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Lateish last night (I was vey vey dwunk indeed) there was a bit of a thread about chilling insects (well no, the thread was about tips we use, but I suggested chilling to slow the bugs down to get a shot).
This suggestion solicited some angst - which is fair enough each to their own and all that. But it got me thinking about the idea of the photographer as a passive observer and the need to resist intervention. Some years ago now I remember a bunch of BBC NH photographers following the plight of a baby elephant - they filmed it as it struggled to free itself from a boggy swamp. In the end they did intervene but too late.
I guess most of us will never be in the position where we have to make a snap decission about intervening or not - but the question is what do you think - are we simply observers or are we always actors upon the stage by virtue of being there if nothing more??
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Quote: are we simply observers or are we always actors upon the stage by virtue of being there if nothing more??
I'm with the actors point of view - if it's possible to help a fellow animal (of any kind) without endangering our own lives then why not - it's all part of the merry go round and the fact that anything would suffer through our inaction is not really all that acceptable.
That said, I'd probably not try to save that antelope from the lion - after all the lion needs its dinner
Yes and I guess that is the point - sometimes to intervene can be just as meddling as to stand and just record (nature red in tooth and claw). But despite my OP I think I do agree with you if there is something that can be done to help a fellow traveller then we should perhaps put the camera to one side and lend a hand.
Maybe that is a difference between a pro and an am photographer??
There was a controversy in National Geographic some years ago when they ran a superb set of pix of a wildebeest being dragged down and attacked by wolves, as I recall it. It was not pretty.
Many people wrote in about the inhumanity of the photographer in not saving the creature from a nasty death.
NGs point was, what right do our staff have to decide that a wildebeest has a greater right to live than a wolf?
As a long time press photographer, I could not intervene in every event I was sent to. I'd need to be some kind of superhero. One of my colleagues was awarded the George Medal for disarming a hostage taker. He was, for an instant, in a position to do so and took the opportunity.
But in general, a news photographer's job is to observe and illustrate. In these days of 'look at me!' journalism, it's fashionable to be a participant but all you'd really achieve is to slow down the professionals in their rescue work.
A job is done well when it is fully documented - and no-one knew you were there.
Wildebeast -v- wolves eh? I would stay very firmly behind the camera and observe. Animals have to eat and they eat other animals so fairs fair.
As with the chap who was awarded the George Medal - he found himself in a positition where he could act and I'd hope that I, and others, would also help in a given situation if possible.
I'm waffling and I've a funny feeling we agree anyway
Did you see the great white shark pictures on the web with a massive chunk bitten out of its sides, by a shark estimated to be 20ft, serious bit of nature that is, would love to photogrpah the 20ft under water
Lots of interesting hypothetical situations .. for instance, the drowning elephant. Yes, I'd go and try and help it. Would I try and save it if there was a hungry lion standing at the side of the pool? Hmmm. Would I shoot the lion to save the elephant? No. Stuck in my own moral dilemma, because I want to be able to rescue the elephant as it's not dying for a purpose, although people could argue that there is no purpose anyway and that life ends whenever it ends and tough cookies.
I quite agree that we have no right to intervene when animals are involved in the business of being animals and hunting prey or being eaten, and people who say nature is cruel are missing the point.
So, consider me in the "altruistic but a bit daffy" category
Quote: Lots of interesting hypothetical situations .. for instance, the drowning elephant. Yes, I'd go and try and help it. Would I try and save it if there was a hungry lion standing at the side of the pool?
Trust a woman to worry about things that will probably never happen! LOL..!
Zoom...that's me through the door.....
Lets say you were taking street shots and whilst looking through the viewfinder you saw somebody about to pickpocket what woudl you do?
1. Inform that hapless victim before its too late.
2. Take a shot and hope that it might be used in catching the crim
3. Take a shot and hope it gets loads of EPZ C&C's
4. Watch spellbound as the crime unfolds in front of you
5. Attempt to apprehend the thief
6. None of the above
There must be some occasions where a situation just cannot be avoided in terms of interention (maybe where a child is involved for example)?
3. But of course! Ever vigilant for that elusive EC ...
4. Pickpockets aren't that slow! They're off in half a second.
Ketch absolutely, and I dread to think of the possible situations. I don't know how brave I am about running into a burning building before the fire service gets there, or climbing a tall building .. and I wouldn't know until it happens. Mind you I know how I get if someone close to me is being abused or mistreated, so I'd like to think that my primal compulsion would be to save a child no matter what.
I think the real answer is that you cannot know until you find yourself in the situation, at which point one's natural instincts kick in, for better or worse.
Ketch started this discussion with a remark about chilling insects. I have found this works very well with children, too.
Lemmy I guess so. And I guess the point about kids can be seen as funny but not if you've been abused badly as a kid and are driven by a need to make sure others aren't.
LOL - children - but you would need an extra large chill box. I used to work for the NSPCC years and years ago and the child protection officers used to say the only limit to child abuse was the human imagination - if you could think it then it had been done. Quite a sobering thought really - but chilled children for a shoot thats not intervention that's just being proactive and pragmatic!
Quote: Lemmy I guess so. And I guess the point about kids can be seen as funny but not if you've been abused badly as a kid and are driven by a need to make sure others aren't.
Not something I'd normally mention but I did have some nasty experience of abuse as a young teenager which necessitated my changing schools to be removed from the source of it, a religious coterie. In those days, the victim was punished rather than the ostensibly upright citizens who were the perpetrators.
Luckily, it has left my sense of humour intact!
Sorry suziblue - that last remark sounds sarcastic on re-reading but I meant it literally.
No intention to offend you.
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