back in 1986 i was in the boston subway, the redline at park street.
there is an island in the middle and a train on either side.
i had a camera with me, doing a little street ( well underground ) stuff
and a drunk fell down the stairs and pushed someone into the tracks
he missed the 3rd rail but there was a train coming .. i dropped my camera and ran to help
the guy ... a t policeman had already jumped in the tracks and pulled the person out ...
i can't imagine how a photographer or anyone wouldn't jump to help someone in distress
what a lame world we live in ..
That people's lives are in the hands of dubious onlookers (or voyeurs) as soon as they're down there - whether injured or not - is ludicrous. It's amazing that there isn't some kind of foothold on the wall, which was the first thing I thought when looking at the photo, as the man clearly has some strength. It's certainly not the classic image of a helpless dame tied to the tracks.
Originally Posted by Benoît99
Just to add a strange thought. We're clearly so desensitised to such images, that when reality happens, we're stifled in our anticipation of an image - the information. I don't think it's merely shock or cowardice that nobody did anything, it's that we're vegetables, waiting to be stimulated. I think we become cameras in those situations, unconsciously holding still, waiting for something to click. Having a camera just makes you more conscious of the 'picture' unfolding, but never the reality. We're too detached to accept something like that as a tangible reality, in our culture. Perhaps it's the people who don't watch TV who save the day, because all the people who do are so used to waiting for the hero to arrive!
Last edited by batwister; 12-05-2012 at 08:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
People expect other people to do something. I don't think it has to do with being desensitized to these images otherwise there wouldn't be such a backlash against it being published.
Classic case of bystander effect
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I'd think the reason for the backlash might be that it happened in such a familiar place. Collective guilt?
Originally Posted by Darkroom317
The bystander effect suggests that the more people, the less likely someone will intervene, but doesn't really imply that this might be because they become, in effect, an 'audience' like I suggested. There is the 'audience effect', which is something quite different. But, I've strayed well out of my depth quite quickly here.
Last edited by batwister; 12-05-2012 at 07:47 PM. Click to view previous post history.
people don't get involved for fear of being involved in a law suit if
things go south. i have heard of this in instances of heart attachs,
car crashes and tons of other things. it is still as lame as it gets.
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Originally Posted by batwister
Last edited by Ian David; 12-05-2012 at 08:26 PM. Click to view previous post history.
You're right, I went a little too far.
Originally Posted by Ian David
The photographer's side of the issue - I'm inclined to believe him.
In the collective gang-tackling of the photographer, what's missed are the truly salient points:
•it was the choice of the editors, not the photographer, to run the picture. And let's not forget it was also their choice to pick the frame that they did AND their voluntary choice to write the tasteless headline that went with the image. Frankly that offended me more than the image.
•Our society (I include Canada in this just as much as the US) routinely ignores the mentally ill and lets them roam free under the guise of "rights". Let's be frank - it's all about saving money, on the backs of those too vulnerable to defend themselves. Plenty of money for bureaucrats and new offices and an army of middle managers...nothing to help these people either get the help they need or have a place they can be helped.
This man was killed as a direct result of the trend of de-institutionalization. THAT'S far more offensive than a photograph and frankly I hope everyone who thinks the current system is just fine takes a long look at that photograph (preferably a-la Clockwork Orange techniques).
• Death is a part of life and this is far from the first photograph (or last) to portray that.
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A by far more interesting question in this story is, was the entire platform empty??? Was there not a single person who was able to reach out a hand or two to help the victim to get up?
Silly to talk about the photographer, who (judging by the crappy image quality, cropped hard probably) seems to have been too far away to be able to get to the victim in time before the train would strike anyway....
Pop Quiz: A train is about to hit someone and you have your camera. What do you do?
Remember also that you had to be there.
I've seen a person die in front of me, sometimes you just to stiff, it's the time between the fight or flight, it's the brain's gears stuck, many of the people were probably stuck there. Also remember its like a drowning person, you try to help them and in their panic they pull you down with them, reaching out to someone stuck in a hole they might do the same thing, I want to be a hero and saver of lives, but I'm not going to risk dying either.
It's a hard choice compounded by that stuck between choices thing a brain often has in a situation like that.
As far as the photographer, who knows, but you're trained as a photojournalist to shoot first... That's your habit, it's hard to break that when reality happens.
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