I accept your opinion that it's a bad idea, but sorry, I don't accept your reasoning :rolleyes:
Originally Posted by edz
So what if everybody in Iraq has a cell phone and an internet uplink? I have those things and... I shoot film. I would expect far better average image quality from an hp5+ throwaway or such. And phones and digitals do invite theft.
Using something like instax instant-print cameras might be a nice way to get people to take their shots, see the prints in real time, and write a few words on them. Could be like a massive instant print exchange.
One ethical concern I have is that people might risk life and limb to take their photos. Is it fair for me to pass that risk on to someone else?
It's not too late, I can get stuff to him there. I just don't think these things should come entirely from the green zone.
Originally Posted by walter23
It sounds like you have either never shot a holga, or could not figure out the focus. I find that my holga produces great pictures. given the fact that it only cost me 25 bucks and it works is enough for me. anything is better than the digi snaps and cell phone shots that you see from Iraq.
Originally Posted by walter23
Film does not like 130 degrees. If someone gave me a camera like that in Vietnam they would never see or hear from it again. What are you going to do shoot me? I got a gun too and I have permission to use it. If you were in the herd you got enough practice to get real good at it. Google hill 875 and you'll get my story. With few exceptions they have no interest in film, most have never even bought a roll. Hell a TV with only three channels and a knob, is beyond their comprehension. I'm not saying it as a put down, it's just a different generation. I compare it to sending a reel to reel to get audio diaries. I saw my first 35mm camera in Vietnam. I just had to have one, not so much for the pictures, but it had knobs and levers and all kinds of things. How could it not be a guy thing. In Vietnam if you wanted pictures it was film only. I shot a roll and it sat in a container for 4 months till I could get out of the jungle. The mold made for some nice black spots on the prints. They get pikchurs that meet their needs and can send them home with no film hassles at all. We Americans are a convenience driven bunch. The shots would be mostly from REMF's, line doggies are to busy keeping their ass alive to look at the world for you thru a viewfinder. I would have no expectation of a Salgado shot coming back. All that said, I would in no way dis wade you from sending cameras. Even if only a couple get the film bug, it would add to the collective joy we all experience. Send them with the frame of mind as it would be with a care package, not for what YOU might get out of it. To do otherwise will set you up for a certain amount of disappointment. I remind you again of the 130 degrees in the summer time. Pick a time of the year that would give the film at least a chance. Just the ramblings of a been there, killed that.
Reason against cultural arrogance is bitter.
Originally Posted by keithwms
if everybody in Iraq has a cell phone and an internet uplink? I have those things and... I shoot film.
Image quality is not about resolution, gray scales or sharpness. Most of the significant news photographs of the past century were not technically very good and many not even properly processed or handled. Cell phone cameras are a liberation from having to develop film in the rough. Most of the experienced photo journalists--- who know how to deal with film--- are moving away to digital for very good reasons. Even film dinos guys like Nachtwey are shooting more and more digital. Its not about art.
I would expect far better average image quality from an hp5+ throwaway or such.
Most of the global news organizations (among them BBC and CNN) have established (global village TV inspired) infrastructures for "ordinary" people to upload their pictures and stories. Its already fully part of the battlefield used by all sides for propaganda and disinformation. Truth is seeing what you want and expect to see?
People already have them. Theft of phones is probably more a problem in New York, Chicago or Washington DC then it is in Iraq.
And phones and digitals do invite theft.
Just spent a year in Iraq, so I'll try to add my two cents worth.
What's the point of this? Who is going to get the cameras? Is someone going to pass them out to Iraqis, ask them to take photos (possibly at great personal risk) and then return them to the giver so he/she can somehow mail them back out of the country? It is possible for people to get film processed there, but most people are going with digital because it's just easier and less hassle with "infrastructure" (labs, chemicals, film supply, etc.).
The Iraqi people have plenty of digital cameras (and film cameras) and there's no problem getting all the "snaps" they want, but if you're looking for political/security images of some kind, it's not worth the risk.
Frankly, I just can't see this idea going anywhere useful. There are lots of images out there already of Iraqi daily life, weddings, people in cafes, kids at school, etc., along with all the usual news photos, so what's missing?
FWIW. . . .
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I don't get how they can have all those digital cameras and phones taking all those pictures you mentioned, and yet suddenly risk their life to use a throway film camera?
Originally Posted by mmcclellan
Am I missing something?
If I were you, I would gather a bunch of crappy 3 or 4M pixel digi P&S that people have thrown away and/or 1CCD low-quality miniDV camecorders to do the project. I have seen similar projects using movie and still cameras but NOT necessarily in the war zone like Iraq. They are usually urban school projects where students get those cheap cameras, go home with them, take the pics of their families, etc to document the everyday life within their communities. It is an essential way to have their voices heard by giving them the media tools, and yeah I think it is a good idea if you can do it also. But how are you going to actually run it if you don't physically get wherever you need to get? I don't think it's too hard to think that you have to be there and meet them first, and let them decide to do it or not. Don't just dump everything on them and let them do the work for you. You have be involved.
Or maybe you might want to plan to run a small workshop for them in the near future about photography, and start from there.
Last edited by firecracker; 04-07-2008 at 06:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I am sure the Americans would do a lot to stop this.
What troubles me is that you said in your earlier post that you can't go to Iraq because of your family, etc, but you expect something from the people you don't even know and/or are not going to meet at all? You don't think that they have the same concerns and priorities as you do?
Originally Posted by keithwms
I'm not trying to discourage you or anything, but it's just that you probably have to do a lot of research and other preparation before starting to ask others for help. I really think it's a good idea and I hope you will make it happen.
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers
The issue is getting film developed, then connecting with the person who's going to send the film/pictures/cameras out of the country (the mail is still very poor there), and so on. Taking the picture is only the first of several steps that involve moving around town, meeting with foreigners, and otherwise exposing oneself -- especially if they're outside of Baghdad.
That's the part that is worrisome. Even with throwaways, someone has to hand them to the people and collect them afterwards and if the photographers want to see what they shot, then they have to get the film developed first -- and that's not going to be cheap, either.
There are just issues in war zone that don't affect the rest of us.