Saturday, May 10, 2008

Moral dilemmas.

Recently, I was assigned by a local weekly newspaper to capture images of a car that crashed through a store front and FDNY thought the damage threatened the integrity of the structure.

I arrived at the scene ten minutes after I got the call from the editor, but emergency crews had already removed the car from the front of the building. So I missed the shot of the car penetrating the storefront. However, I got some decent shots that somehow told the story well enough that the editors used one of the images.

Fortunately, no one, not even the driver was seriously hurt, but it occurred to me that it would make a great image, if the building would collapse in front of my eyes. So after I got the obligatory shots, I posted my self in what I considered a good spot to capture the collapse.

The Department of Buildings inspector arrived and after surveying the situation said that the building remained structurally sound.

So here is the quandary for photojournalists: (This was my fourth photojournalism assignment, so I'm a newbie.)
Do you feel guilty because you sometime wish that you can witness the worse scenario for the sake of the image, instead of being thankful that no one was hurt and the damage was all repairable?

Even though this assignment in no way approaches the severity of major disasters, I was thinking of those photographers who go into war zones or neighborhoods that suffered devastation from hurricanes or those who were around to photograph the WTC attack and continued to photograph even though there was so much suffering and destruction around them.

What do they feel when they document these events?

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