Pictures capturing the graphic scenes when Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov was killed by a Turkish policeman in Ankara on Monday was distributed through newswires soon after the incident took place, providing a rare and surreal opportunity for the public to view the gunman’s expressions and actions in a tragic shooting incident that is often reported by the media without any real-time pictures.
Associate press photographer Ozbilici’s captured the chilling shots of the incidents’ build-up as the rest of the audience were running for their lives. "People screamed, hid behind columns and under tables and lay on the floor. I was afraid and confused, but found partial cover behind a wall and did my job: taking photographs,” Ozbilici said later.
Photographers are often the first writers of history, but their pictures capturing graphic or disturbing incidents often prompt moral controversies. In 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the chaotic scenes after the explosions that killed 3 and injured over 250 people were captured by a Boston Globe Photographer. But his actions of taking pictures at the scene caused the police officer’s disapproval. “Do me a favor. Do not exploit the situation,” the officer shouted at him. “And that resonated with me,” blogged the photographer, referring to the officer’s remarks. “But I can’t think about it – I got to keep doing what I am doing.”
One of the most heated controversial photographs would be the picture of a man about to be hit by a New York City subway car in 2012. A New York post photographer snapped photos while a 58-year-old New York resident was struck by a subway train. Many critics took to social media to express their disgust over the photographers’ actions, accusing him of exploiting a tragedy and lacking integrity and basic moral to help the victim in crisis.
“I just started running. I had my camera up – it wasn't even set to the right settings,” the photographer said later in a media interview. "I had no idea what I was shooting. I'm not even sure it was registering with me what was happening. I was just looking at that train coming."
Indeed, professional photographers are often caught in conflicts and torn between doing their job and helping out victims in crisis. In such a moral dilemma, their job obligations often triumph. “I think I’m better at taking pictures than in helping people because that’s what I know how to do. It’s my job,” said Roberto Schmidt, the chief photographer for South Asia for Agence France-Presse, who witnessed and survived the powerful avalanche the Mount Everest base camp in Nepal in 2015.
但是在大多数情况下，是摄影记者的职业本能而让他们在混乱的危机现场架起长枪短炮开始拍照，这和枪击案发生时一名教师在极度混乱和恐慌中仍出于本能保护自己的学生如出一辙。在位于美国纽镇的桑迪胡克小学于2012年发生血腥枪击案时，Victoria Leigh Soto用身体挡住了枪手射出的子弹，牺牲自己救了学生，这就是她在非常时刻的那一瞬间作出的第一反应。Victoria的一名同事称：“Vicki出于本能保护学生免受伤害令我深感自豪。”
But most times it was a photographers’ instinct that made them set up their tripod and start taking pictures in times of crisis, just like a school teachers’ instinct, out of chaos and horror, to protect her students in a shooting rampage. During the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut in 2012, Victoria Leigh Soto died while placing her body between her children and the assailant. It was her first reaction in the heat of the moment. “I’m just proud that Vicki had the instincts to protect her kids from harm,” said one of the teachers’ colleagues.
In recounting how he captured the chaotic scene with his cameras despite the lethal danger, Ozbilicy said: " This is what I was thinking: ‘I'm here. Even if I get hit and injured, or killed, I'm a journalist. I have to do my work.’”
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