Misery Is Photogenic by Enzo Dal Verme
This is a compelling article by Enzo Dal Verme from his Blog posted March 21st, 2011. It hit on many points that I find key to a debate on photography today covering subjects which I frequently discuss in my writing. The path of photography today in a market that is over saturated and undefined and how to portray tragedies without exploiting them and the people in in them.
"An interesting debate arose during the three-day conference “La Fotografia in Italia” at Forma, March 18-20 in Milan. Almost every round table had something to say about the flood of gut-wrenching pictures and the lack of reportage on anything other than disasters, Third World tragedies and exploitation of children. Some very interesting stories came out of it…"
To read the whole a please visit his blog:
"Someone said that disasters and misery are easy targets for photojournalists, especially when they are shot in the Third World, because you can get exotic images with a high emotional charge...professional photographers are not the only ones who feel compelled to point their camera at suffering subjects, amateurs do too. The favelas photo-safaris are an expression of this trend.
"...a fellow photographer on the plane took a doll with a smashed head out of his bag. The photographer confided that the prop was always in his luggage when he covered natural disasters so that he could place it here and there in order to add some drama to a picture."
"Russian photographer Vladimir Vyatkin, for instance, wrote a very mordant article that every photographer should read. About new photojournalists he stated, “Many of these adventurers appear to have no training in photography at all. Having grasped the basics of auto-focus, they rush to portray human suffering, attempting to find a niche in the hierarchy of international journalism.”
"It is possible to narrate the same things while avoiding the pathos of pitiable and rhetorical images."