Allen Murabayashi's take on the absence of empathy in some photographs ...


"While the casual observer might believe that photojournalism’s raison d’etre is to display the news, I would disagree. News, when not being salacious, informs of us the human condition, and should ideally strike a chord of empathy within us."

I have no doubt that Allen Murabayashi raised many good points in this piece. He talks about the many-faceted truths and ‘truthiness’ of any photographer’s approach when creating images beyond the strict confines and sanctity of photojournalism that we are all made to believe. No two photographers will come to an identical visual conclusion, but it is somewhat harsh to condemn one particular ‘truthiness’ in favor of another ‘truthiness.’ One’s photographic style or approach is no less valid than the next. And just because a particular aesthetic sense offends our cultivated taste, we have no right to condemn or censure it. We know all too well the adage that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and for all the dramatic conflicts that may arise in bearing witness to differing, defining points of views that each photographer impose of themselves on his subjects, whether we agree or not, we are all nonetheless more informed, and enlarged, able to form a personal opinion, and a judgement if necessary, and in a sense richer, for having more and not less photographic points of views. Richard Avedon famously said that cameras lie all the time. A significant part of that lie, I think, comes from the fact that photographs are more about the photographers than they are about the subjects.

Read Allen Murabayashi's complete opinion piece, here.