Friday, 8 May 2009

Blog 13 - Reality Pt2

In 1968 photojournalist Eddie Adams took a rather shocking photograph called Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing Nguyễn Văn Lém on February 1, 1968, upon viewing this image we’re taken aback by it and feel quite sorry for the man that is appearing to be shot and feel that the man with the gun in his hand is the bad man in the scenario we’re given. With a little research we find that the man with the gun is General Nguyen and the man he is shooting prior to this photo being taken had savagely killed quite a few Americans. The General had to make a decision on the spot about what to do with this Viet Cong prisoner and as a result of the killing and being deemed the villain in this photograph he committed suicide. Eddie Adams later wrote “…Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation…” and what he documented was a half-truth, what we see happened but we don’t know why it happened.
Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner are photographers that are well known for their photographic documentation of the American Civil War, they also became well known for manipulating the situation, Brady and Gardner moved dead bodies, body parts, used props where there would’ve been none and all in the name of getting a better composition. Their aim was to show the devastating effects of war and although they got their point across, they manipulated reality.

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