The Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph for Breaking News Photography, 2008

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shacklebolt, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. Shacklebolt macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
  2. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
  3. HomeingPigeon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
  4. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #4
    Not sure what to say, on one hand you have a powerful photo that got international attention and caused government(s) to change policy, and on the other you have a life lost and families affected. One of those, it is an honor to receive the award and yet you recieve it for moments like this.
     
  5. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #5
    I guess I know why I'm not on the committee that nominates or votes on these pictures - I've seen a lot more powerful and better pictures than that one.

    Not knocking the story, but that picture really doesn't tell the story, IMO.
     
  6. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #6
    I'm going to have to see a 100% crop before I make any judgement... just kidding.

    Seriously though, the fact that the guy died makes this a little messed up in my mind.
     
  7. Shacklebolt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Shacklebolt

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    #7
    [​IMG]

    (The 1969 Pulitzer Prize winning photo, 'General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon', by Eddie Adams)

    Some of the best photos ever, that depict "messed-up stuff" can actually, in their messed-upedness drastically alter public opinion, a war, the outright course of history. Read the rest of the story of this year's photo:

    "Mourners at Nagai’s funeral in Japan clutched the picture, which played a role in the public outrage that prompted Tokyo to scale back aid to the ruling military junta.”

    Believe me, that photo is very scary, and messed-up (as is this one). But it helps people come closer to comprehending a situation that is, for people halfway around the world, beyond comprehension. It's not too much of a coincidence that the American troop withdrawal accellerated in the years after this photo was taken. (Obviously, a gagillion other factors).
     
  8. Draddy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    #8
    that is very interesting.
     
  9. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    So what camera took this one? I want to see if I can have some bragging rights now ;)

    I'm not a fan of these types of photos, I understand their intent and it's honorable, but still I don't like them. I'm an EMT and I've seen some graphic stuff, photos and the real thing, but for some reason knowing that someone won an award for capturing an image of another persons death doesn't sit right with me.

    SLC
     
  10. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #10
    Every Picture Tells a Story

    This was covered in depth in one of my journalism classes in college (note: IANAJ).

    Leaving the obvious emotional reaction out of it for a moment, the back story was that the executed prisoner, Nguyen Lem, was the head of an assassination squad -- sympathetic to the Viet Cong -- that was assigned to murder the families of South Vietnamese "police officers" (military officers), including families of officers close to Loan.

    Also, as it turns out, Lem (the prisoner being executed in the photo) was not actually a member of the military. At best he was a hitman, today we would probably call him either a terrorist or war criminal. So, despite being a horrific and barbaric act, on a *technicality* at least it was misreported that this was a violation of the Geneva Convention.

    Further muddying the waters, Eddie Adams later regretted the damage his photo did to Loan, saying it represented only "half the truth" or some such (and in Time magazine IIRC) and that he felt his Pulitzer unfairly convicted Loan in the court of world opinion, without a fair trial.

    Ironically, Loan escaped during the fall of Vietnam and lived a "normal life" (whatever that means) for many years in Virginia until someone figured out who he was in his past life.

    BTW, the other famous Pulitzer prize winning photo from the Vietnam War was the one with the naked girl running from a napalm attack. What was missing from that story was the fact that, at that moment, her back was covered with napalm burns. She was naked because she had removed her burning clothes.

    As my Journalism prof. admonished us, every picture tells a story but its up to the journalist to make sure the whole story is told.

    QFT.
     
  11. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    #11

    You're not supposed to like them.
     
  12. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #12
    Btw, you do know that that photo has been cropped right? Why it has been cropped I haven't found out but its more horrific with out the edit. At the time I found out I had seen the photo many times and if didn't affect me like it did when I first saw it but when I saw the uncropped version its impact had hit me again, but harder as well.
     
  13. vixapphire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    yes, but the fact that the guy died makes this a little messed up in my mind.:confused:

    for realz, people.:rolleyes:
     
  14. vixapphire macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    makes sense to me. we're on a photography thread after all, which is why although i thought it a little odd at first blush that the thread was straight into tech-talk about the type of camera used, it's understandable given the context of this thread/forum. i sense some manufactured outrage among some of your critics here.

    this photo does not tell the story, as someone above said. the center of activity is where the crowd is; i thought it was about something happening/just happened in the gaggle of people in the upper left, and didn't even really notice the soldier until i went to the link and read the story.

    great story, but the photo is far less impactful without the prose accompaniment. sort of like what passes for much of modern/postmodern art these days, where you look at a piece of crap on the wall and all the creativity went into writing the descriptive paragraphs on the card next to it.
     
  15. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    #15
    Back on topic, I don't think this photo was worthy of a Pulitzer. It seems to be more of a "right place, right time" thing than an actual "prize winning photo" thing.

    The execution photo that has been posted tells a story. It's very clear. Even without a caption it is obvious what is going on and makes you think. This photo is confusing. It's unclear what is actually happening. Without a caption you have no idea what happened. Other than a gun wielding soldier and a scared crowd, there's very little story behind it. Seems a dime a dozen to me. The only thing that makes it stand out is that the guy happened to die.

    I'm unimpressed.

    *edit* Vix said the same thing as me, much better, and took less time to do it. Grrrr
     
  16. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Holocene Epoch
    #16
    Its the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography. This particular award is about journalism. It may not be Ansel Adams, but its not supposed to be. Its about capturing an important moment in time for the world to see. Unfortunately, humans being what they are, these aren't always exactly the most joyous occasions.
     

Share This Page