Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

When the line blurs between sport photography and photojournalism

It is an often debated question, when should a photographer put down their camera and help. We have all seen pictures where it is assumed the photographer has chosen to continue photographing rather than doing the human thing and helping, what should we as photographers do?

Like Hillsborough before it, the Boston Marathon bombing has highlighted how sports stories can quickly turn into breaking news events. When this happens, photographers have to decide whether to help or keep on shooting The Photography Blog at The Guardian asks, read what they think here

 

The second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon

Don’t shoot? … the second explosion at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Click on image to enlarge. Photograph: John Tlumacki/Boston Globe/AP

Perhaps one of the most iconic images that brings this question to mind was taken by Nick Ut during the Vietnam war

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This picture Kim Phuc running away from her bombed village when she was just nine is now instantly recognisable and seen as a defining image of the Vietnam war

This article about Nick Ut in The Daily Mail tells some of his story about being a photographer in the Vietnam War

It is one of the most recognisable pictures ever taken and an image that not only defined a war, but defined the career of the man who took it.

Kim Phuc was just nine years old when she ran naked towards Associated Press photographer and Pulitzer prize winner Huynh Cong ‘Nick’ Ut screaming ‘Too hot! Too hot!’ as she headed away from her bombed Vietnamese village.

She will always be remembered for the blobs of sticky napalm that melted through her clothes and left her with layers of skin like jellied lava. Her story has been told many times over the last 40 years since the shot was taken.

But now, to mark four decades since Ut took the picture he has released more moving images that he took during the Vietnam war that chart the horrors of that fateful day in 1972.

The following picture is of the attack that preceded the event that led to his memorable image

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Huynh Cong ‘Nick’ Ut took this picture just moments before capturing his iconic image. It shows bombs with a mixture of napalm and white phosphorus jelly and reveals that he moved closer to the village following the blasts

When compared with the first image it becomes apparent that Ut actually started heading towards the village following the napalm attack. The sign to the right of the picture appears larger while what looks like a speaker to the left of the road is no longer in shot.

As he headed towards the town and took the photo, which Kim Phuc has now found peace with after first wanting to escape the image, he would have been unaware the effect his picture would have on the outside world.

It communicated the horrors of the Vietnam War in a way words could never describe, helping to end one of the most divisive wars in American history.

He drove Phuc to a small hospital. There, he was told the child was too far gone to help. But he flashed his American press badge, demanded that doctors treat the girl and left assured that she would not be forgotten. 

‘I cried when I saw her running,’ said Ut, whose older brother was killed on assignment with the AP in the southern Mekong Delta. ‘If I don’t help her – if something happened and she died – I think I’d kill myself after that.’

Read the full story and see more of Ut’s pictures from that war here

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2154400/Napalm-Girl-photographer-Nick-Ut-releases-work-Vietnam-war.html#ixzz2TwdINL00

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