Dave Mercer - Bizonderimage | Life, Death, and photography

Life, Death, and photography

December 07, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

For me the news this week includes two rather tragic events

The first involves the newly announced pregnancy of Kate Middleton, wife to the future King of England, and whose child will also be King or Queen of England in the future.

She was admitted to hospital suffering from morning sickness, unpleasant perhaps but not uncommon for pregnant women the world over.
As a joke an Australian radio show called the hospital pretending to be the Queen and managed to get some personal information from one of the nurses on duty.

The tragedy of the situation only becomes clear a few days later when the hospital nurse who answered the call was found dead, apparently by suicide.

She was married with two children, just imagine how stupid, desperate, and lonely she must have felt, a joke in front of the whole world where she was an unwilling victim.

I'm sure the radio show hosts who pulled this prank are also devastated by this outcome, but does the fact they started this joke also make them responsible for this suicide?
As their boss is quoted as saying - no-one could reasonably foresee this outcome as a result of a pretty common bit of radio comedy.

The second tragic event has been all over the news in the photography world.

A man was pushed off the platform in a New York subway station by a homeless mentally ill person.

A professional photographer took this photograph just before the train hit and killed the person who had been pushed. The big debate is whether he should have taken a photograph or tried to save the man. The photographer claims he was trying to attract the attention of the train driver with the flash on his camera. What would you have done?

For me I would like to think I would have tried to help, but the reality is that this all happened in a space of about 20 seconds, and in the shock of the moment none of us can know for sure what they would or could have done. 

You can also question if the photographer should have submitted the photo to a newspaper, or if the newspaper should have published the photograph, especially with this headline

But in the end neither the photographer or the newspaper are responsible for this death, that was caused by the homeless person, or the lack of provision of a guard wall commonly seen in this type of rail system.

And remember too that if the man had pulled himself back onto the platform in time,  the photographer would be in with a chance for a best news photo of the year prize.

 

 
 
 


On a brighter note I am preparing some of my photographs for a small exhibition in one of the shop windows in the small town in the Netherlands where I live.  The lady who owns the shop has a running exhibition of local peoples art - some good, sometimes not so good. Interesting to see what reaction I get to the show.

I am planning a mix of colour and black and white photographs, some taken in England and some taken in the Netherlands - a little taster of the images below.



 







 









 

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