Urbin Report

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'm sure you saw this on CBS News...

Ok, I'm joking. By way of Ace:

A photographer named Bryan Denton, whose work has appeared in the NYT, posted on a professional-photographer's forum something remarkable. He wrote that, while in Lebanon, he personally witnessed Lebanese digging up dead bodies already in graves for presentation to the media as fresh victims. And, while Denton walked away from such obviously-sham photo opportunities, he says that the Lebanese stringer photographers were lining up behind him to snap pictures.


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.