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Sunday, 10 June 2007

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kind of makes you puke, I would say...

Time will yield a lot of surprises to all of us. The world is flattening. I've lived in places were there were aboriginals in their original nature environment, and knew people without any contact with civilization who lived hunting and fishing. And they were the norm, and there wasn't much else. And that was most of what existed in lots of places, just 20 years ago. And now, they are still there, but there's also tv, tourists with digicams, and cellphones ringing in the middle of nowhere, they all come face to face. The world is looking at itself as it never did before. And all sorts of aparent paradoxes pop up.
We are all people anyway.

You're doing this just to torment me out of personal animosity, right?
Just because I dared to criticize your editorial judgement in the first place?
Actually, putting Paris Hilton in context, rather than shoehorning her down
my throat as the context for everyone else, is very helpful. A good, thought-
provoking, xrefing, big-picture post. Thanks.

Well, on the positive side, at least he can do his job now without bullets whizzing by his head.

Stunning. The 1972 image is an icon. I think it shows how we have evolved into a money worshiping nation and have forgotten how and the price we had to pay to get here as a nation. I hope these two contrasting images get a lot of press, and shake us back into reality.

ShadZee,
www.shadzee.com

So, is that Ut's reflection in the window with the digital p/s, or is he catching someone else's reflection? I suspect the latter, because of the angle of the camera in the reflection.

35 years ago we had images that could stop a war. Now we have images of a vain self obsessed air head with a penchant for doing anything for money. No doubt the hunt is on for the first Paris in a cell shot. We certainly have become a shallow and vacuous society that sees personal instant gratification as its sole aim.

I would not think it was her reflection as the camera was held in 'landscape' mode not 'portrait' mode. I would also think someone of her stature would use a SLR type camera, not a point and shoot. But it does add something to the photo, if not to distract us from Paris (poor girl).

I think we get a lot of baby boomers who are totally overestimating their generation in nostalgia now this subject is up.

'35 years ago we had images that could stop a war'

Give me a break!

But photographs are still important. The difference now is that the iconic changing photography is not done by professional photojournalists but everyday people. Abu Ghraib pictures for example changed the attitudes of people involved in the current Iraq problem.

The so called MySpace generation. It should be celebrated because now news and publishing isn't in the hands of the few but the masses to anyone who can figure out how to use a flickr account.

funny coincidence

this shot trumps nick's though (unless it's his also):
http://infdaily.com/2007/06/exclusive-paris-loses-it.html

made the front page with headline: Crybaby
which can be seen at http://torontosun.com/FrontPage/2007/06/09/4247176.html

wow this post is really interesting

the images talks in themselve, i just want to add the image quality difefrence is also outstanding in both technical and artistic terms.

IS it what we call evolution ?

...... making a mountain out of a mole hill or the decline of a photographer/photograph!?

Would this shot not benefit hugely from a polariser reducing (removing) the reflection in the windscreen?

That's the only thing that's caught my attention during the carpet coverage of this (non)event.

Thought-provoking yes, but we should be careful not to set the bar too high. Did he get that shot 35 years ago because he was a concerned world-changing photographer or did he get lucky because he was just standing there? (Btw, I know nothing about the man and this is not a personal attack; more hypothetical speculation than anything else.) And no matter idealistic he may have been at that time, you can't let that moment define his life for all time. We don't so for ourselves, by and large, so we shouldn't define others lives that way. I am not living the way I thought I would 35 years ago. Shooting pics in a war zone is probably a young man's game, I'd have to guess, while really knowing nothing about it.

Mz Hilton's life is pablum, no argument. But why a culture should be so fascinated with pablum is an important question. Is it really what the news consumer wants? Is it just what the current media tells us we want? How do they know what we want? Is the media simply observers or are they manufacturing interest in whatever is most easy for them to produce and sell?

The march of progress was supposed to give us more free time so that we could spend that free time bettering ourselves. Instead, our culture is evolving in such a way as to make us work longer hours and our "spare" time is spent on more and more trivial activities. This is the incorrect direction.

I don't believe in conspiracies. But the evolution of systems is not random either; it always proceeds in ways that benefit someone. If Paris is on the news, and the news only lasts a half hour, then what was NOT on the news?

There is so much irony here that it is hard to know where to start. I suppose the one salient observation I can make is: Yes, still photography continues to be relevant and uniquely powerful, whether documenting something critically important or mind-bogglingly trivial.

I suggest both shots make us think (and we should be enormously greatful to Nick Ut for being able and willing to take telling pictures at each end of a 35 year career) but for me the more recent one might be more newsworthy; PH is human! PH can cry! I wasn't sure about that whereas I think I knew war hurt and terrified people (but of course it is right to remind those of us fortunate enough not to be in the front line of that fact).

Robert,
You probably know where I come down on this. First consider that the vast majority of the "free world's" media is controlled by a mere six men. Then consider the spectre of Jack Welch, then the charismatic and domineering CEO of General Electric, which owns NBC, hanging out in the TV news control room on the night of the 2000 presidential election, hectoring his producers to go ahead and call the election for George Bush. We long ago passed the point of corporatist co-optation of major media.

Mike

The comparison does seem ironic, but during the Viet Nam era the country was different. People were looking for change and they were confronting issues head on. The media was merely feeding the mania (Ut's earlier photograph).

Fast forward four decades and it seems people are looking for relief. Instead of a photograph of an Iraqi woman with her arm blown off, we focus on the psuedo-tragedy of Ms. Hilton serving some time. With all the problems in the world, this is something we can handle.

I think that it is interesting that Nick Ut's photo of Hilton was heavily cropped. I thought that the AP was dead set against photo manipulation of any kind. I personally feel that the inclusion of the point and shooter adds a sense of irony and reflects our obsession with celebrity.

For an interesting look at the another photograph that Nick Ut took seconds after his iconic image. Google image Nick Ut and look for the shot in the third line of photos. It appears that he ran ahead of the children and took another shot. He must have been an amazing multitasker. Consider the fact that he had to wind the film, frame the picture and even focus, all while running. How on earth did he do it. Sorry, for the smartassed comment. Just popped out!

For what it's worth, both of those photographs were cropped. The full frame version of the '72 photo, which has been rarely sighted in those 35 years, depicts the other photographers present at the scene on the left hand side.

Marc said "I think we get a lot of baby boomers who are totally overestimating their generation in nostalgia now this subject is up.

'35 years ago we had images that could stop a war'

Give me a break!"

I'm no baby boomer Marc, Gen - X and proud of it!!! So this is no nostalgia trip for me. What I have seen during the course of my life is the dumbing down of the media. Yes 35 years ago newspapers would publish images like the Napalm shot by Ut. They won't now because they fear upsetting the advertising clients. The media has ceased to be a free agent of social change, it is as Mike said earlier in the control of just a few people who have very definite ideas of how society should be run.

We have seen so little "great" photography come out of Iraq I & II. Why is that so. The talent that has gone is every bit as good that has gone to previous wars. Modern technologies have made it easier for journalist to file stories. The reason is that the US military realised they made a great mistake with Vietnam allowing the press freedom. In Iraq the journalists are embedded and carefully managed. The work of the few who decide not to be embedded does not have the media outlets to let it be shown.
The most powerful images such as those from Abu Ghraib, the coffins being unloaded were made by so-called citizen journalists or indeed the perpetrators, no one telling them what not to do.

Yes Paris Hilton is fluff, but to se her dominate the news for what was such a trivial matter was interesting it gave a real insight into American culture.

Interestingly the New York Daily News has an article about this:
http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2007/06/12/2007-06-12_a_far_cry_from_vietnam.html

But I can find no mention in the New York Times or Post.

Should/can one read in to this the journalistic quality of various news outlets?

The universe is awesome, and the irony of this is overwhelming.

As a photo editor at a newspaper, I used to love to see Nick Ut's photos come out of Los Angeles. The photographer who gave us these great photos also had photos of couples kissing in fountains on hot days in LA. Often his photos put a smile on my face with the humanity and professionalism they exuded.

Theses images are both reflections of our times. War takes second page to Paris in 2007.

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