There was a discussion over at Mike Johnston's blog about Jerry Spagnoli's daguerreotype of 9/11 that piqued my curiosity about the "why did you take a picture instead of doing something?" reaction that occurs when we see shocking or emotion-laden pictures.

Well, there is an Edward Weston picture about which I do wonder: what did he do after he took the picture, and does it matter or not? His picture of a dead man in the Mojave desert remind me a lot of his picture of a dead bird on the beach. It's very quiet, well composed, and is a type of "found object" for lack of a better term. It is very coherent with the rest of his still life pictures in terms of style and point of view. I personally feel that the photo has sympathy for the man depicted.

I do not have the historical background around that picture, so I don't have a strong opinion because maybe he just called the cops afterwards. If someone knows, please bring that information to the discussion, and make some argument as to what it does to the picture.

And finally, I don't want this thread to turn into a 9/11 thread. That is not the point here. Moderators, be on guard, please.