All posts by beanoo

Ethics in Photography

The earthquake got me thinking. As a photographer / videographer, does the question of ethics come into play when you shoot scenes from troubled spots or are you just there to document the events as it happens? The news report on CNN was filming a scene from an undisclosed location in Aceh, scene of unimaginable destruction and devastation in the last big earthquake in North Sumatra. There were people standing around dazed and confused in what seemed like a hotel car park. While everyone else seems to be quite calm, the camera chose to focus on a woman who quite obviously was deeply disturbed and was trembling and crying hysterically. Would you have chosen to depict the same scene or would you have chosen a less controversial subject matter?

Embroiled in debate over such a case was Kevin Carter, a pulitzer prize winning photographer for his photograph of a malnourish child that looked like it was about to be devoured by a poaching vulture near by. Although he never really left the child to be vulture fodder, he was placed under a lot of criticism for apparently not helping the child out. It was reported that he took his own life by choosing to die of carbon monoxide poisoning in his car leaving behind a suicide note. The true story behind the picture can be found here.

Like those people, as photographers, we wander the streets looking for interesting and unusual things to document. We see a half naked man on the ground seemingly out cold on the pavement in town. We quickly point our cameras towards the comatose man and shoot a couple of shots and then we walk away. Should we have stopped to find out if the man was alright before walking away? Who’s to judge if our actions are right or wrong? That’s truly something to ponder while we wander the streets.  In this matter, I offer no judgement only observation.

Earthquake Zone

Screenshot of News Headline on CNN

An earthquake shook the building we work in today. Not the first time this has happened but this one was unusually long and swayed quite a bit which made it a little worrying. Those who had never experienced it before were quite frightened and ran out to take the lift downstairs. Not really the sensible thing to do if there was a prolonged and more powerful quake in future but under the circumstances quite understandable. Others who had been there before calmly packed up and walked down the fire escape stairway to the ground floor.

Living and growing up in Malaysia, we never thought we’d ever be in an earthquake zone being nowhere near a fault line but the events of the last tsunami that hit North Sumatra in 2004 and the many mini-quakes that has happened since and to the one now has certainly debunked that theory. So I say, live how you want to, do what you want to and be what you want to be and not what someone else wants you to be.

Welcome to Beanoo.Com!

This reincarnation of Beanoo.Com certainly took a while but thanks to a renewed gust of motivation and a little bit of help from WordPress and the Viewfinder theme from Orman Clark, I have finally found the perfect design for my web site. I like to keep things simple. A web site that showcases pictures and only pictures seems like the perfect solution to my needs.

Pictures say a 1000 words or so they say. So why clutter a bunch of pictures with a long song and dance story. Read what you will into the pictures I post. If you are not clear, please feel free to send me an email. Send me feedback though, it’ll help me improve. Meanwhile, enjoy the photos. Cheers!