Can Photographers Ever Afford To Be Bystanders?

There’s a powerful article at The Guardian about whether photographers should just take pictures or should they also intervene to stop a crime about to be committed. It’s an emotional issue and the photographers in the article present their cases of why they did or didn’t intervene.

One reason given for non-intervention is that as a photographer who takes the pictures, we can help not only one person, but many — and hopefully the shocking images can help raise awareness of the issues and put an end to them.

While this has worked in a few cases, the shock value of such pictures seem to have run its course. We increasingly view shocking photos but dissociate from the actual events not because we have become calloused but simply because they are so awful and we can’t bear thinking about them.

Personally, if at all possible and safe, we’d rather a crime be prevented than a “beautiful” photo taken. Just ask the victim. To be a human being first, a journalist second. To reach out to a fellow human being even if it means a putlitzer photo missed. But in the end, it’s really hard to judge and, as the journalists in the article so courageously admit, it’s difficult to put oneself in danger and each person has to answer to his or her own conscience.

Read the article and view the photos at: The Guardian.

via dpreview