PetaPixel

“If It Might Change Man’s Mind Against War… It Would Be Worth My Life”

eugenesmithwar

The New York Times has published a recently-discovered interview photographer W. Eugene Smith gave the American Society of Media Photographers back in 1956. Here’s Smith’s response to the question, “When do you feel that the photographer is justified in risking his life to take a picture?”:

I can’t answer that. It depends on the purpose. Reason, belief and purpose are the only determining factors. The subject is not a fair measure.

I think the photographer should have some reason or purpose. I would hate to risk my life to take another bloody picture for the Daily News, but if it might change man’s mind against war, then I feel that it would be worth my life. But I would never advise anybody else to make this decision. It would have to be their own decision. For example, when I was on the carrier, I didn’t want to fly on Christmas Day because I didn’t want to color all the other Chistmases for my children.

He also shares thoughts on the issues of staging and retouching. It’s a fascinating read. Check out the full interview through the link below.

W. Eugene Smith: ‘I Didn’t Write the Rules, Why Should I Follow Them?’ [NYTimes]


 
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neoracer-Xox/1037144278 Neoracer Xox

    “W. Eugene Smith: ‘I Didn’t Write the Rules, Why Should I Follow Them?’

    Yes but the ‘rules’ are established thru decades of others before you who tried (and failed) and the best ways to do something comes out of that, unless your leonardo davinci follow the damn rules. end/

  • http://twitter.com/gabesturdevant gabe sturdevant

    Read the interview……

    Cartier-Bresson never asks for this…. Why do you break this basic rule of candid photography?

    I didn’t write the rules — why should I follow them? Since I put a great deal of time and research to know what I am about? I ask and arrange if I feel it is legitimate. The honesty lies in my — the photographer’s — ability to understand.