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Photography.


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21 replies to this topic

#1
Finius

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This is going to sway far far away from the usual joviality most people have probably come to expect from a Finius thread, but so is life.

Tonight during dinner I was explaining to my mother that some people are capable of truly superhuman acts under certain circumstances (this stemmed from a discussion about mothers being able to do extraordinary things to save their children), referring specifically to the Monk who set himself alight in Saigon in 1963 in protest of the persecution against Buddhism being exhibited in South Vietnam.

She'd never seen the photo, so I went on an online journey to find it, and it got me looking at a few photography websites. I found some very potent images, many of which I'd seen before and it's reminded me why I first wanted a camera; because it's so true that a picture can say a thousand words, words which often the most skilled journalist wouldn't be able to put together.

Some of these images speak to me in great depth, so I thought I'd post them here so people can see them for themselves and discuss etc.

I'll only provide some basic background to each photo, none of my own opinion as I'd like to see what people think these photographs capture and signify before I add my own ideas. I'm going to add five photos initially but will add more if people are interested. Feel free to add your own.

A couple are often found as being called "disturbing", Dev has fixed spoiler tags, so I've added them in where images are particularly controversial (i.e. they display an image of an identifiable person in death or similar).

First up, the photo I was looking for; a Vietnamese Buddhist monk commits suicide by self immolation in the middle of a busy road to protest persecution by the South Vietnamese government. Saigon, 1963. By all accounts that I have ever read (and found to be reputable), he didn't flinch, scream or even move a muscle from the second he assumed that position.

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Second. A black Georgia State Trooper smiling at a white child dressed in KKK garb at a KKK rally. The year here is also supposed to be 1963, but I have been unable to clarify.

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Thirdly, a photojournalist stops to photograph a starving child in Sudan, 1993. It is presumed the child's mother had left the child in order to seek food. The child is likely near death and vultures have already picked up on this. The journalist did not offer aid to the child (as per his instructions). He returned a short while later to see if the child was still there, but found no-one. He killed himself a short time later, his suicide note stated that putting his career before the life of another was such a crime that he did not feel he deserved life (story disputed, generally held to be accurate by sources including the National Geographic).

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Number four is a visual record of the single most terrible weapon ever created by men, the Atom Bomb. August the 6th, 1945, Hiroshima. The mushroom cloud that rose above the city shortly after the detonation of the bomb.

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Finally, for now, number five. A man jumps from the burning north world trade centre tower on September the 11th 2001. At the height from which he jumped, there would have been no chance of survival, it is widely believed he would have known this, but preferred to end his own life than to have it taken from him, or that he simply thought it a more pleasant and dignified option than remaining in the tower. I am told his body was never located, I believe this to be quite likely.

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Thank you for reading, I genuinely hope this prompts some good discussion.

#2
Devastator

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I don't have much to say except I'd like to see more - really makes you think.

#3
Finius

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I'll get some more images posted up with info tomorrow.

#4
M_P

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I'm not normally one to stop and.think, but these images are really thought provoking- even for me.
I've seen a few of them before but have never known the full stories
The third one makes me feel sick, its a weird feeling.

#5
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Posts deleted, I want to keep this thread open. Obviously this is the kind of thing which will bring up very different opinions about things behind it, but that is no reason to argue with another. On this forum we look to always accept that someone else may have a different opinion, and they are entitled to that.

Please pick your words very carefully before posting, and lets hope Finius wishes to continue his topic.

#6
Airsoft-Ed

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What was the dispute about?

Which photo?

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#7
M_P

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All of them :rolleyes:

#8
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Lol. An answer is better than no answer.

Annoyingly, I can't actually see any of them from my work computer, but I've seen them all before apart from the World Trade Centre one.

The monk thing is pretty thought provoking... I can't believe anyone could do that without making a sound, or moving, or anything...

Did his protest work? Did the persecution stop?

Also, has anyone seen the burning man on the cover of Rage Against The Machine's self titled album? I keep meaning to look into what that was about.

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#9
M_P

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The one one ratm's album is the same monk, just another photo

#10
Finius

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Since we've already had a little spat occur in this thread, I'm going to offer my opinions - it seems like some people missed the point entirely and I'd encourage those who've had their posts removed to re-enter discussion with a more amicable attitude so that we can argue like adults and not thirteen year olds who play too much xbox (i.e. a heated discussion, not a slanging match).

First photo. I think it's a very sad photo. On my course at Uni we've generally learnt that burning to death is about as bad as you can get. Some people trapped in vehicles or garages have been found and they've been clawing at anything they think will help them escape so bad that they've worn down the bones in their fingers by a millimetre or two. For someone to be so composed, entranced or drugged up that they can simply sit there and most likely think about the fact there's no going back, that takes some real dedication; whether insane dedication, blasphemous dedication or any other variation, that's a superhuman act. To tolerate pain that would drive people to actually drive most people to ripping off their own fingernails in efforts to escape etc, that's amazing to me; I wonder if it was his cause or something else that made him capable of an act like that (as I said, drugs or herbs maybe?), if it was his cause, I'd like to know what it feels like to be that dedicated.

The second one is all the evidence I feel I'd ever need to disprove any theory about race supremacy. This child doesn't care that the man holding that intriguingly shiny thing is black, it's therefore apparent to me that racism isn't a natural thing (we're not born with it inside us), so we must be taught it. If we have to be taught to hate people of other races and skin colour, why do we even hate them? Why do humans have to go to such effort to hate each other when it is clearly (to me at least), not a natural development.

Number three splits me. Would I have saved the child? Perhaps if the journalist had done so, his photo would never have been published, has its being published saved more lives than would have been saved if it had not been published? Do those lives saved outweigh the consequences of the possibility that this child perished? I wouldn't be able to leave the child, I know that for sure, but if he'd saved the child, this potent image may have lost some of its value and maybe two lives would have been lost due to lower funding etc, and if that was the case, which would be more ethical?

Four, I don't know what I can say about it really, the description alone was hard enough for me to write. It's much as number three was; the A-bomb did terrible things, that no human mind should ever willingly allow to happen, but did those horrible things save more lives and misery than they caused? Maybe, having seen what we can do to each other if driven by need and fear, we should be trying harder to avoid having to kill each other at all?

The fifth, I'm still forming an opinion on, which I'll post later...

#11
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Those are some pretty powerful photos, care to share some more?

#12
Finius

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I'll post a few more up after work tomorrow.

I'm glad people are interested, despite the fact that the subject matter is pretty grim.

#13
Rock-climby-Dave

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It is grim, yes, but also interesting.

I think I'm going to sit this one out, mind, I can get 'over excited' in discussions that involve religion and politics far too easily - It's something I feel strongly about.

Sorry guys.

Send the doctors home, I'll be doing the operating around here.

 

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#14
Finius

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I can respect that Dave, at least you're man enough to admit when you're best on the sidelines.

If anyone knows of any events they feel are too taboo etc, for personal reasons or other, please PM me before 7pm tomorrow evening and I'll try to ensure sensitivity is maintained with the images I plan to post. If no-one has any issues, I'll probably add a few more powerful images tomorrow.

#15
Finius

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Time to put some more thought-fuel on the fire.

I've selected a couple of images that have a real effect on me, in a variety of different ways.

In this one, a British soldier shares a cigarette with a German prisoner after a battle at Passchendaele, specifics unknown to me. This is perhaps one of the most confusing images of all time for me. Earlier in the day, these two men were trying to kill each other, brutally and with little mercy or regard for their target's humanity, now that the battle is over, they've switched off those instincts and could easily be members of the same force. I know that on Christmas day, they set their guns down across Europe to play football for one day; what I wonder, is why did they pick their guns back up? Millions of men put away their joy and indifference in place of anger and hate because men hundreds of miles away, sat in cosy buildings and in no danger said so, considering we're the most intelligent species on the planet supposedly, I think that's pretty pathetic of us as a race(no disrespect intended to anyone who fought, I have had the privilege of meeting WW1 and WW2 veterans and they're all heroes, German, British US or any other nationality).

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The second one makes me feel allsorts. I can't even list all the emotions that this photo conjures up inside me. I don't think it needs any explanation as to whom these people are and what they've been subjected to; despite the fact there is no date on the photo and no information given aside from "Auschwitz". All I can really say about my feelings is this; I'm very compassionate, I wouldn't wish suffering on anyone (I've even forgiven the man who killed my sister), but I would happily make one exception. If hitler came crawling to me, bleeding, half rotten and in the most terrible agony a living thing could experience, begging me to help him, or at least put him out of his misery, I'd just spit in his face and walk off. Death was too good for a creature like that.

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Number three. Tienanmen Square, 1989. Protests against the government turn ugly when the Chinese send in tanks and armed troops to suppress the "uprising". A column of tanks is filmed moving down a street a day later to finish up the job and an anonymous man on his way home from a shopping trip runs out in front of them and simply stands there, moving in front of them wherever they try to manoeuvre. He manages it for some time, until the tanks turn off their engines and just sit there. He climbed on the front tank, had a conversation with the tank driver, then climbed off, ready to walk away until they started their engines again and he stepped back in front of the vehicles. After this point his was dragged off by two unidentified men in blue shirts and has never been heard from again. One man halts the plans of the government of China, just by playing a game of chicken.

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That should keep things going for a while.

#16
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The first image makes me sick. I too had heard the story about the football. I find it terrible that so many men fought and lost their lives when many of those that killed them were simply acting in fear of their own lives. In Germany I get the impression it was a very kill or be killed situation. I could be wrong here, I am by no means a WW1 or WW2 expert and you are more than entitled to disagree with me.

Whilst I think war is sometimes necessary, both world wars were tragedies and we can only but hope that lessons have been learnt.

#17
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The first one really stands out to me, my family contained people who were on opposing sides in ww2 and it does make you think what's going through their minds. Ive lived in.Germany for 7 years and as such that photo does make me stop.and think.

The second image, like all pictures taken in or of the camps just makes me feel sick, I'm not even going to comment on Hitler as it would be a waste of time putting it into words.

don't know what to make of the last one so ill come back later

#18
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I think In WW1 when they started playing football was because the people in command called for a cease fire because the troops were putting up Christmas decorations, on both sides and the men wanted to celebrate Christmas without killing each other and then once they had finished celebrating, I think it was just a matter of days the people in command said take up your arms we have got a war to win, I may be wrong but I think that was how it played out?

#19
Finius

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I've decided to drag this thread from the fifth page of this section of the forum, I apologise, I know some people dislike "necroposting", however, I am the king of Off-Topic [self proclaimed] so I have tha powa!

I also feel that a) a good photograph is timeless and B) this photo needs your attention more than any photograph I could ever or will ever take (that's not easy for me to admit either, my photography-ego is almost as big as my "little [read that as gargantuan] Tom").

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This is doing the rounds on facebook at the moment. A widow refuses to leave her husbands side for one last night, the Marine guardsmen, without being asked [confirmed] construct a bed for her and ask whether she would prefer they leave their post - to which she responds her husband would have thought it nice if they stayed. The laptop pictured is being used to play songs from their past.

#20
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Call me Hardy Ignorant or a Dissappointment but even though my Grandfather's served during WW2 and their dad's in WW1 none of those Pic's have an effect on me their just like looking at family photo's to me

The Burning Monk is one that make's Fear what we could all really do if we tryed

the 911 Photo Make's me think that their can be no God if he can allow that to happen to anyone or if their is one he isn't worthy of a turd in a bag on fire on his doorstep he's lower than us and he should be the one worshipping us.

the one with the man standing infront of the tank column make's me believe that theirr are people out their who do care and are not armchair warlord's (I'll admit a dig at Government's around the world ours included)

the one you just posted i think is nice and shows real dedication and love something which i believe we are short on for sure.

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