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I was at the scene of a road accident at girlsta today, when a cameraman appeared and started setting up his tripod and camera.

 

The driver of the car was lying on a stretcher getting treatment, while the emergency services were assessing the car/tanker.

 

One of the police officers had to move the cameraman back, away from the scene a couple of times as he was within a few metres of the casualty.

 

Does anybody else think this is wrong?

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The cameraman in question works for the BBC. I too was there and I understand why you think it's wrong for someone to film such things, I felt uncomfortable about it even though he is one of the nicest people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

 

It's the way of the world, for most of us at least... I assume you ooh and ahh about all the tragic news stories you read, see or listen to. That's all that cameraman was doing... bringing the news to the rest of us, whether we like it or not. What's 'wrong'... people reporting the news or people reading the news? I suppose the real question is if you feel different about it knowing now that he is a reporter.

 

If not then have a read of these lyrics by Tool...

 

Eye on the the TV

'Cause tragedy thrills me

Whatever flavor it happens to be, like...

"Killed by the husband"

"Drowned by the ocean"

"Shot by his own son"

"She used a poison in his tea, and kissed him goodbye"

That's my kind of story

It's no fun 'til someone dies

 

Don't look at me like I am a monster

Frown out your one face, but with the other

Stare like a junkie into the TV

Stare like a zombie

While the mother holds her child, watches him die

Hands to the sky crying, "Why, oh why?"

 

Cause I need to watch things die...from a distance

Vicariously I live while the whole world dies

You all need it too, don't lie

 

Why can't we just admit it?

Why can't we just admit it?

We won't give pause until the blood is flowing

Neither the brave nor bold

Will write as the story's told

We won't give pause until the blood is flowing

 

I need to watch things die...from a good safe distance

Vicariously I live while the whole world dies

You all feel the same, so...

 

Why can't we just admit it?

 

Blood like rain come down

Drum on grave and ground

 

Part vampire

Part warrior

Carnivore and Voyeur

Stare at the transmitter

Sing to the death rattle

 

La, la, la, la, la, la-la-lie (x4)

 

***Incredulous at best your desire to believe in

Angels in the hearts of men

Pull your head on out your hippie haze and give a listen

Shouldn't have to say it all again

The universe is hostile, so impersonal

Devour to survive... so it is, so it's always been

 

We all feed on tragedy

It's like blood to a vampire

 

Vicariously I live while the whole world dies

Much better you than I

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I once took a photo of a crashed truck in which the truck driver died so I could send the photo to a truck driving friend of mine who seemed to assume that he was invincible when driving a truck. Don't think I was wrong then and I guess any news photographer photographing a wreck is kind of sending the same message.

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SH - There's a subtle difference between a Cameraman and someone with a camera (we all have them on our phones these days).

The Cameraman you refer to seems to be in the business of selling newsworthy photographs and since an accident on a public highway is (unfortunately) newsworthy these days he is totally allowed to take photographs of that or any other "public" scene (may even be useful for the Constabulary in certain cases).

However since human suffering is a somewhat touchy subject it is most likely that the cameraman in question will be fairly prudent in which photographs he chooses to present for publication. And then it's up to the relevant editor to "publish or be damned"

The Constable "moving him away" is expected, whether holding a camera or not - the uniformed response services have to be able to function without distraction, and anyone getting too close is just that.

 

ps. To put a bit of context into why I think freedon to photograph is important - there are some classic cases where a single photograph of human suffering has helped change the course of history i.e. the little Vietnemese girl running out of an american nepalm attack swung many people firmly against that particular war (video & stills)

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I think in Shetland we have to be mindful that if you have an accident the whole island is talking about it and seeing pictures of it splashed everywhere does yourself and everyone else no good.

 

The fact that the photos are helpful to the police I don't accept, as that is a part of the job of the SIC road inspectors who attend incidents and I'm sure a part of the police's job themselves.

 

Likewise the publicity following an accident will encourage very few people to slow down for a very short time.

 

Pictures of fatal accidents in Shetland have been published before and I really don't think it helps anything - just lasts as a terrible reminder to relations who are bound to have the images scored in their memories for ever more.

 

The bottom line is people are nosy and there sadly is a market...

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Ok I defer to your sentiment re Shetland and nosiness and there is no need for unneccessary intrusion like Girlsta... but like I said there are times when photographers have their place whether intrusive or not - check this site http://www.famouspictures.org/mag/index.php?title=Vietnam_Napalm_Girl to see what I mean.

 

edit - As a post script - the same girl (35 years on) was interviewed on breakfast TV and she thankfully survived to give her side of the story.

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Oh I totally agree Bug. Photographs can be powerful and that is indeed one of the most powerful images ever taken and if a photograph of a Shetland car accident would prevent another maybe I wouldn't have replied but it sadly it won't and I really don't agree with chasing ambulances.

 

I do however acknowledge that the photographer was just doing his/her job because there is a demand but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that seeing once accident will prevent another and let's mind how peerie a place Shetland is...

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I am a professional photographer.

 

When turd happens, I put my camera down because first and foremost I want to help.

 

Obviously as a photographer, I am not going to make my million this way but I just can't stand there snapping away watching folk in distress. It is not my way.

 

(and also I was a trained nurse before so that training kicks in before the need for a good photo).

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I am a professional photographer.

 

When monkey happens, I put my camera down because first and foremost I want to help.

 

Obviously as a photographer, I am not going to make my million this way but I just can't stand there snapping away watching folk in distress. It is not my way.

 

(and also I was a trained nurse before so that training kicks in before the need for a good photo).

 

Oh dear - that is a great point - so many people attending these types of scene "want to help". That is where it can go very very wrong. (OK if your first there . help to sustain life of course)... BUT when the blues and twos arrive stand back - that's their job. Too many cooks can hinder.

Trained nurses are specifically trained NOT to intervene at an RTA. They are primarily ward specialists. The Paramedics et al don't need them.

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How can you say that seeing an accident wont prevent another accident. If an accident is prevented then no one is any the wiser about it, but that doesn't mean it wasn't prevented.

Exactly!. Anything that can make a driver think may help to prevent a future accident and that has to be good.

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