and TV all of the time...They all copy each other because the formula works.

Again, I don't really find anything wrong with this type of 'staging'...

AcadieLibre
01-11-2010, 01:57 PM
Oh the other photographers I agree, but since none of them were interviewed or refused I think something is up, so I stuck the photographer who spoke, all the others I have my suspicions and since they refused to be interviewed heightens my suspicion even more.


P.S. I have a huge issue with war zone or other media staging the shot, it takes away from what they really saw and it can be used for propaganda purposes. A news photographer should always shoot what he sees and never stage the shot, it is supposed to an accurate portrayal of the story, once you stage you have contaminated the scene, it is not longer a shot from a photojournalist. It makes people not trust photographers covering real news, staging is abhorrent.

Marko
01-11-2010, 03:30 PM
I have a huge issue with war zone or other media staging the shot, it takes away from what they really saw and it can be used for propaganda purposes. A news photographer should always shoot what he sees and never stage the shot, it is supposed to an accurate portrayal of the story, once you stage you have contaminated the scene, it is not longer a shot from a photojournalist. It makes people not trust photographers covering real news, staging is abhorrent.

I'd agree with you in a Utopian world but nobody lives there.

Just so it's clear, the type of staging I'm referring to involves Kicking the Mickey Mouse doll in front of the rubble when it may have been 15 feet out of position. BRINGING that same Mickey Mouse doll TO the scene, that's fraud imo.

casil403
01-11-2010, 04:43 PM
So for me that begs the question...is photojournalism art or are the two completely separate genres?
Can one be the other and if so when?
When does one become the other....when an object is moved to stage a scene or enhance a mood/feeling the person is trying to convey?
What do you consider these images?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_the_Flag_on_Iwo_Jima
Raising the Flag at Ground Zero - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raising_the_Flag_at_Ground_Zero)

The second one the flag was brought in from a yacht on the Hudson River so does that make it photojournalism or art?

Just curious mostly on your thoughts and to start some discussion. :)

Marko
01-11-2010, 11:54 PM
It's a very good question Casil. Not sure we should tackle it here though in A.L.'s thread or it's own thread. I have definite opinions on the matter:D

penodr
01-12-2010, 07:30 AM
I my view once you start working for the news, staging of any kind is unethical. People take the news as to what actually happened. When you change the scene even slightly you change what happened and it is no longer news. The problem lies in how much you change the scene. Do you move the doll 2 feet to the left to get it out of the shadows and into the sun? Do you move the gun in the same way but now it is closer to a dead person making them look more like a combatant than the passerby they were? The problem is every person has a limit to what they consider too much staging and the limits are not the same. Is it ok to move the doll 2 feet? 6 feet? 100 yards? The news needs to be just what happened. Here is a link to a photo that got a news photographer fired for what is really a very slight change that does not effect what happened in the photo but still calls the photographers ethics into question.

http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2007/04/images/detrich_blade_alter_03.jpg

Bambi
01-12-2010, 07:59 AM
wow penodr that was an interesting read!! I understand where the newspaper is coming from but reporters 'edit' all the time to tell the story they want. I receently did an interview with the Globe and Mail. the reporter tracked me down and interviewed me. when I read the final story it did not reflect what he interivewed me about or anythng that I said. :mad: How is that different then that photographer taking legs out of the picture?

AcadieLibre
01-12-2010, 08:29 AM
Moved to new thread. http://www.photography.ca/Forums/f15/photojournalism-art-6765.html

Marko
01-12-2010, 10:29 AM
I hear you LOUD and clear A.L. but it's never that cut and dry imo.

What about burning in the sky, or dodging a dark area or bleaching? This is post shooting stuff so it's not staging but it's MORE than simple recording and all 3 were used extensively in pre-photoshop days.

What about PLACING a subject in shadow when they are in bright sunlight - even that can be considered staging...

Obviously there are levels that are more or less abhorrent... :twocents:

penodr
01-12-2010, 01:39 PM
Marko,

You are correct, stagging and editing of a photo are not just digital issues. There is a very famous civil war photo taken during the battle of Gettysburg of a "snipers" nest where the photographer was accused of placing the rifle in the photo. In my view if you are going to be shooting news photos your photos should be above reproach. If it comes out you made a minor change it will more than likely be blown out of proportion and everything you have done in the past will come into question.

With that said, I am very comfortable editing photos for non-news uses, which is most everything else.

Dave