Archivi categoria: photojournalism

Photographer Says Texas Rep. Blocked Him from Photographing Protesters

Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert is being accused of a very rudimentary style of censorship by photojournalist Jim Lo Scalzo. According to Lo Scalzo, Gohmert got up and physically blocked his view so that he couldn’t photograph protesters during attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings earlier this week.

Sessions’ confirmation hearings were frequently interrupted by protesters, which the photographers in the room naturally wanted to capture. However, Lo Scalzo claims Rep. Gohmert wasn’t so keen on that.

Speaking to the Dallas Morning News, Scalzo says Gohmert physically got up and blocked his view as he was trying to photograph two protesters being escorted out. Here’s how he describes the interaction:

When I asked him, ‘Are you seriously blocking me from making these pictures of these protesters?’ he said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘The story is not there,’ and then he pointed to Sessions and said, ‘The story is over there.’

This screenshot from a CSPAN2 Recording of the confirmation hearing in question captured the altercation between Lo Scalzo and Ghomert.

For his part, the East Texas Republican is adamant there was no “censorship” as such, although he didn’t deny his actions.

“There were plenty of cameras to capture what was going on, so there was no censorship, but the rule-breaking, distracting, view-blocking cameraman was blocking my view requiring me to stand,” Gohmert told the Dallas Morning News, citing his experience as a former felony judge to imply that he can tell when a photographer is “out of line” in court.

This excuse, however, doesn’t seem to match the CSPAN recording below. The video clearly shows Gohmert blocking Lo Scalzo and then exchanging some heated words at the very end, rather than simply standing up because his view was blocked, as he seems to claim:

For Lo Scalzo, the problem—and the reason he is speaking out—is very cut and dry. “This is a basic First Amendment issue,” he told the Dalls paper. “Lawmakers do not get to determine what I can and cannot cover in a public place, end of story.”


Image credits: Diptych including Louie Gohmert by Gage Skidmore.

AP Photographer Keeps Working as Gunman Assassinates Russian Ambassador

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AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici is a photojournalist incredibly dedicated to his job; so dedicated, in fact, that he kept on taking pictures when a gunman shot and killed Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey. The photos he captured have instantly risen to iconic status.


Warning: The images in this post might be offensive or upsetting to some, as they depict both the gunman and his victim. Proceed with caution.


Ozbilici was working the event, but instead of putting his camera down and ducking for cover when 22-year-old Turkish police man Mevlut Mert Altintas opened fire on the Russian ambassador, he kept working. Ozbilici snapped several photos of the enraged gunman as he paced around his victim and yelled at the assembled crowd, at one point shooting Karlov again at close range.

The photos he captured have spread across the world like wildfire, prompting praise from NBC Nightly News Social Editor Micah Grimes:


The AP itself:


And the Los Angeles Times, who interviewed Ozbilici:


Speaking with the LA Times, Ozbilici explained why and how he was able to keep on taking pictures, even the killer paced in front of him, condemning Russia for their role in Syria.

“I was, of course, fearful and knew of the danger if the gunman turned toward me. But I advanced a little and photographed the man as he hectored his desperate, captive audience,” Ozbilici tells the LA newspaper. “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. I could run away without making any photos… But I wouldn’t have a proper answer if people later ask me: ‘Why didn’t you take pictures?'”

To see more of the photos Ozbilici captured at the art gallery or hear his account of this terrifying moment, visit his LA Times interview or read the AP’s own coverage of the incident here.

NYTimes Correction: Photo Scene Had Item Removed to Kill Glare

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An interesting story about ethics in photojournalism has emerged today: the New York Times has published a correction to a major story, saying that the original main photo had a picture frame removed from the scene because it was causing glare.

On Tuesday, the Times published a front page story titled, “The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.” The article featured a photo by Times photojournalist Justin T. Gellerson that shows a filing cabinet involved in the Watergate burglary, sitting in the basement of the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters:

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The caption reads: “A filing cabinet broken into in 1972 as part of the Watergate burglary now sits beside a computer server that Russian hackers breached during the 2016 presidential campaign, both now on display in the basement of the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in Washington.”

The Washingtonian reports that shortly after the story and photo were published, editors noticed a problem: Gellerson had removed a picture frame (containing the Washington Post front page story on Watergate) from above the filing cabinet.

No, the photo wasn’t Photoshopped: it turns out Gellerson had physically removed the picture frame from the wall because it had been causing distracting glare from his strobe hitting the glass.

Gellerson’s original assignment was to capture the atmosphere of that particular room at the DNC in a “poetic” way if possible, and he says he didn’t realize that the newspaper was asking for a news photograph.

“I really just wanted to nail it with this file cabinet,” Gellerson tells the Washingtonian. “I approached it like I was taking a still life.”

Although it may seem like an insignificant change that doesn’t affect the story, organizations such as the National Press Photographers Association have Codes of Ethics that prohibit photographers from doing anything to alter scenes or influence events.

Relevant lines in the NPPA Code of Ethics.
Relevant lines in the NPPA Code of Ethics.

So, the New York Times had Gellerson rush back to the DNC headquarters and rephotograph the exact same scene, except with the picture frame in place. The Web article was then updated with the new photo, which also made it in time for the physical copy of the Times.

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At the bottom of the Internet article is now this correction:

Editors’ Note: An earlier version of the main photograph with this article, of a filing cabinet and computer at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, should not have been published. The photographer had removed a framed image from the wall over the filing cabinet — showing a Washington Post Watergate front page — because it was causing glare with the lighting. The new version shows the scene as it normally appears, with the framed newspaper page in place.

What’s your opinion on the photojournalism ethics of the original photo?