Reporters in war zones risk their lives to tell us what is going on and without their reports we would be much less informed. We should, and we are, grateful for what they do. Thanks to their work we are aware. But as the old adage goes: there is more to a picture than meets the eye. What we see is not what is, but what we are shown. And that always originates from a perspective. Hardly truly objective, and not necessarily innocent.
We have all read how biased different news organizations can be when it comes to the cold hard facts. We’ve also pretty much come to expect that a photograph tells a story better than anything else. Documentary film maker Ruben Salvadori recently exposed how some of the most epic images from war torn areas of the world are actually staged…and it’s pretty surprising. Ruben recognized how photographers can drastically change the mood of a scene just by being present, so he decided to turn the cameras on the photographers themselves and show just how “dangerous” many of events we see on TV and in print really are. Next time you see an image that appears to be in the thick of the action, step back and ask the question “but how many photographers are standing right off camera?” You can read more here about this video project and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Presentation of Photojournalism Behind the Scenes, an auto-critical photo essay, done by Ruben Salvadori, showing the paradoxes of conflict-image production and considering the role of the photographer in the events.
This project was awarded the Photodreaming Contest organized by Forma Foundation in which Ruben was then selected by Denis Curti, the director of Contrasto (the major photo-agency in Italy, which represents Magnum’s work in the country and for which the top Italian photographers work) to shoot an assignment for the prestigious agency.