Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2003/09/01

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: Re: [Leica] False photos
From: "LSchultz" <>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2003 12:16:24 -0500
References: <>

- ----- Original Message ----- 
From: <>

> Newspaper photos are intended to startle the reader. Anything goes as long
> doesn't outright lie or alter the facts - or at least so said my former
> Larry Z

Whoa! Larry,

"...startle the reader.  Anything goes...?!?"   Was your editor a photo
editor or a managing editor who thought he knew something about
photojournalism.  Many newspaper PJs have been fired for thinking anything

When I am working, in addition to the photographic rules, I am constantly
thinking "relevance, story quality, have I influenced the shot? and is it
news?"  For example:  I don't shoot corpses in traffic fatalities, and I
have worked for years to establish trust with area fire and EMS units to
know that I exercise this sort of discretion.  There is no reason for loved
ones to have to relive a tragedy on the front page of the newspaper.

  But I do not hesitate to shoot photos of people or their bodies anywhere
when it may need to give  a graphic example of human rights infractions, and
there may be no other form of communication from the area.

I do strive with photos for impact, which have more substance than a photo
that simply startles.  Startling photos are easy.

Setups, other than environmental portraits for features are indeed false.
During the civil war, photojournalism was in its infancy and the
ramifications hadn't been pondered.   Additionally, through the '30s and
'40s technology was such that it may have been more acceptable because it
was nearly impossible to be inconspicuous with a Speed Graphic in front of
your face.  But the process has matured to give the field credibility, and
to work in concert with the written word in mags and papers.

Now I guess we do have to make a judgment call on what news is, daily,
sometimes hourly.  That is what we are trained to do.  I attend the photo
ops, but whenever it appears that the total purpose is to manipulate the
press  (as opposed to simply getting some ink), I am out of there, along
with many of my colleagues.  My editor has never questioned it.

Online photo portfolio:
"Nollite illegitimus contarere vos"

- --
To unsubscribe, see

In reply to: Message from ([Leica] False photos)