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I'm not sure what the point is here. I'm a military public affairs guy myself and I don't understand how using a military photograph is different than using any other. Certainly no military photographer would be allowed to send a photo of a dead or dying service member, but, as BNN points out today, no member of the MSM has chosen to do so until today, either. (For the record, I've defended the use of photos of bodies and/or less-than-flattering military pictures here, here, here and here.) Every photographer (military or civilian) who goes on a mission will return with upwards of a hundred photographs (in my case, way upwards). When they return, they cull those photgraphs down to those they think are best and release them. Somewhere down the line, an editor will choose one photo and that's the one that goes with the story. Because those hundreds of photos I started with can't begin to account for every moment of an action, I, as a photographer, have already limited the ability of viewers to know the whole story. Then I limit it more, by choosing photos based on my internal aesthetics. In the end, most photographers will have a day's work sifted down to a single image, which can only be said to represent the barest sliver of the visual imagery available for any given mission. So, honestly, unless a photo is clearly staged or is an obvious misrepresentation of an event (i.e., the way right-wing sites cropped photos of anti-war rallies then complained of peaceniks inflating the number of attendees), I don't see how any photograph can be seen as inherently more objective because of its photographer. As for you, PFC Wilt, I suggest you either grow a thicker skin or go join the infantry, where the general public won't have an opportunity to judge, say, your ability to perform Individual Movement Techniques or your marksmanship or your military bearing. We live in a world of critics and that's just the way it is. If you don't like that, you shouldn't be doing a job in which your work gets tossed into the public domain. Also, when you say that you're not taking propaganda photos, but then go on to say that your photos are intended to elicit a specific response in your audience, you're admitting that your photos are, in fact, propaganda. I'm sure that I speak for others when I say that we'd appreciate it if you wouldn't try to defend our career field in public anymore.
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2005 on Pentagon Pictures, Tall Afar Tales at BAGnewsNotes
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