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The Consequences of Being a War Photographer

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posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 12:07 AM
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Photographs are one of the most moving and influential mediums of the graphic art strand. Moving and powerful images have influenced the western world and helped to construct valuable famine and conflict aid across the third world.
If Photographs are so influential to people who view and witness them, how influenced and changed will the particular photographer be by what they have photographed.

Kevin Carter is a pullitzer prize winning photographer who documented the victims of the war torn Sudan.
While photographing Carter came across a young starving suddanese toddler who was struggling to travel to a nearby feeding centre.


"He heard a soft, high-pitched whimpering and saw a tiny girl trying to make her way to the feeding center. As he crouched to photograph her, a vulture landed in view. Careful not to disturb the bird, he positioned himself for the best possible image. He would later say he waited about 20 minutes, hoping the vulture would spread its wings. It did not, and after he took his photographs, he chased the bird away and watched as the little girl resumed her struggle."
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This picture earned Carter the 1994 Pullitzer Prize for feature photography. "I swear I got the most applause of anybody," Carter wrote back to his parents in Johannesburg. "I can't wait to show you the trophy. It is the most precious thing, and the highest acknowledgment of my work I could receive." Carter's joy would not last

Friends and colleagues would come to question why he had not done more to help the child in the photograph? "The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering," said the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, "might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene."

Burdened with feelings of guilt and sadness, Kevin Carter took his own life On July 27, 1994. His suicide note stated in part, "...I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain . . . of starving or wounded children..."
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We all have our opinion on whether Carter should have helped the girl or not. But obviously the horror situations Carter went through had a direct effect on his suicide.

I often think that photographers are not given due recognition of the efforts and turmoil they go through to provide and inform the Western world of the atrocities in war torn and third world countrys.

I would love to hear your opinion on the matter.








[edit on 24-9-2007 by jake_crane]

[edit on 24-9-2007 by jake_crane]


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[edit on 24-9-2007 by Jbird]




posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 01:30 AM
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As a struggling photojournalist, I'll post my opinion:

The images that I take and submit for publication are not done for the recognition. I take them for the emotional content and how well they convey a sense of the event - be it war, political conventions, or social gatherings.

I have seen and read a lot of material on the photo you are talking about and have to say that it is one of the hardset things to witness, and not be able to do a thing about it.

There is a line between being involved and objective and sometimes it is the hardest decision on whether or not to cross that boundary. I know I have been in some situations where I have remained objective but gone home and cried myself to sleep over the event (namely at an apartment building fire, where I was there as a press photographer but couldn't help the injured and dying - I am also a volunteer paramedic) there are times when your heart strings are tugged and your head gets the better of you.

However, if my images convey the emotion/atmosphere of an event, then they are a success. If they bring awareness to a certain cause, then they are a success. Awards and recognition are, in my opinion, not necessary but recognition of the cause is

[edit on 24-9-2007 by AussieNutter]



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 01:41 AM
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This is pretty much a waste of a reply, but I've said all I have to say on this in the Kevin Carter photograph thread. "pulitzer winning photo that haunts me..."

A lot of other people had their say there, too...



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 05:57 AM
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Where credit is due


Originally posted by jake_crane
"He heard a soft, high-pitched whimpering and saw a tiny girl trying to make her way to the feeding center. As he crouched to photograph her, a vulture landed in view. Careful not to disturb the bird, he positioned himself for the best possible image. He would later say he waited about 20 minutes, hoping the vulture would spread its wings. It did not, and after he took his photographs, he chased the bird away and watched as the little girl resumed her struggle."

I think you ought to have acknowledged your source for this, seeing as how it's a potentially very litigious one: Time.com



posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 07:31 AM
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I highly recommend you guys to see James Nachtwey's work and documentaries. This guy is like a machine on the job, he seems to detach himself from the emotional side as much as possible, so he can focus 100% on the job. If you start to worry about the victims you photograph, even if children then you cant do the job. If you cant do the job then noone will ever see what's really happening and noone will remember.
His homepage is www.jamesnachtwey.com... and the documentaries "War Photographer" and "BPS The War in Iraq through photographers eyes".



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