Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy View Post
I find the "photographer's being exploitative" a tired argument. Are you suggesting that they should not have made these photographs? Can photographers ever approach a difficult or sensitive subject matter without being accused of exploiting it?

And, really, aren't we always exploiting what we photograph? Including the landscape?

If you find these photographs banal... why?
The argument may be tired to you, possibly not to the people being exploited! As I made very clear in my last posting, I am not saying that these pictures should not have been made, I simply cannot identify the photographers' motives and am therefore suspicious of these. Are the photographers, for example, comfortable middle-class types who are saying "Look at these quaint lower life forms, they have dirty faces and ugly houses, aren't you glad you're not like them?" You ask "Can photographers ever approach a difficult or sensitive subject matter without being accused of exploiting it?" The answer is yes, but there is a (usually justified) presumption of exploitation unless the photographer can demonstrate that he/she has a loftier motive, and I don't see one here. Particularly in the case of the picture of the two girls and the truck, I see a yawn-inducing superficial cliché which I have seen 1,000 times before. The interior view is at first glance more interesting, but the pose is suspiciously formal, leading me to ask "Am I gaining an insight here into some truth about the subjects or merely seeing a record of the photographer's preconceptions?" As to whether the landscape is being exploited in photographs - don't make me laugh!