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Photography ethics

Photo courtesy:ย  BBC news

The above pictured in the BBC website.

I felt very sad looking at the photo.

The Woman was collecting rice that was spilt on the

ground. Its really heart breaking to see somebody

lowered to such a state. ๐Ÿ™

Whether this Woman is a terrorist, muslim, Iraqi etc., etc., she is a Woman first. She is so caring that she
picks up rice for her family.

To top all this, the Photographer thought that it was appropriate to photograph her. Dear Photographer, do
the words “Photography ethics” tell you something? Shame on you.

And a soldier is happily posing for the photo without even a shade of shame or pity for the women.

Cross posted from Sri’s views

14 replies on “Photography ethics”

question:
what should be the soldier ashamed off?

you see rag pickers going through the garbage like raccoons everyday, did you ever stop to show compassion?

about the woman…. what she is collecting is uncooked rice grains…. and it is basic human decency to not to waste food. I might sound a bit too cold hearted, but if you have ever spend some time in a village or even at your home, you would realize that spilling rice grains is common during the cleaning process or a religious ceremony and every time that happens your mother or somebody else would stoop down and collect it from the floor. and yes they are used for cooking because these are edible grains.

btw the soldier is not standing on her head and obstructing her from performing her actions (which would be heartless). He is several feel away guarding his jeep/post.

the photograph is not for comparison with anything else. It has to be seen for its own merits/demerits.

It certainly is a dehumanised pix. Look at the meagre quantity of spilled rice that the woman is picking and the anxiety shown on her face.
Well the soldier may not be obstructing her, but he is in a foreign land ‘overseeing’ this action.
It is a shameful picture, so I agree with the author on photographic ethics.

Ankur,
There is nothing wrong in picking up uncooked grains but the soldier’s smile was repulsive.I didn’t expect the soldier to bent and help her pick the grains but the first expression on a person’s face should normally be that of sadness especially when the woman was not so young.

The photographer has done only the rightful by capturing the scene in this photo. And the BBC has done only justice to mankind by distributing it to every corner of the world.

It only shows what modern man finds pleasure in – the sadistic pleasure gained out of the knowledge that there are people who have nothing to call their “own” not even the food.

And people who “own”, trying to gather more and more to entitle them as their own – is evidence enough that the speak of ethics like “live and let live” is all but a lie.

Because the more of the gifted earth’s resources you own – the lesser is left behind for others to own. And in this way there are many many people for whom is left behind what this photo shows.

thanx for the blog. u certainly cover a lot.

I have scratched my head several times, zoomed the picture etc… I agree that the lady is in a misreable state, but she does not look famished to me ๐Ÿ™
Am I being insensitive and cold or is it because I have seen so much suffering, poverty and misery in my daily life that it no longer moves me ๐Ÿ™ comments from you all really scare me ๐Ÿ™

@tssn..
welcome to ENagar ๐Ÿ™‚

@ddas…
good to see you after such a long time

this one is a toughie
i agree with the first lines of ddas
i dont know about photo ethics – but this pic shows the irony iraq is still in
for the aam iraqi nothin has changed much and freedom ? that counts for little
People still go hungry and there are bombings almost daily
for the soldier this is nothing new – he has probably seen worse and i think he views it as his make me famous pic- worse he is so oblivious of the woman collecting rice – and focused on the camera of the photographer

reminds me of russia after peristroika and the fall of communism
i am a firm believer of non sanitized presentation of warn or its aftermath

I don’t see anything wrong on the part of photographer, It only depicts how a war ruin the life of public. it is disgraceful on the part of soldier for not helping her.

@Raju
you do understand that often in hostile territory it is not possible to leave your post and wander off. plus I do not think the lady needs any help to pick up the grains.

@mike
i agree the photographer is a story teller, and I am against all forms of censorship or govt mandated controls. but the only problem is that often the picture does not give the complete view of the situation.

@prax…
#russia after peristroika and the fall of communism#
I will read about these events this weekend and then only i can talk intelligently about them

well i don’t think that photographer is voilating ny ethics …….infact he/she is doing good by bringing out the inner truth ……..well it is really wrong on soldier’s part to stand there n hv fun…….there is smthng called ‘HUMANITY’…….

a lot of photographers dont have ethics when it comes to their work…
but sometimes they might just want to put a story across, probably just like u…the only difference being they dont use words and believe a picture says it all ๐Ÿ™‚
i agree he in a way made a mockery out of the situation by advertising it thru his pic…
but dont u think some bloggers are in a way hyping it too by advertising the pic on here??

no offence, but just how much is the ‘sympathy element’ really helping that woman??

//but dont u think some bloggers are in a way hyping it too by advertising the pic on here??//
well we are discussing the issue here… some people like me are too cold hearted to feel anything, but VBR does feel strongly for it.. and i see no harm in raising the issue.

//no offence, but just how much is the โ€™sympathy elementโ€™ really helping that woman??//
the pictures from iraq and afganistan have been pinnacle in shaping the people’s opinion.
if u dig a bit in history the pictures from Vietnam caused so much public outcry that USA had to withdraw from there.

I don’t see what is wrong with the picture? The photographer might in fact helped her after he took the picture. However, because of photographers like that we can see different kinds of angles to a story.

This picture is so humble, I admire photagraphers that have the courage to show us the ugly side of humanity, pictures like these are what motivate people to be better

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