pressmen performance and photography

Friday, August 04, 2006

lying photographers

Do photojournalists stage manage their photographs to get newsworthy shots? Note this article which raises some questions Only some questions? how far is the news being manipulated? Do all photos show what happened? do photographers get people to do things in order to get their shot. How much freedom does a photographer have when working in an area run by a totalitarian government. How far will a photographer bend the truth to get that winning shot?

Reading the news at present, i am asking these questions. I am beginning to feel that the whiff of lies is growing. However I don't know for sure.

6 Comments:

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1:47 pm  
Blogger hermajestythequeen said...

yes - but have you read the blogs! might change your mind.

It's not true about photographers in Hong Kong is it?

9:59 pm  
Blogger hermajestythequeen said...

I haven't read the article but if it is of any consequence - it doesn't take too little imagination to believe that many, many picture situations are stage managed. It's not only PhotoShop that can bend the truth of course. I don't believe that Cartier Bresson stage managed many of his pictures but helping a situation is sometimes the best solution to obtain a more pleasing/dramatic shot. Lets not be naive about the fame/money in it for themselves. However, from my experience, strange as it may seem these 'rebels' often became holier than thou when joining the ranks of organisations such as Magnum and so forth. Sickening isn't it? People can and do change and if it is a gradual process it is more believable. Sudden changes in temperament and ethics do not fool most of us. You know the situation.

When the odds are stacked against you and you need to feed yourself, the family, create a better life and so forth - what are you going to do? Manipulating circumstances to a photographic advantage may be abhorrent in some instances but it beats the pants off having to do some other jobs (no need to name any). In many cases the slant on your image/story is controlled by someone else. What about the ethical responsibility? Anything brought to the attention of our planet of people that may increase the amount of goodness in the world - has to be applauded. It follows therefore that anything that is contray to this would be considered tantamount to evil.

We and my subjects have it good and long may you shoot my wrong side and implicate my family and friends in shocking circumstances. We all do it but I have not the same force of circumstances that most do. Now - where's my crown? I like to wear it while watching my favourite program 'Spitting Image' - now sadly, from my very large and Royal archive. I don't believe they have manipulated or given the wrong impression at all in this series - do you? Maybe if they were a little more subterfuge about the ploys/situations it would be more evil… Is there any strategy in this?

10:31 pm  
Blogger hermajestythequeen said...

OK - I have scanned this article now and it doesn't really say anything different to what I was reading about over 30 odd years ago when my subjects loved me more.

I still maintain that it is extremely naive to assume that anyone (including Cappa, Bresson and so forth) were immune to 'helping' their images a little with some stage direction. Maybe as they matured this could be considered so - as they approached enlightenment. No need to question the incredible images that some of these photographers have taken. It is so agonising to think that there is ever a question about whether or not so-and-so would be tempted to use a little 'creativity' for whatever reason. I imagine that most reasons still revolve around money and recognition, adulation. Oh fuck - my crowns fallen orf - I become so agitated these days by such twoddle. And who's that sitting on my bed with a camera?

10:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the QUEEN has abdicated!

I will be sending a picture of her giving a person on the end of her bed (drinking whisky - the rough stuff) her orb and crown. If I can manage it I will include Tony Blair watching from inside her wardrobe.

Does anyone believe this? Would she really have parted with her crown and be distracted away from Spitting Image? I think not.

10:53 pm  
Blogger hermajestythequeen said...

In answer to your question Tony - I only have one orb.

9:34 am  

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