On taking pictures at a catastrophe

I told you that Alec Soth has a blog. He posted about the bridge thing, so I started to leave a long comment, but then I remembered that I have my own blog, so rather than stop up his works, I’ll stop up my own.

I doubt that most of the people who watched the bridge fall need a reminder, but a lot of people want pictures for all the reasons that people want pictures. It’s maybe stupid to have a connection to a faceless piece of concrete, but everyone called someone to find out if they were okay, or got calls themselves. It could have been anyone. Unfortunately, there isn’t an unspoken etiquette for sweeping tragedy yet — perhaps we are fortunate to not need one. Anyway, I would hope that someone with great talent manages to capture the feeling for the rest of us.

Don’t we deserve an image to which we can point and say:
“That is what it was like — exactly that. I was there with Sarah, Alex, and Ethan, and we couldn’t see anything but it was hot and people were swarming and agape. It didn’t seem real and we couldn’t remember what the bridge had looked like.”

From what I can tell, things have settled down, and if there are gawkers, they aren’t getting in my way so much. I completely understand the desire to see. It’s the sudden inability for people to do things like park and walk that offends me. Make a trip and take a breath.

That’s all the babbling from me.

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