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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

News photo controversy.
Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 7:56 PM on 06.20.14
->> Right? Or wrong?

http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2014/06/18/fort-collins-native-capture.../
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Mark Almond, Photographer
Birmingham | AL | USA | Posted: 9:56 PM on 06.20.14
->> I came close to using the picture in a nightly online roundup of best news pictures of the day. It is a strong news picture. At the last minute I decided not to use it. We don't generally use dead body pictures and I read one child had died. I was afraid this might be the child. There were several other strong pictures available that were used. Later, I found out the little girl had recently moved to Nebraska from a city in our coverage area.

I won't second guess the photographer's actions because I wasn't there.

If I was in a situation like that would I make the picture as long as I didn't hinder the rescue operations? Absolutely.

Would I submit it my publication? Yes.

Would I point out the picture to the higher ups and tell them I know about the girl's condition? Yes.

Would my publication use the picture? Almost certainly no.

You only have a fraction of a second to decide whether to take the picture or not. Luckily, we have longer to decide whether to publish the picture.
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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Manalapan | NJ | United States | Posted: 10:51 PM on 06.20.14
->> Didn't the world use the picture of firefighter carrying dying young child out of the Oklahoma City Federal Building rubble? Some times the event and the image demand it be used. Using a dead body just for the sake of it is another story.
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Bradly J. Boner, Photographer, Photo Editor
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 1:28 AM on 06.21.14
->> From a purely photojournalistic point of view, he was absolutely right in taking the photograph. And for circulating it.

That said, my question is whether it was "right" or "wrong" for the Coloradoan to write a story about it.

Graphic photographs are made every single day, all over the world. Why is the Fort Collins Coloradoan running a story about a photograph that was taken in Nebraska? Because the photographer was from Fort Collins and interned at the paper?

Please.
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 2:08 AM on 06.21.14
->> There must be a name for the property of news being less disturbing the farther the viewer is removed from the source.
Photos of war in the Middle East get regular play in the US to no objection regarding the dead and dying, but when the news is local and to some extent familiar journalists are deemed vultures.
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Chris Machian, Photographer, Assistant
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 9:46 PM on 06.21.14
->> Our publication used the photo. I have a problem with how he presented himself. I think there is a difference between "storm chasers" and photojournalists. Like many of us who see a distinction between paparazzi and photojournalists.
Photojournalists don't wish for something bad to happen so they can photograph it. We cover the news as it happens. I don't think any of them hung around to photograph the next few days in Pilger. Our staff helped to humanize the tragedy and tell more in-depth stories of the people whose lives were affected.
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
New England | | | Posted: 11:45 PM on 06.21.14
->> If this photo came from a bombing in Kenya or an earthquake in South America no one would have any problem. People are up in arms because it was shot in the heartland of America, We have a double standard and as shooters that double standard is not our problem. You shoot what you see and let the editors sort it out later.

The photo tells a story and does so effectively.
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Blaine McCartney, Photographer
Cheyenne | WY | USA | Posted: 8:47 AM on 06.22.14
->> He did no wrong. But professional? He has "Storm" as a nickname in his byline for Christ's sake. He comes off to me as the paparazzi of storm chasing.
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Doug Strickland, Photographer
Chattanooga | TN | USA | Posted: 11:57 AM on 06.22.14
->> I've had more than one (not photo) editor at different publications tell me abruptly "No bodies" (beneath sheets or otherwise) as I'm being sent to breaking news where we know there will be at least one casualty. When it's close to home, or there's risk of offending local readers, I think people become gun-shy. There are also considerations like "Has the family been notified, or will they be finding out that their son/father/sister is dead from our photo?" I even had one of my photos questioned before it ran because it depicted a young man laying on the hood of his wrecked car talking with his dad on his phone, and someone thought that our elderly readers would see it, skip the caption, and assume he's a dead body.

Would I still take the picture linked above? Absolutely, just like I take and submit the photos the editors above told me not to bring back. We wouldn't run them, but that doesn't change my job. I can't speak to this guy's role as a photojournalist. I don't know anything about him. I would hope that in these situations he conducts himself properly and that he does work to humanize his subjects.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 12:24 PM on 06.22.14
->> Thanks! Great discussion!
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 12:32 PM on 06.22.14
->> Shoot first. Edit later.

--Mark
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 11:47 AM on 06.24.14
->> "I think there is a difference between 'storm chasers' and photojournalists. Like many of us who see a distinction between paparazzi and photojournalists. Photojournalists don't wish for something bad to happen so they can photograph it."

I think that is an unfair generalization. From what I've seen, "storm chasers" don't run around hoping to witness the leveling of population centers or death/injuries. The photos they rely on for income are of the storms themselves, normally over unpopulated areas. They seem just as horrified by such destruction, when it happens, as the rest of us. They often act as "first responders" after rolling onto the scene of property damage when it does happen. While the guy's personal enthusiasm for seeking out extreme weather events may appear to downplay the personal price others may pay during such storms, I see nothing wrong with the photo in question. I doubt he was thinking "Wow, this is soooo cool!" as he took the photos.

The most iconic OKC photos were taken by an amateur as well as a utility worker... neither photojournalists.

I agree with the sentiment of "Shoot first, edit later."
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 12:41 PM on 06.24.14
->> Looks like they killed the link to the pic.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 3:54 PM on 06.24.14
->> It's still on the AP's site. Search on the photog's name.
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Tommy Metthe, Photographer
Abilene | TX | | Posted: 4:15 PM on 06.24.14
->> This is a good, thought provoking, read on how many storm chasers have become less about finding the storms/learning the science of them and warning people as they have become about making themselves part of the story and becoming famous.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/06/19/pilger_nebraska_tornado_...

I don't think all storm chasers are this way... just seems to be the ones we hear about the most. There are still plenty out there who legitimately want to study the destructive power of nature. But, more and more are wanting to do this for fame
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 4:27 PM on 06.24.14
->> Geoff, Which AP site?

--Mark
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington - Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 5:07 PM on 06.24.14
->> Mark, try this link. http://www.apimages.com/Search?query=Mark+Farnik+&ss=100528&st=mst&entitysearch=&toItem=18&orderBy=Newest

If that doesn't work, I just went to apimages, editorial tab and typed in the name.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 6:17 PM on 06.24.14
->> Just did the same thing and it ain't there.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 6:26 PM on 06.24.14
->> I just did it. The gallery of images is there. As Mr. Look instructs, click the tab marked editorial.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 11:20 PM on 06.24.14
->> Tommy, while I agree that "adrenilin junkies" storm chasing for kicks or engaging in highly risky behaviors for fame is likely going too far, I don't know enough about Farnik to know if he belongs in that category or not.

As for his previously stated desire to see "highly destructive storms" in order to profit from them, I think it likely that the quote refers to the storms themselves and not a loss of property and/or life. An EF-5 storm is "highly destructive" regardless of whether it tears through an open field or a town. In hindsight, it's easy to try and imply that his desire was to witness the type of carnage that he then saw in that Nebraska town.
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Chris Machian, Photographer, Assistant
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 11:46 PM on 06.24.14
->> I don't think anyone here would refer to a tornado in an open field as "highly destructive" but the farmer who owns that field. Not even being glib.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 10:46 AM on 06.25.14
->> "I don't think anyone here would refer to a tornado in an open field as 'highly destructive'..." But then again, we're not "storm chasers". It's hard to say if it's an example of groupspeak, or not. The comment thread was a conversation with fellow storm chasers. I just think it's shaky to assume that the guy was just salivating at the hope of seeing injury and wreckage versus the storms themselves. Worst case, the guy made a flip comment long before the Pilger tornado, before he had any idea about what he would later see and capture 12 days later. All of this criticism is in hindsight.

Perhaps he should just have expressed the mindset of the turn shooters I know at race tracks: "I hope no one crashes in my turn, but if they do... I hope I get The Picture."
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 1:52 PM on 06.25.14
->> The father of Calista Dixon has been interviewed and has stated that in a way he's "glad" the photos were taken and published. After the storms, he went on-line looking for photos to see what happened in Pilger and saw the photos of his daughter:

"That was a part of my daughter's life she went through... In a sense I'm glad I saw it, because it was the last moment she was here, and I'd take it any way I can get it,"

http://www.waff.com/story/25803698/nebraska-tornado-victim-5-was-from-n-al
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Chris Machian, Photographer, Assistant
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 7:49 PM on 06.25.14
->> I had no problem with the photo being made, just how photographer behaved before and after.
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James Broome, Photographer
Tampa | FL | US | Posted: 12:45 PM on 06.26.14
->> I fully agree with Chris Machian.

Also, 'dead body' is a tautology. Just use 'body' instead.
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David A. Cantor, Photographer, Photo Editor
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 11:26 AM on 06.27.14
->> Here's a thoughtful view on the difficulties of covering tragic news and grief:

http://www.oregonlive.com/multimedia/index.ssf/2014/06/oregon_school_shooti...
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Thread Title: News photo controversy.
Thread Started By: Robert Hanashiro
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