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February 15, 2008 7:42 AM   Subscribe

The Power of Photography (might or might not be NSFW) with accompanying articles: Stricken Child crawling towards a Food Camp [1994] | The Falling Man [2001] | The Youngest Mother [1939] | Born Twice [1999] (via)
posted by hadjiboy (20 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Note that the first comment for the "Born Twice" link leads to this Snopes refutation of the quoted photographer's statement.
posted by googly at 7:48 AM on February 15, 2008

I find it interesting how much the Falling Man photo resembles the tarot card of the Hanged Man. And the card's significance seems appropriate: "The Hanged Man is in a state of purposeful, complete surrender, yielding his mind and body to the Universal flow." I hope Jonathan Briley found a similar peace.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:16 AM on February 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Wow. The stricken child photo really bothered me when I read that no one knows what happened to the child, who was crawling to a camp 1 km away for food. So, the photojournalist took the picture, and then left him there?

I could never be a photojournalist.

Powerful post, hadjiboy.
posted by misha at 8:17 AM on February 15, 2008

I could never be a photojournalist.

Apparently neither could Kevin Carter.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:19 AM on February 15, 2008

I have never heard the story of the youngest mother. Wow.

Great post.
posted by triggerfinger at 8:26 AM on February 15, 2008

You know, the more I look at that site, the more I am stricken by how terrible it is. Atrocious grammar, inexplicable placing of Pulitzer Prize in quotation marks, and ads ads ads galore! The abbreviated descriptions offer less than the average wikipedia entry - and in many cases are stolen without credit from wikipedia.

Plus, no information on who is behind it, or what their selection criteria are (beyond choosing obvious candidates from countless other top 100 photos list). Finally, their copyright statement is disingenuous in its defense of using photographers' work; and has the temerity to claim copyright over text that is stolen from other sites.

I smell a rat.
posted by googly at 8:42 AM on February 15, 2008

No, it's: I "smell" a "rat".
posted by blue_beetle at 9:09 AM on February 15, 2008

The Wikipedia article on Kevin Carter, who took the photo of the girl on the ground, includes comments from Joao Silva, another photojournalist who accompanied Carter to the UN food distribution operation in Sudan. "The parents of the children were busy taking food from the plane so they had left their children only briefly while they collected the food. This was the situation for the girl in the photo taken by Carter." As tragic as the situation was, maybe there's some relief to be had in knowing that the vulture didn't eat her and may have just been resting on the ground nearby.
posted by hydrophonic at 9:17 AM on February 15, 2008

When I see photos like the stricken child one, I often wonder what emotional impact covering such horror has on the photojournalists. Apparently, it can be profound: Kevin Carter killed himself not long after taking that picture:

On 27 July 1994 Carter drove to the Braamfonteinspruit river, near the Field and Study Centre, an area he used to play at as a child, and took his own life by taping one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe and running the other end to the passenger-side window. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the age of 33. Portions of Carter's suicide note read:
"I am depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money!!! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger & pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners...I have gone to join Ken if I am that lucky."

posted by LooseFilter at 9:53 AM on February 15, 2008 [4 favorites]

Nice post; it's amazing what can be said and how things can be interpreted without words in the way.

Here's another photojournalism jumping-off point.
posted by not_on_display at 1:11 PM on February 15, 2008

I'm a horrible human being. I can't think of the falling man 9/11 photos without getting Yakety Sax stuck in my head. Damn you, SomethingAwful.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:21 PM on February 15, 2008

Whatever you do, don't read the comments. You should probably try to block out the copy as well.
posted by LeeJay at 2:55 PM on February 15, 2008

Whatever you do, don't read the comments.

Ugh, too late. Here's the very first one from Falling Man.
why the hell did these buildings disintegrate into powder?

who cares about anything else pertitent to the events from that day?

vote ron paul
That gave me an ice-cream headache, but with stupid.
posted by Skot at 3:08 PM on February 15, 2008

Sorry about the Time's piece--I thought they'd surely link to the controversy over the Crawling Child photograph.
posted by hadjiboy at 9:56 PM on February 15, 2008

Every single picture = old news. All have been talked about and/or posted on metafilter before. In fact, not a few of us were here, posting, when we were trying to figure out what happened on 9/11. Spend some time, give us background and compose a post with thought and style.
posted by rotifer at 10:18 PM on February 15, 2008

The Born Twice photo has inaccurate text. Abortion is not illegal in the UK. An accurate time line for abortion law in the UK can be found here.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:05 AM on February 16, 2008

Spend some time, give us background and compose a post with thought and style. I'd say something snarky, but I doubt it'd be worth it.
posted by hadjiboy at 2:45 AM on February 16, 2008

I'd say something snarky, but I doubt it'd be worth it.

No, it really wouldn't, because rotifer's posting history has nothing to do with whether his criticism of your post is accurate and implying that it does makes you look like an ass.
posted by LeeJay at 10:50 AM on February 16, 2008

That sickened child photo is quite disturbing. =/
posted by hmaugans at 3:16 PM on February 16, 2008

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