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a question of ethics

 
 
Paul Rubin
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      10-20-2006
"Robert A. Cunningham" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
> I am in no way comparing my pictures to the one mentioned above, but my
> question is how does one determine when it is ok to shoot pictures of events
> that cause immense grief to others? I'm sure that if the mother of the
> little Vietnamese girl saw the photographer take the photo of her daughter
> she would have been extremely upset, but that photo had a powerful impact in
> this country.
>
> I will appreciate any and all responses. Good, bad, or otherwise. Thanks.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethic_of_reciprocity
 
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gpsman
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      10-20-2006
Derek Fountain wrote: <brevity snip>
> > We stopped and got out and I took my
> > camera and started taking pictures of the vehicle.

>
> I'm going to play devil's advocate here, and don't actually believe in
> what follows, but I'd be interested your or others' responses to it.


I'll play... angel's advocate.

> What you don't make clear in your post is why you started taking pictures.


What reason would he need beyond "I want to"?

> The average car wreck isn't that interesting a subject, and nor are
> injured or distressed people, unless you're recording a news event for a
> local paper.


Subjective opinion. Any shooter may submit photos of any public event
to any news agency. It may not be the crash itself that is
interesting... if Anna Nicole or Jenna Bush were involved it might be
an opportunity for early and comfortable retirement... missed.

> Without an obvious and
> sensible reason, one might conclude that's you're a weirdo who considers
> his photos of destruction, injury and potentially death some part of
> your "art."


So?! What *is* "art"? I'll continue to shoot first and refuse to
justify it later. <smiley face>
-----

- gpsman

 
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AustinMN
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      10-20-2006
Joseph Meehan wrote:
> AustinMN wrote: A good overview of the situation.
>
> I would only make one comment.
>
> " For most non-journalistic (and non-evidentiary) purposes, there are
> serious legal ramifications to using photos of recognizable people without a
> model release. "
>
> While that is true, in most situations where the photographer is on
> public property and not photographing someone who would normally expect
> privacy (like using a long telephoto to photograph someone in their home) or
> today in the case of children, there are few issues.


Yes, I was thinking specifically about comercial uses. Taking the
photo is not usually the problem, it's how it's used.

Austin

 
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Rudy Benner
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      10-20-2006

"Ken Weitzel" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:hz5_g.161788$1T2.112468@pd7urf2no...
> gpsman wrote:
>> Robert A. Cunningham wrote: <brevity snip>
>>> An SUV was on it's roof about 15 feet
>>> off the shoulder of the highway. We stopped and got out and I took my
>>> camera and started taking pictures of the vehicle.

>>
>>> After I took only one picture someone (not a police officer or
>>> the fireman, but a civilian) asked me who I was with. I think he
>>> initially
>>> thought I was a professional photographer, but he soon concluded
>>> correctly,
>>> that I was not, and he would not allow me to take any more pictures.

>>
>> What does "wouldn't allow" mean?
>>
>> I've shot a few crashes with cops on the scene. Staying out of "the
>> way" no official has ever said squat to me. A couple of the drivers
>> told me not to take pictures of their crash and my reply was, off the
>> top of my head the first time, "Sorry. If you don't want pictures
>> taken you should crash in the privacy of your own home".
>>
>> You are a "freelance" or "independant" photographer. Nobody who shoots
>> for a living is going to pay the slighest bit of attention to any
>> non-official request to stop shooting in a public venue. And it's very
>> unlikely any official will order you to stop shooting, they will tell
>> you to move.
>>
>> Your first responsibility is to render aid. Once that has been
>> fulfilled you are within your rights to shoot. You may capture some
>> evidence intregal to a later investigation... or a salable pic.
>>
>> The Shooter's Credo: It's easier to receive forgiveness than
>> permission. And far more expedient.
>>

>
> Hi...
>
> I can't help asking...
>
> What ever happened to "the golden rule"?
>
> Take care.
>
> Ken


It has been updated to "He who has the gold, makes the rule."


 
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Philip Homburg
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      10-20-2006
In article <4538d973$0$97219$(E-Mail Removed) ews.net>,
Derek Fountain <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Why did you want to take photos of the scene? Without an obvious and
>sensible reason, one might conclude that's you're a weirdo who considers
>his photos of destruction, injury and potentially death some part of
>your "art."


So photos of destruction, injury, etc. cannot be art?

Personally, I would avoid taking pictures of the victims, and I would not
publish them (as in, for example, putting them on a web-site) until quite
some time has passed (probably years if somebody got killed).

But other than that, many people look in the direction of an accident,
many even stop. We talk about it. Often pictures appear in the media.
So it is just part of life, and can be photographed.


--
That was it. Done. The faulty Monk was turned out into the desert where it
could believe what it liked, including the idea that it had been hard done
by. It was allowed to keep its horse, since horses were so cheap to make.
-- Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency
 
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Floyd L. Davidson
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      10-20-2006
"Robert A. Cunningham" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>Last weekend I was traveling in my car with a friend when three emergency
>vehicles passed us. A couple of minutes later we encountered the same
>vehicles at the site of an accident. An SUV was on it's roof about 15 feet
>off the shoulder of the highway. We stopped and got out and I took my
>camera and started taking pictures of the vehicle. There were plenty of
>first responders on hand, and I did not see any of the injured, though, from
>the looks of things there were probably some very serious injuries
>sustained. After I took only one picture someone (not a police officer or
>the fireman, but a civilian) asked me who I was with. I think he initially
>thought I was a professional photographer, but he soon concluded correctly,
>that I was not, and he would not allow me to take any more pictures.


I don't know where you live, so I can't speak for the laws
there.

In places that I have been (and I have been involved in
Emergency Medical Services from top to bottom), there simply is
*nobody* who has any right to "not allow" you to take pictures
on a public road. That would include the police.

It makes no difference if you are or are not a professional
photographer. It makes no difference what you aim the camera at
either. It certainly *might* make a difference what you do with
the images though! So for example you might not want to try
publishing pictures of participants (police and EMS) in a book
about the people who respond to accidents. But if you got a
good shot and offered it to the local newspaper, that is clearly
allowed.

If you post them on a non-commercial web page, it is almost
certainly allowed (i.e., if you are not selling copies of the
image).

>My friend, to my total surprise, agreed with him.
>
>Some of the most moving photographs ever taken have been of subjects that
>show death and destruction. Two examples that come to mind are from the
>Vietnam war: 1. the photograph of the young Vietnamese girl running nude
>down the highway after having being burned by napalm. and 2. the Viet Cong
>official who was shot in the head from point blank range during the Tet
>Offensive in 1968.
>
>I am in no way comparing my pictures to the one mentioned above, but my
>question is how does one determine when it is ok to shoot pictures of events
>that cause immense grief to others? I'm sure that if the mother of the
>little Vietnamese girl saw the photographer take the photo of her daughter
>she would have been extremely upset, but that photo had a powerful impact in
>this country.


That young girl is alive and well today, and lives in the US.
She is not upset about having been photographed. Indeed, she is
aware that her suffering contributed in a useful way to ending
that war *only* because of that photograph.

>I will appreciate any and all responses. Good, bad, or otherwise. Thanks.


I've seen presentations to High School students that began with
questions about who knew certain recent victims in local
accidents. Images of those accidents were then removed from
that specific presentation. Trust that the pictures were
*dramatic*, and so was the effect on the students. That was
exactly the point. Little things that nobody who is 16 years
old would think twice about, which can turn *you* into a bloody
mess that would make somebody else puke. The message of course
is that they *should* think twice, or even more often.

--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Floyd L. Davidson
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      10-20-2006
Derek Fountain <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>What you don't make clear in your post is why you started taking pictures.


Same reason I take pictures of anything else. It's there.

--
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) (E-Mail Removed)
 
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Bob Williams
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      10-20-2006


Robert A. Cunningham wrote:
> Last weekend I was traveling in my car with a friend when three emergency
> vehicles passed us. A couple of minutes later we encountered the same
> vehicles at the site of an accident. An SUV was on it's roof about 15 feet
> off the shoulder of the highway. We stopped and got out and I took my
> camera and started taking pictures of the vehicle. There were plenty of
> first responders on hand, and I did not see any of the injured, though, from
> the looks of things there were probably some very serious injuries
> sustained. After I took only one picture someone (not a police officer or
> the fireman, but a civilian) asked me who I was with. I think he initially
> thought I was a professional photographer, but he soon concluded correctly,
> that I was not, and he would not allow me to take any more pictures.
>
> My friend, to my total surprise, agreed with him.
>
> Some of the most moving photographs ever taken have been of subjects that
> show death and destruction. Two examples that come to mind are from the
> Vietnam war: 1. the photograph of the young Vietnamese girl running nude
> down the highway after having being burned by napalm. and 2. the Viet Cong
> official who was shot in the head from point blank range during the Tet
> Offensive in 1968.
>
> I am in no way comparing my pictures to the one mentioned above, but my
> question is how does one determine when it is ok to shoot pictures of events
> that cause immense grief to others? I'm sure that if the mother of the
> little Vietnamese girl saw the photographer take the photo of her daughter
> she would have been extremely upset, but that photo had a powerful impact in
> this country.
>
> I will appreciate any and all responses. Good, bad, or otherwise. Thanks.



Remember Abraham Zapruder and his historic pictures of the JFK
assassination taken with his Bell&Howell home movie camera.
Zapruder was not a photojournalist or commercial photographer. He was
just a plain Joe, like you, taking pictures for his own pleasure.
Lucky that he did because it was the definitive photographic evidence
showing the actual movements of JFK's head thrusting "backward" as he
was shot. (See frames Zapruder-312 et.seq.)
This was a "Tent Pole" issue for many persons who suspected a conspiracy
because it indicated that at least one fatal shot came from the R. Front
of the limousine. Others suggested alternate explanations and the
question remains controversial to this day.
See: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...3/ai_n12747326
Bob Williams

 
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Ronald Hands
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      10-20-2006
Floyd L. Davidson wrote:

>
> That young girl is alive and well today, and lives in the US.
> She is not upset about having been photographed. Indeed, she is
> aware that her suffering contributed in a useful way to ending
> that war *only* because of that photograph.
>


Small correction: she lives in Ajax, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto.
See the Wikipedia entry under Phan Thi Kim Phuc.

-- Ron
 
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Pea C
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      10-20-2006
Hi. Here is a link of my favorite professional Czech photographer Jan
Sibik. Although the sites are in Czech and Hungarian languages, it's
worth to click every picture. And there's also one complete gallery of
pictures of AIDS suffering people in Ukraine. Some people may consider
those pictures terrible. And they are terrible, they are from life.

http://www.sibik.cz

 
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