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The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It

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Published by noaddressrequired
When do you NOT take a photograph? A look at sensitivity and the profession of photography.
When do you NOT take a photograph? A look at sensitivity and the profession of photography.

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Published by: noaddressrequired on Nov 26, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/12/2010

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The Eyes Have It What do you do when you find yourself in a situation in which taking aphotograph is the most inappropriate, insensitive thing you could do?Normally, I would say take it anyway. As a rule, you capture the moment. Itis your job as a photographer. But last weekend I broke the rule.Once in a while we are given the gift of looking through the window of astranger’s soul. It is a look that wins the Pulitzer. Hauntingly, it is a look that stays with us. Such was the gift I was given last weekend. I had gone toPennsylvania to meet with a man who needed product photos. I spent muchof this past year doing product photography, so I thought it would be a fine way to round out the year.Before my meeting, I had the privilege of touring the Gettysburg battlefield with a historian. Not being a history buff myself, it was a pleasure to learn what I should have learned back in school and to take in the enormity of  what happened there. I was feeling great and looking forward to my  business meeting. But the meeting was just short of a disaster. After anhour, which was all I could take, I could see that this project was going no- where. Cordially as I might, I excused myself.Pleased to have escaped the unfortunate lunacy, I ducked into a local shopthat was going out of business. Inside, standing there to greet me was aman whose dream had come to an end. What it is about the way a person’seyes greet you when they have lost something very precious to them? Waiting for my business partner to join me, I spoke with this slender, dark haired man who explained that he had owned this business for 15 years,and that the decline in the economy over this past year had made itimpossible for him to stay open. He tried to say that all would be well. By then my business partner had joined me. As we continued to listen, all wecould hear was that his dreams had been shattered. His eyes gave himaway. I thought about how much it would have meant to have captured hiscountenance but for so weary a man, surely taking a camera out to capturesuch emotion would be unpardonably wrong.

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