A Press Photographer Wrestles with the Ethics in Capturing Suffering on Film Without Intervening to Help

In her article in the June 1, Washington Post, Why I Watched a Snake-Handling Pastor Die for his Faith, photographer Lauren Pond wrestles with the ethics of press photographers who document life’s tragedies with pictures, all the while standing by and not taking action to intervene in the situation as it unfolds.

Pond contrasts her decision not to call paramedics to the scene as Pastor Randy “Mack” Wolford lay dying from the venom of the snake that had bitten him and the strychnine he had ingested as part of a religious ritual with the actions of Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Kevin Carter, who was roundly criticized for photographing an emaciated Sudanese child who, under the watchful eye of a vulture standing nearby, struggling to reach a food center during a famine. Carter later committed suicide.

I highly commend Pond’s Article, in which she writes about her soul searching as she tries to come to grips with her decision.

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Tilda

I just came across a portrait of Tilda Swinton by Fabio Lovino, reproduced below.

This picture reminds me of my own photograph which I call On the Dressing Table.

FSU Camera Source

I have been shooting lately with a Zorki 4 with f1.5 50mm Jupiter 3 lens, and a Fed 2 with Industar 61 lens.  Both of these are Former Soviet Union (FSU) Leica copies.  They are 50 year old rangefinder cameras, however, you could not tell how old they are by looking at them, and they operate like they are new cameras.

My favorite seller of FSU cameras is the ebay seller, Synoptics Camera Store. This vendor services these old cameras before selling them so they perform as if they are brand new. And often they will sell items that look new too. The cameras are dirt cheap too — they cost about five percent or less of what one would pay for a comparable Leica, and the ones I have purchased are fine photographic machines.

I have been lamenting that the cameras with fixed lens do not fit as easily into my cargo pants pockets as I would like, so I decided to purchase a collapsible lens — that is a lens that pushes into the camera body when not in use.

The lens I picked up from the Synoptics Camera Store last week is pictured above. Now I will just have to wait a few weeks for it to be shipped to me from Kharkov, Ukraine.

I highly recommend the Synoptics Camera Store.

Designated Parking

Only the most important employees get the designated parking spaces.

Walking out of Dreamland into Wakefulness

I have added this image, which I call Walking out of Dreamland into Wakefulness, to the Abstractions and Still Life gallery at my Online Photo Gallery, one of my related sites, a link for which is in the right hand column of this page.

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