On Whether to Keep Shooting in a Tragedy
Many of our were glued to their TV screens on Monday the 15th of April as the events unfolded at the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts. As the bombs exploded and innocent victims were killed and maimed, we saw a multitude of photographers and news cameras rush the area of attack to get the perfect shot or the perfect story.
At first it seemed wrong; to take pictures of suffering people when the photographer could put down the camera and help. But then amid the myriad of carnage rushed police officers, paramedics, soldiers and average citizens to help, and it seemed like there were more than enough. In fact, the help seemed like a well-orchestrated militia reporting for duty as if right on schedule (hats off to the police, firefighters and people of Boston for that).
The photographer also helped, in my opinion, by taking his shots and capturing the story in single frames. He not only documented the event live as it was unfolding, but he gave voice to the victims through his photos. This is why we have war photographers, for example; to capture what needs to be relayed to the public, and in doing so, he serves the greater good through is lense.
(Of course any decent person would put down his camera rather than let someone die, but this wasn't the case here.)
So although at first I scowled at the media rushing in, it's clear that they were just doing what any good photographer or photojournalist must; telling the story and capturing history.