Photographer saw bodies de-graved for photo shots
I read this earlier today over on EU Referendum who broke the story and planned to blog about it but cold potato soup and good company called my attention, followed by a 3 hour long phone call with my Ema :) and then checking out the Israeli blogs and snarking about Mr. Squirrel (aka Olmert). Little Green Footballs has now picked it up.
So what is the scoop? Well, a photographer who has been covering the beat over in Lebanon took part in a thread on a site for professional photographers dealing with the photo fakery coming out courtesy of Hezbollah-inspired "journalists." Bryan Denton, who's photographs have appeared in the New York Times wrote:
i have been working in lebanon since all this started, and seeing the behavior of many of the lebanese wire service photographers has been a bit unsettling. while hajj has garnered a lot of attention for his doctoring of images digitally, whether guilty or not, i have been witness to the daily practice of directed shots, one case where a group of wire photogs were choreographing the unearthing of bodies, directing emergency workers here and there, asking them to position bodies just so, even remove bodies that have already been put in graves so that they can photograph them in peoples arms. these photographers have come away with powerful shots, that required no manipulation digitally, but instead, manipulation on a human level, and this itself is a bigger ethical problem.
whatever the case is—lack of training, a personal drive as a photographer to show what is happening to your country in as powerful a way as possible, or all out competitiveness, i think that the onus is on the wire services themselves, because they act as the employer/filter of their photogs work. standards should be in place or else the rest of us end up paying the price. and i’m not against the idea of local wire photographers, but after seeing it over and over for the past month, i think it is something that is worth addressing. while i walk away from a situation like that, one wire shooter sets up a situation, and the rest of them follow.......
by Bryan Denton Fri Aug 11 07:36:08 UTC 2006 | Beirut, Lebanon
Holy guacamole batman.
[bold is my emphasis]