Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not sugar-coated

Hi everyone,

Well, sometimes we get letters & cards congratulating us for the fine work we do. Sometimes, we get letters letting us have it for being insensitive. Today, I found out my editor received a letter of the second kind. In essence, someone complained about the graphic photos published of the decapitated animals I photographed Tuesday (see item below).

(link here: http://rrpj.blogspot.com/2007/10/goats-and-chickens-decapitated-dumped.html )

First a definition, from dictionary.com (source is The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

pho·to·jour·nal·ism (fō'tō-jûr'nə-lĭz'əm) Pronunciation Key
n. Journalism in which a news story is presented primarily through photographs with supplementary written copy.

As photojournalists, we have the charge of bringing the general public photographs of news events that we encounter in our daily treks. Personally, I photograph scenes as I see them. Sometimes, we have to photograph things that are not for the faint of heart, for those with queazy stomachs but scenes nonetheless that are newsworthy.

Photographing decapitated animals is not at the top of my list, but as a photojournalist I have to give you, the public, a view of the scene as it is. I become the eyes for everyone who cannot be at the scene of the crime. Yes, sometimes it will be grewsome stuff, but you are the one with the hard decision to make: to look or not to look. Hopefully, from the headline people are able to discern what the story is about and either look or skip it.

Everyone has a right to their opinion and I am no one to criticize what this person has said about my photos because it is his opinion. There will always be people who agree and disagree with what one does. Hopefully, I am bringing you the reader a view that can provoke some thought. I will not sugar coat the world because reality is not always as we hope it to be. Sometimes, the world has to shake us to remind us of the realities that exist around us. I feel that this was such a exceptional, uncommon, extraordinary and abnormal situation that it had to be brought to light. Maybe something in the photos will trigger someone's memory and details of this mistery may come to light.

A final thought: Just from looking at the top photo galleries, I can tell you that people generally like to see photos of hard news like crime scenes, court appearances, fires, accidents and high school sports along with a special feature (Rose Court) once in a while. What does this show about us all, as a society, when in one day photos of a scene where people burnt alive get hits in the thousands and a gallery of an appearance by a world-renowned child advocate gets less than 80 hits in one week?

Your thoughts are welcome.

(PS: Here is the link to the letter) http://www.insidesocal.com/candids/

Until next time, keep shooting.

1 comment:

meandering said...

Great Blog. Keep posting and reporting. Get a creative commons license for it all and post the info in the margin

Am adding it to my favorite. Will give you a chance to add some more articles before I give you note on blogging.la