AP Photographer Held His Ground

Man, I’m not sure if I could do what Burhan Ozbilici (AP Photographer in Turkey) did.  Reading his story, he was done for the day and just dropped by the gallery to get some photos of the Russian Ambassador in case they needed some for future Russian/Turkey relationship photos.

AP Article, “Witness to an Assassination”

First, to witness the fatal shooting of a country leader, but then to hold your ground and capture photos as the drama unfolded. That’s just crazy…good.

A man identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas holds up a gun after shooting Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Shouting "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!" Altintas fatally shot Karlov in front of stunned onlookers at a photo exhibit. Police killed the assailant after a shootout. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A man identified as Mevlut Mert Altintas holds up a gun after shooting Andrei Karlov, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey, at a photo gallery in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 19, 2016. Shouting “Don’t forget Aleppo! Don’t forget Syria!” Altintas fatally shot Karlov in front of stunned onlookers at a photo exhibit. Police killed the assailant after a shootout. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Mr. Ozbilici held his ground and captured a moment that will live long after we’re gone.  Photography will do that even in a world of mass social networking and millions upon millions of photos posted out for the world to see every day. There will always be those photos that will stand out among the crowd.  This photo, in one frame, captured what was going on. Someone who sees this photo 20 years from now will be able to look at it and know exactly what just happened.

This is why photojournalism isn’t dead and why the journalism industry still required professional photographers who in an instant can capture and frame a moment that tells a story.  You’re not going to get this kind of shot on an IPhone of a reporter untrained in the art of photography.

Not to mention, to have witnessed the death of a man and still maintain an awareness and forethought to keep shooting even if it means putting  his life in danger.  When Mr. Ozbilici wrote about the ordeal, he mentioned that the thought about just hiding and staying safe, but then thought he would never forgive himself if he didn’t capture this moment. That is the thought process of a man who really loves his job. Once he made the decision to keep shooting, his experience took over and he captured some amazing photos (which I’m sure will be garnering him some photo and journalism awards in the near future)

So, I see this and I wonder if I was in the same postion, what would I do. I’d like to think I’d do the same. I don’t know.  But, although I don’t shoot consistently for any journalism organizations, I do always carry my camera with me…just in case.

 

 

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