Monday, 18 August 2008

Depicting reality, or just being too graphic?

Maybe old age is making me more sensitive, but I've been feeling more and more sickened everyday by the time I finish reading the newspapers.

The number of wars and violence probably hasn't changed much over the last few years, but I think the number of graphic images is ever on the increase.

I feel that I'm viewing more and more photos of actual dead bodies, or dismembered body parts, of blood and gore, and whatnot. And I'm talking close up shots of blood oozing from people, or of dead bodies lying on the ground, with their eyes staring vacantly and mouths open.

If memory serves me right, if a photo of dead bodies taken a few hundred metres away used to be considered graphic. But now everything is brought much closer.

Do photographers simply have more powerful zoom lenses than before?

Or are we on the brink of getting (or have already gotten) disensitised by such violence?

I'm not saying we should paint life as filled with sunshine and happiness where violence doesn't occur. I'm all too aware of the many atrocities that we happen to like inflicting on each other. But do we really need to have 10cm high colour photos emblazoned on a page?

I've just seen a photo in the newspaper of an injured journalist trying to hold up his dead comrade. Both have blood everywhere, and honestly, the only thing I feel like doing now is throw up.

1 comment:

SugarPuff said...

That's one of the reasons that I read the paper online and don't buy it. There are far far less photos on smh.com.au than in the print edition.
Sometimes this is annoying, but in most cases, I am glad.

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