Tuesday, December 31, 2013

four views of the same photo

Several years ago, I read this NYTimes account of four journalists taking photos of the same event.

It's interesting how each of them views it.  From journalist Charlie Cole:
I think his action captured peoples’ hearts everywhere, and when the moment came, his character defined the moment, rather than the moment defining him. He made the image. I was just one of the photographers. And I felt honored to be there.

... This tends to overshadow all the other tremendous work that other photographers did up to and during the crackdown. Some journalists were killed during this coverage and almost all risked being shot at one time or another. Jacques Langevin, Peter and David Turnley, Peter Charlesworth, Robin Moyer, David Berkwitz, Rei Ohara, Alon Reininger, Ken Jarecke and a host of others contributed to the fuller historical record of what occurred during this tragedy and we should not be lured into a simplistic, one-shot view of this amazingly complex event.

A different journalist:
For some reason, the editor in the office did not pick the frame of the man blocking the tanks. Instead, they picked the frame of the man climbing up the tank. The next day, A.P.’s version was widely played. They called me up at the hotel and I told them to have a close look again. So my photo of the man blocking the tank was released more than 12 hours later than my competitor’s.

Neither of them had the photo that was most widely used. That distinction belonged to the A.P. photographer, whose photo fronted many newspapers worldwide. But what these two journalists wrote in response was so different. One was frustrated at his colleague for making him "lose" to his competitor journalist. The other was awestruck at what he had experienced, and shared his spotlight by giving credit to others.

I think we each have these sides within us: the petty competitive aspect, and the awestruck grateful side.  I re-read this article every year or two.

Friday, December 20, 2013

4-leaf potato

Going to London and Dublin next week!

Over IM:

Potamus: in my mind, dublin is a frozen land with icy potatoes stuck in the ground

me: ha ha
me: icy potatoes!
me: omg
me: are there a lot of potatoes there?

Potamusi think so
Potamus: ireland in our history book was all about potatoes
Potamus: and then when they didn't have potatoes, it was the potato famine

me: in my mind, dublin is a green shamrock field with a big castle, pubs inside the castle, friendly singing with an irish accent, big bear hugs between big burly men, and little singing leprechauns

Potamus: wow


We will see who is closer!