Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Down

Author Topic: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?  (Read 4163 times)

Alan Klein

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3204
    • Flicker photos
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #60 on: August 29, 2017, 10:53:54 PM »

I've come to this thread late.  But I was wondering how much a caption or the accompanying text in an essay with many photos distort the original meaning of the photo(s) or the photographer's intent?  A picture of a lone polar bear on a single floating ice flow in an otherwise empty sea could be an indication of how global warming is endangering the species.  Or it could be just a late spring shot of a polar bear moving from one area to another with the assistance of a flow.  The caption defines the picture.  While the photographer's intent may be honest, the editor who uses his picture may not.

So by extension, we have to check the ethics of those who present the pictures as well as the photographer.  They may play a larger roll than the shooter. 
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16579
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #61 on: August 30, 2017, 05:07:02 AM »

Signal your intent.  Directly ask.  Make it clear but don't do anything until you have affirmation.  Simple.


It's been my experience that life doesn't always function on that simplistic level; so much more is conveyed via expression, proximity and general conduct than by words, which unless uttered by the mouth of a seasoned scriptwriter (with a plan, and thus defeating this topic, which deals with the unexpected situation rather than the planned) able to remain on his own message, will inevitably force an issue and thus a reaction from the other person that may be in direct contradiction to that person's actual wish, in that a sense of "what's expected from a nice person" may well force out, and thus deny, a more adventurous desire and response that societal expectations might frown upon.

"Excuse me, my dear, you look wonderful tonight. I want to give you an affectionate peck on the cheek as we dance; may I do that? Of course, I'd like to take this further, if I may, and go on to have an impromptu breakfast with you."

The chances of any such Romeo - outwith the world of a 40s movie - getting lucky strike me as pretty slim, and those of any sighing Juliet none the better! Some things should/could never be done via the direct, verbal approach unless you are perhaps speaking of boffins or robots, of course, for whom I'm sure some code of conduct has been written, thoughfully, into the general scheme of things... for the rest of us, short of making it a commercial transaction in lieu of a delightful experience, I think nature holds the best tricks up her expensive sleeve; I think it's where PC may have been born, not up that sleeve, but in the confusion of too much introspection.

Farmer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2476
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #62 on: August 30, 2017, 05:37:35 AM »

Signal your intent - not say it, Rob.
Logged
Phil Brown

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16579
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #63 on: August 30, 2017, 06:22:24 AM »

Signal your intent - not say it, Rob.

Well, I could send and read semaphore once... morse was ever beyond me, though. I could only react visually to things unspoken and, if anything, it goes to reassert my belief that had I been born into a world of digital photography and its hardware I would never have felt the least attraction to it...

;-)

Rob

Alan Goldhammer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 2612
    • A Goldhammer Photography
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #64 on: August 30, 2017, 07:56:44 AM »

Signal your intent.  Directly ask.  Make it clear but don't do anything until you have affirmation.  Simple.
Phil is right on this point.  the issue that Rob raised is not unique to photographers but is present in many other male/female interactions that can take place in the work place, at a college party, or in a bar/pub.  I suspect we are confusing 'ethical photography', how the image is used with what is proper behavior in terms of 'taking advantage of someone'.
Logged

Farmer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2476
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #65 on: August 30, 2017, 09:03:14 PM »

Phil is right on this point.  the issue that Rob raised is not unique to photographers but is present in many other male/female interactions that can take place in the work place, at a college party, or in a bar/pub.  I suspect we are confusing 'ethical photography', how the image is used with what is proper behavior in terms of 'taking advantage of someone'.

Exactly.  Apart from my regular job, I'm also a trained first aider (have been for over 30 years), and I regularly need to consider such interactions, whether the person is fully cognisant to make a decision or not, are they a minor, are there other cultural considerations, what is the seriousness or threat of the injury, is there implied consent etc. etc., and even where it might seem obvious that consent would be given, you still ask if possible.  Case in point on Friday with a female colleague with a suspected spider bite on her neck.  I still asked before examining, even though she requested assistance.  It is respectful, it builds trust and confidence, and it's just plain the right thing to do!

Today, driving to work, a cyclist was on the side of the road with some people around.  I stopped.  He's had a head on with another cyclist.  One a school kid and the other a retiree.  Retiree can't feel below his waist.  It could be extremely serious.  Before doing any examination, before getting people to hold him to stop any possible movement, I still asked him if it was OK to treat him.  The school kid, there is legally implied consent because he's a minor - but he was 15 or 16 and completely cognisant so I asked him.  If he'd refused I would have let it be given the ambulance was on the way - he had no apparent serious injuries so why force something if he had objected?  He was fine with me doing a basic check, and the ambos confirmed all was well.  The older gentlemen hopefully has only a temporary issue.

Point is, make every effort to gain consent, regardless of the situation.
Logged
Phil Brown

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16579
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #66 on: August 31, 2017, 05:48:41 AM »

All very well and good, Phil, but your first aid examples are hardly much to do with sensitive areas such as romance/imaginary sexual assault, with the later two especially having such nebulous borders as to render male/female interaction almost taboo, leading to extermination of the species - were some people allowed to rule the roost. Perhaps it was to thwart such minds that nature gave the male such a strong - albeit blinding - sexual drive.

I believe that you have simply created a straw woman argument - just to be different - and exactly the diversionary example with which the non-thinking reader will automatically sympathise, just as would any divorce lawyer with female client try to achieve. Regarding the lady with the assumed spider bite - did you catch the spider - did you get to see one - did you not later suspect something else was being played out to which you could well have been oblivious? Are you a dermatologist capable of distinguishing bites of spider from those of bedbug, mosquito or horsefly? Of all these factors I have no more idea than anyone else not present, which just shows you how difficult these things can be, especially in a court of law; and if there was nobody else around, no independent witness, then even more of a delightful little riddle if no assault case comes from it! Delightful, of course, would depend on the condition of the person with the "bite". "I still asked before examining, even though she requested assistance.  It is respectful, it builds trust and confidence, and it's just plain the right thing to do!" Phil, you could hardly rip her shirt off without asking, with or without witnesses, could you? Even I might suspect anyone doing that was being a little less than altruistic, with or without spider extant! And at the very least, should witnesses be present, you were simply covering your own legal ass! As for the young cyclist - I don't imagine you had to squeeze his genitals to make sure his back wasn't broken, did you? So why would there still be a need to say anything other than to declare a professional ability/science you may have to help? (In my own case, I'd have seized the opportunity to tell those cyclists what a boody menace they are on Mallorcan roads, and that they should be bannished to velodromes where, as they have just proven, they can enjoy their inability to avoid one another, never mind interact sensibly with motorised vehicles!)

"Point is, make every effort to gain consent, regardless of the situation." Indeed, and I'm sure that's a clever thing to do in this litigious society which we are becoming. even outwith the States.

But it's not designed (this mindset) to propagate the species, any more than is rape. What it is is society ever more a victim of contemporary socially PC mores.

Farmer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2476
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #67 on: August 31, 2017, 07:09:55 AM »

I think I was unclear about my point.

Such people - those in need, who are exhibiting palpable anxiety about something that has just happened to them - are extremely vulnerable.  It would take almost no effort to take some form of advantage of them and even less effort to take no advantage, do everything perfectly appropriately, but fail to remember to ask and not assume.  That is the point.  There is no excuse for not asking, either spoken or through some other manner, before doing anything.  A sexual drive cannot be an excuse for doing something to someone without permission.

As to ripping off shirts?  An unbreathing casualty who needs CPR and application of an AED?  Yep, that shirt/top/whatever is coming off.  If they're conscious and suspected to be experiencing a cardiac event, though, they're going to be asked before putting the AED on to monitor them.  In both cases, non-essential people are removed and if there's an alternative (a female first aider, for example) then that's the path that going to be taken.

The species will propagate just fine based on consent.
 
Oh, and, she had caught the spider, killed it, and wrapped it in a tissue - being a black spider, which in Australia automatically means treating like a snake bite because it can mean a neurotoxin which travels via the lymphatic system as just snake venom does, that was actually quite good if it had turned out to indeed be venomous and a penetrating bite (which it wasn't - confirmed by a doctor later).
Logged
Phil Brown

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16579
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #68 on: August 31, 2017, 12:23:50 PM »

I think I was unclear about my point.

Such people - those in need, who are exhibiting palpable anxiety about something that has just happened to them - are extremely vulnerable.  It would take almost no effort to take some form of advantage of them and even less effort to take no advantage, do everything perfectly appropriately, but fail to remember to ask and not assume.  That is the point.  There is no excuse for not asking, either spoken or through some other manner, before doing anything.  A sexual drive cannot be an excuse for doing something to someone without permission.

As to ripping off shirts?  An unbreathing casualty who needs CPR and application of an AED?  Yep, that shirt/top/whatever is coming off.  If they're conscious and suspected to be experiencing a cardiac event, though, they're going to be asked before putting the AED on to monitor them.  In both cases, non-essential people are removed and if there's an alternative (a female first aider, for example) then that's the path that going to be taken.

The species will propagate just fine based on consent.
 
Oh, and, she had caught the spider, killed it, and wrapped it in a tissue - being a black spider, which in Australia automatically means treating like a snake bite because it can mean a neurotoxin which travels via the lymphatic system as just snake venom does, that was actually quite good if it had turned out to indeed be venomous and a penetrating bite (which it wasn't - confirmed by a doctor later).


"Oh, and, she had caught the spider, killed it, and wrapped it in a tissue - being a black spider, which in Australia automatically means treating like a snake bite because it can mean a neurotoxin which travels via the lymphatic system as just snake venom does, that was actually quite good if it had turned out to indeed be venomous and a penetrating bite (which it wasn't - confirmed by a doctor later)."

She couldn't have been too worried if she'd had time to do all those things! What it does prove though, is that everyone living in dangerous lands should carry at all times a clean jam jar and thin sheet of stiff board. That way, the poor insects would remain identifiable and even, should they prove to be harmless, released back into the wild. I have a thing about spiders - especially the ones here that I think are called wolf spěders - bodies like almonds - and they wander around on their own, rather than hang about in webs. Though I dislike them with intensity, I have no wish to kill them unless they appear on the wall at night, and I don't want to go out and find the big flat broom onto which I would otherwise coax them prior to launching 'em into the field.

The big problem with finding them indoors at night is that there are two alternatives: be in an area where you can manipulate jar and card without losing the creature behind furniture if it falls off the wall, not always preventable if your access is difficult; if access is difficult, then you are faced with the choice of bashing them with a shoe and thus staining the wall, or sitting quietly watching until they move into a silly place (from their perspective) and then use the jar. The problem with the waiting game is that spiders can be quite intelligent: they simply stay still and try to outwait/outwit you.

I have a frend who lives in Oz and he once wrote, with reference to going out on shoots into the wilds, that everything in Oz that moves wants to kill you. I do think he was referring to the non-human kingdom, but somebody broke into his wheels and stole his photo-gear, so I can't be sure about that anymore.

My granddaughter, a brand new doctor, spent a few weeks in Oz and she loved it, except for the very high cost of everything that a supermarket stocks, especially drinking water. She ignored the screens on the window one night, and was surprised to discover, later, a couple of large arachnids on the wall; she got rid of them, but I don't know if she had a jam jar. You can take the girl out of Glasgow...

;-)

Rob

leuallen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 336
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #69 on: August 31, 2017, 01:02:07 PM »

How can you have ethical photography (journalist) when you don't have ethical media? If the media is corrupt do you expect that the photographers working for them won't be?
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16579
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #70 on: August 31, 2017, 05:30:50 PM »

How can you have ethical photography (journalist) when you don't have ethical media? If the media is corrupt do you expect that the photographers working for them won't be?


I quote myself:

"I don't know anything about such educational institutions, but if they are as you describe, then I think they are doing the right thing by their students. Unlike those colleges that offer courses in photography that promote self-expression, art, the construction of installation dreams and flights of fantasy, these young people seem to be being shown how to make a living in today's world where the very lowest common denominator is what sells print and drives "Likes". It's all about earning a crust and survival, doing successfully what you have chosen as your job."

You are absolutely right. And I'd wager that the same media is quite helpful in the promotion of "art" too. It takes a pot at some of the awards, to be fair to it, but the attention paid some artists - including snappers -  is rather a nice thing for them, don't you think?

Who pretended it was a clean world? Where survival and a good living standard is on the line...

;-)

Rob

amolitor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 26
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #71 on: September 01, 2017, 10:58:52 AM »

Thank you all for the excellent discussion! In general, I have no pat answers to any of the questions posed!

These things are difficult, and the answers are fluid. It depends on context, on time, on many factors. The difference between good, useful, training and terrible pointless training is noted -- my only proposal here is the one to start up many certifications and allow "the market" to decide. This assumes that the editors and publishers and contest-runners will leab toward the good ones rather than the easy ones, and in order for that to happen, they need to be themselves of
good and ethical spirit. Possibly because they've read some discussions like this one recently. One can dream.

A real world (?) example, which describes what Souvid Datta allegedly faced: A 16 year old prostitute asks that he tell her story, including photographing her at the work of her job. There is no family in the picture, what there is either has or would disown her. She is underage, but there is no equivalent of a parent, no one who can give or without consent legally. She is literally the most adult person around, and is legally too young to give consent. What does the photographer do?

There is no easy answer here. UNICEF guidelines for reporting on children betray their western assumptions by telling you to defer to the parent, or whoever is around in that role. It's easy to shout at Datta after the fact, but if we assume he is telling his story truthfully, there is no denying that he was a young man
thrust into an extremely difficult choice, and was probably completely ill-equipped to make good choices.

He might have made the same choices after being thoroughly trained, but at any rate he'd have perhaps made them for better reasons.
Logged

GrahamBy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1538
    • 500px
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #72 on: September 01, 2017, 11:20:32 AM »

Excellent points re the consent issue...
Logged

Rob C

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16579
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #73 on: September 01, 2017, 12:16:11 PM »

Yes, there are no absolutes one way or the other - only best guesses if a person of good intent, or a playground for mischief if of the opposite bent.

But I have enjoyed the debate, and feel quite relieved that it passed without any verbal violence and with a fair amount of fun in the air. Assuming, of course, that it has passed!

Rob

Telecaster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2332
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #74 on: September 01, 2017, 03:40:36 PM »

My passive +1.  ;)

-Dave-
Logged

donbga

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 382
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #75 on: September 02, 2017, 01:32:56 PM »

But you are still, basically, depending on moral standards and standings.

My instinct says don't shoot the questionable image. Why would you, unless for the hope of making money out of something a bit heavy for normal consumption? The call on what the snapper thinks normal is his own to make, not that of any group or collective conditioning. He is already collectively conditioned to one degree or another; applying a prescribed set of trade moral concepts is even worse and ultimately more confusing for anyone.

You can't honestly submit stuff you are secretly ashamed of having shot, yet allow the final publishing decision rest with someone else. That's responsibilty-dodging in a most depressing manner, cowardice, even.

If instinct tells you there's a big question mark hanging over your actions, don't take 'em. If instinct tells you nothing, this thread will mean zero to you, so it's academic.

Well I think perhaps we have all day dreamed of somehow having our own immortal Zapruder film or shots, though not necessarily of tragedy but rather as photos such as ETBEs landing or flying overhead in formations by the thousands. Or the miraculous rescue of an individual or animal that is in peril.

I really felt Andrew's article should have been published on the Online Photographer since Mike Johnson has written very similar pieces in the past and is hyper-enamored of the topic.

I would have felt better if the article had focused on a image appropriator such as Richard Prince and discussed the merits of his thefts and whether the work qualifies as Art (with a capital A). At any rate photographers that fix, spindle, mutilate, alter, or create in post either digitally or analog isn't really an issue of ethics for me unless the photo is intended to ruin someone, group, or corporate entity. 

So of course that is my opinion just like the aforementioned article echos Molitor's opinions. Andrew is a wantabe A.D. Coleman or similar, for the most part I don't find his insights unique or original. But the 1st Amendment gives him the right to express his thoughts regardless of their clarity or benefit.
Logged

Telecaster

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2332
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #76 on: September 02, 2017, 03:15:43 PM »

I'm all in favor of any piece that raises questions and provokes thought. The views, whatever they are, of the piece's author are secondary to this.

-Dave-
Logged

amolitor

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 26
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #77 on: September 02, 2017, 07:33:32 PM »

I'm a wannabee Susan Sontag, actually!

She is handily dead, and therefore not available to comment on contemporary photography. By dismissing everyone currently alive as on the wrong track entirely, I arrange the field to be clear for my own humble efforts.
Logged

kiteg2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #78 on: September 15, 2017, 11:54:15 AM »

Rather fascinating topic
I’ll probably muddy the water a little more.
I think largely there one main issue.
Intent.
1: Intent, photojournalism is different from a lot of other photography disciplines and there is little leeway and I believe that is as it should be. It is meant to be reporting fact not fiction.
Interestingly to me it opens up the question of Art v Photography.
The winner of one of our major photography portrait awards documented he spent 40 hours in Photoshop. I have an issue with that, are we looking at a photograph or art? If you take 5 minutes to take a photo and 40 hours as a pro with good experience are we looking at a photo or art.

I would expect a pro to get it mostly right in camera and therefore 40 hours to me becomes art, and as such should be entered into an art show and maybe not a photography contest, despite it being a sensational photo. I see photojournalists that take stunning photos daily.
The only thing they are legally allowed to do is basically dodge and burn….Meaning only what you could do in a darkroom, there is no 40 hours and they are stunning photos because they know their craft.

If a photojournalist stages a photo then the question is it truth or art?
2: As for deliberately misleading or using other peoples published work….well I would expect everyone hear would have a similar opinion, so nuff said.
Logged

alainbriot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 745
    • http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
Re: New Article - Ethical Photography: Where Do We Go From Here?
« Reply #79 on: September 15, 2017, 12:02:04 PM »

The only thing they are legally allowed to do is basically dodge and burn….

Sounds like the artist in question broke the shackles that were holding back his inspiration and creativity.  Congratulations to him!
Logged
Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Up