Shoot like an Astronaut, how to photograph the apocalypse, and that New York Post image.

December 08, 2012  •  32 Comments

Hey there there, I'm taking something of a break. My back's been killing me from when I threw it out picking up my dog to wash him in the tub, the weather and the environment have been "between" seasons for the last few weeks, and there's just been no burn or desire to make new images for me for a while. So I'm not going to force it or worry about it or make it a thing- I'm just gonna rest. I did go out and make some abstracty blurry stuff for a bit last week but I haven't even downloaded the card yet- that's where I am right now, just restin'. But in the meantime I still have had my eyes open and here's some of what I saw last week that was interesting:

1Shoot like an Astronaut!: Here's the NASA Astronauts Photography Manual by Hasselblad! Hasselblads, Astronaut's, Space Shuttles, and High Earth Orbit are all awesome things so you can't go wrong with this read:   http://www.hasselblad.com/media/2207875/astronauts_manual_singlepage_lr.pdf

2. How to Photograph the Apocalypse: I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of tutorials in the coming weeks as Armageddon and the end times and perhaps our greatest photographic opportunities will be rearing their Hydras many heads and splitting the Earth in two and providing all kinds of can't miss shots on or about the 21'st of December. Don't forget to have a good media back-up strategy in place for that day and perhaps considering making prints of all your favorite images before then because when all else fails I wouldn't expect the binary system to soldier on unaffected. 

3. How bout that whole New York Post subway photograph "doomed", and the resulting outcry- this is the most terrible of stories- the whole thing is a sad tragedy, it's all terrible- but the part that made me dwell on it the most was the way the public so vilified the photographer. I've been reading about this for some days now since it happened and only just minutes ago watched the interview with the actual photographer. The associated comments and other anecdotes that they've raised have been really compelling and in the end I can't help but think this: if a journalistic photographer doesn't make images of the news happening before him or her and instead becomes the news then there will be no more journalism? This whole thing sucks- The Post ran a truly tasteless cover sensationalizing a horrible moment that no New Yorker or any body else for that matter wants to see or imagine. This isn't like that horribly sad image of the young girl running naked after being napalmed in Vietnam or even those old Weegee pictures of murder victims in 1940's NYC, I don't really know how to put it into words why I feel it's such a bad picture, maybe that's why I keep thinking about it. There is cell phone video footage of the subway platform there from before it happened from other bystanders and there were other people closer to the situation then R. Umar Abassi was- in the photograph that was run on the cover of the Post there is an Obvious lack of anybody seeming to help- almost as if the place was empty besides Mr. Abassi, but it wasn't, and by his remarks there were all kinds of folks documenting the dead body on the tracks when the EMT's were assisting- they are the one's that should be castigated!. And he is the one victimized- even more so then the maniac killer lunatic who was the one who pushed the victim. Freekin terrible the whole thing. But to recapitulate my point that I probably never capitulated well in the first place- Mr. Abassi is a journalist: his job is to make pictures of the news, that's what he did. The world needs more hero's. We all do the best we can, hopefully someday we can all be "Johnny on the spot" and really make a difference, but if all we can do is react with our reflex to photograph instead of lend a helping hand then the world is indeed a different place- because just know that the guy with the 70-200 who is way down at the end of the platform will get a better shot then we will and that it will have nice telephoto compression and we can just focus on helping the victim. Remember your places people- photographers photograph, policemen police, cooks cook, no matter who we are, we'll all do the best we can to help you- now for the ultra cheesy wrap-up line: "Don't Kill The Messenger". 

Be well, do good things, and take good pictures. -N8

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