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Thread: The Bystanders

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    The Bystanders

    A number of compelling stories and associated shots regarding photo journalists questioning if they should get the shot or help.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/inte...elp?intcmp=239

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    Ausphotography Regular livio's Avatar
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    There is no easy answer to this one, sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I'ts a hard call.
    Livio

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    I agree, it's a hard call. Thanks for sharing!

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    tough call, to witness, report, record, do not interfere, morality will and must intervene at some point, to what degree morality and conscience motivates you to put down your camera and react will be the mark of the person, for me i'm happy to be a enthusiastic amateur
    I've done so many things I'm not proud of...and the things I am proud of are disgusting. ~Moe, The Simpsons

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Sometimes being a bystander and taking photos of the action can be a more powerful tool than stepping in.

    Take the domestic violence photo. If the photo was not taken, she would be just another woman being hit by a man, in this world. It might make page 10 of the local rag where he got a mention as being charged by the constabulary. BUT, with this photo, it becomes an extremely powerful tool. Probably making it to front page, or at least the first 3 pages of the newspaper. All his family, friends, work colleagues get to see it, as do everyone he happens to come across in his area. I reckon this photo does a lot more to stopping this man(?) in his tracks than anything else I have seen as a tool to stop domestic violence.

    Yes, there are times to get in and help, but sometimes, helping does not go anywhere to resolving the issue. A photo taken at a key moment can be more powerful than any help you can render (except in times of life/death situations).

    One of the first things you learn when you go to a first aid course is to check the area and make sure you are not putting yourself into danger. Sometimes photographing the event is safer, than intervening, but a more powerful intervention tool at the same time.
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    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    Personally I would have set the camera on a tripod with a timer, and got several shots of me beating the crap out of him. Obviously the idiot hasn't got the balls to pick on someone his own size.
    And what the hell was he doing sleeping downstairs with his child when he knew the idiot had a gun.
    It's a bit far fetched to me. No-one with any common decency would put up with that. The camera man should be also locked up for assisting in a crime. No Excuse....
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    Member Breezapl's Avatar
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    I read this article today. It certainly made me stop and think. I wonder how I would have reacted in each of those situations?

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    Go back and look at that photo again Geoff. The photographer was a WOMAN. Now it's possible the two women together might have had a chance to do something against a man, but I doubt it as one is already a victim and has been allowing the behaviour, so is unlikely to suddenly decide to stand up for herself, and even if the two women did manage to stop him, there's no saying he wouldn't get more angry and go get the gun to use on both. She was not in a position in reality to interfere any further than she did, and the fact is she did end up stopping him anyway, PLUS she got the photo. So a win:win. But I certainly will not consider her to have assisted in the crime. Had it been a guy, then maybe HE could have done more, but even that's not guaranteed. Just being male doesn't make you strong enough to deal with an aggressive person.

    As for reading the rest of those stories, it's one of the most heart-wrenching things that I've read in a long time.
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    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    I then grabbed my gun - which is a little Leica - M4
    No I didn't read the story to the end. Or look too hard at the image.... This sort of thing (Any Violence) goes against everything I stand for. Even as a bouncer in a night club, I never once hit anyone, or needed to use violence to achieve what was required for the job... And that includes idiots that carried guns.

    It still doesn't answer the question to why SHE knowing the situation had her baby daughter on the premises. And why she carried a gun herself.... Yanks

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    ^Don't try to reason what other people do (or don't).

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    Another thing to add to the confusion of the situation - You might decide that it is ethically right to photograph the situation, but the already stressed subjects (or other observers or later critics) may decide you've overstepped the boundary, and verbally / physically abuse you for invasion of privacy / meddling / insensitivity.

    (BTW... there are a number of different stories at the above link, you can navigate to them via the thumbnails at the bottom of the main picture. It took me a little while to figure out! )

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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffsta View Post
    I then grabbed my gun - which is a little Leica - M4
    No I didn't read the story to the end. Or look too hard at the image.... This sort of thing (Any Violence) goes against everything I stand for. Even as a bouncer in a night club, I never once hit anyone, or needed to use violence to achieve what was required for the job... And that includes idiots that carried guns.

    It still doesn't answer the question to why SHE knowing the situation had her baby daughter on the premises. And why she carried a gun herself.... Yanks
    She didn't have a gun. A leica M4 is a camera. I'm guessing it's what she "shoots" with, and hence her calling it her gun as a contrast to his gun.
    Last edited by Ezookiel; 08-08-2012 at 7:16pm.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Hat's off to the photographer in this one. She was in a tough situation and a photograph was probably the best long term option. What else could she have done??? * removed -site rule breach. Do not attack other members for their views. You have been warned*
    Last edited by ricktas; 09-08-2012 at 4:56pm.

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    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    There are 4 lives involved in this subject. The girlfriend, the researcher, the boyfriend and the baby. And things could have got pretty nasty. So.. I think I'll quote Livio on this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by livio
    There is no easy answer to this one, sometimes you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I'ts a hard call.
    Last edited by geoffsta; 08-08-2012 at 8:07pm.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    True enough Geoff. I do think that your first thought of a violent response without bothering to observe the facts is perhaps not optimal, unless you believe that violence is the best response to most things. I suspect your presence would have been enough.

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    The story about the famine got to me.

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    Ausphotography Addict geoffsta's Avatar
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    Sorry Steve for my obsession with this subject.
    I did a photo shoot at work about a year and half ago, with 9 women. All victims of family violence. Most of these women had more broken bones than you or I have had roast dinners. Including broken jaws, legs and arms. One of the women even had aquired brain injury. There was one that was extremely attractive, but the style of her hair (We had makeup and hair stylist for the shoot) didn't suit her. Later on after we got talking about the end results, she explained and showed me the reason why. Wasn't pretty...
    About a month later I seen one of the girls at the doctors surgery where I work. She had a black eye and three broken ribs. And because of the photo shoot, and the connection we gained from it, I got the full story.
    So this is the reason I may have come across a little passionate. And I should apologise to all for it.

    All the woman also had young children between the ages of a few months to teenagers. All showing the effects of the trauma that this senseless act produces.

    Geoff.

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    If you have time, have a listen to the ABC's interview with a ex-CNN photo journo Michael Ware.

    Its a interesting insight into a person who has had to grapple with this fact on many occasions.

    http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/...=conversations

    I think that if you are a photo journo and you are somewhere to take pictures, that is what you have to do, as previously mentioned it can be more powerful then stepping in. Note, imo, there is a significant difference between the common pleb with their phone camera filming a fight on george st for posting on youtube and a dude in syria (or whatever torn country) watching people die and taking photos.


    this is also a good read, has many of the same pictures

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012...who-didnt-help
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    My initial reaction is that it's all garbage.
    The photo looks staged to me.

    All I'm seeing in this story is advertising (for a book) via sensationalism.
    Do something to get into the news, the bigger the controversy the more news outlets that will cover the 'story'. The more coverage she gets, the more exposure she gets for her book.
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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Wow, Arthur!! Are you sure?

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