Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Still No Apology Needed!!

Wednesday 23 March 2011

It started with this front page picture ;)

A day after the September 4th, 2010 devastating earthquake in Christchurch created a "field day" for the photojournalists, hundreds if not thousands of news pictures are being shot and transmitted around the world to record and show the extend of damages in this disaster.

Yet, the Sunday Star Times on their September 5 edition splashed this huge photo on their FRONT PAGE.

I concluded, mind you; my ex Picture Editor deduction, the page one shot look like a JACK UP (posed) news picture.

My post ruffled a few feathers, and nerves!

An "Anonymous" claimed, "If your gonna dish dirt you shd have the grace to apologise!"

Apology NOT Needed...

After looking at the "evidence" and responses from my friends in various newspaper and wire services, I still concluded it was a posed picture. So no apology ;) That was way back in September 14, 2010.

I thought that's that... end of story.


Sister Sarah...

Sista Sarah said...
Actually not posed at all. My sister is the photographer and described to me coming across the girl, so you're all talking through a hole in your head. And yes it does look like someone's home- if you know Sydenham at all you'd know that much of it is row houses of old brick buildings- no doubt little of it still standing after the last quake- amazes me the pettiness of some people in this world
The photographer is about the most genuine person you could meet and does not do staged photos.
Wow! Where was she coming from?

This old fool should have leave it at that, but stupid me went and answered; I also made a tongue in cheek comment that, "I suppose the Picture Editor should be fired for using this picture on the front page."

Man, did I get it from Little Sister!

"Of course I should have realized how superior you are to the rest of us from your initial post. I am getting on with my life BTW, supporting my family and friends in Christchurch and not being a complete ... Maybe you could do or say something with a positive impact and a happy heart instead." February 25, 2011 11:16 AM

Ha ha ha... I should have SHUT UP ;)

I did... it is all over, right?


I got this from the front page photographer TODAY, word for word; unedited (I paragraphed it for easy reading):

It is Jane Wyles here. I am the photographer of the image! Thank you for your comments, and thank you darling sis for your support! Let me just briefly put this straight.
I ventured out in a terrified state on the day after the earthquake just locally to where I live. I came across Myro playing amongst the bricks (her parents there of course and she was safe and happy).
I took a photographic opportunity of this gorgeous girl who herself said "she was looking at the earthquake".
I was NOT a set up, sure it looked third world but it wasn't, it was Sydenham, Christchurch!
As the editor and I saw, it, it was a human element that gave a bit of light after such a tramatic event!
Now, there are images of bodies being pulled out of rubble, blood smeared faces, some of now are dead! Would you rather see these images?
Or of our whole home down in ruins? You obviously have no idea of how tragic this is for all here. Life has changed for us and what is important takes on a new meaning.
Save the Children Fund want to use the image in a TV ad so I thank those of you that had something positive to say.
As for the Editor being fired ... really? I see this as bitter in your work!
The parents, the newspaper and myself are proud of the photo so I will hold onto that.
Thanks for your time.

My FINAL reply... please, NO MORE :(

Dear Jane

I am sorry I caused you such a LONG and EMOTIONAL UPSET!

I am sorry also that you CANNOT accept what other people think of your work!

I am happy for you that your picture is going to be used by Save The Children Fund, good on you! But that does NOT mean it was a GREAT news picture.

On that fateful day, Christchurch got hit by the strongest earthquake in history, what do you think the NEWS STORY will be? And what FRONT PAGE picture the paper got to use to REFLECT on that shocking historical event?

A little girl among fallen bricks, SMILING at your camera?


I am serious that the Picture Editor CAN get fired if he/she was working in another country where competitions among papers are really keen! I doubt it can happen here, not that it is a bad thing :)

What made you think I am bitter? Since you asked..did you ever find out how many times my news pictures has appeared in the front pages of the leading Malaysian, Singapore; NZ (yes, NZ) newspapers? When I was your age :) my picture has been used by News Ltd and Reuters all over the world.

No, I was never bitter... I always remember a U.K. News Editor told me ages ago that your picture might be on the front page today, come tomorrow; it is used to wrap rubbish or fish & chips ;)

As for what happened in Christchurch, how dare you implied that I don't care?

Did you find out what me and my friends did for fundraising effort? Read my blog!

Lastly, you want something positive from me?


Kind Regards


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Food Fair Funraising For Christchurch


cy.leow said...

Comments from fans :)

Anonymous CY Blog fan said...

CY was commenting on his opinion of the photo as a very experienced photojourno and photoeditor thats all. Personally the photo doesn't really "strike a cord" for me either just a personal thing really.

March 22, 2011 5:41 PM

Blogger heather said...

Gratuitous is the word!This is a photo of damage to shops and she was put there to make the photo appear more sensational.There is nothing natural about this photo! Anyone can see that!

March 23, 2011 2:03 AM

cy.leow said...

More comments via Face Book on this post:

Hi Cy,
Meng YC commented on your link.

Meng wrote "I am with you CY on this. What a lame picture, given the gravity of the situation on the ground."

(Meng is a journalist from The Star in Malaysia,)

Hi Cy,
Goh Seng Chong commented on your link.

Goh wrote "Fit for "photo album" ...."

(Goh is a photojournalist based in KL, he has been in this game as long as me!)

Hi Cy,
John Ishii commented on your link.

John wrote "I have to agree with the image is lame and looks jacked! But your arguing with amateur is so fruitless . Been there, seen it; done it!"

(John is a well known photojournalist and good friend, he base himself in KL. His tsunami pictures were used all over the world.)

Thanks guys :)

mityvisionz said...

I am no expert but I will definitely agreed that the said picture does not convey to the readers about the severity of that earthquake that hit Chch of that magnitude on the day. CY Leow has a long history in this game and I greatly admired him for his dedication and artistry. I also know him personally. To be able to accept feedbacks/criticism, onlt then will a person be able to progress. Mityvisionz

cy.leow said...

Thanks Mityvisionz! Who are you? Hee hee...
Yes, even this old man accept the fact that sometimes he take crapy photos too ;)
Be able to LAUGH at yourself and think how to do better next time, that is progressive!

mityvisionz said...

I like the stand you took ""Still No Apology Needed!!". If you think you got a a point, stick by it to the end of time. Be brave in your decisions. I'm floored by you not knowing who Mityvisionz another Penangite, type into Google and all will be reveal :). I'm just a humble grease monkey.I enjoyed every one of your blogs and pleaseee keep on blogging.Take care and be happy.

cy.leow said...

Ha ha ha! Mity Goh, Sir; you sound like a CAT! I thought you are only into cars! Respect lah ;)
Bet my Lancer VRX can go faster than your car! Ha ha ha...
Thanks for encouragement! Do keep in touch!
Regards - CY

mityvisionz said...

Mityvisionz is a play of words " Mighty vision in NZ" no pussy cat at When I left school,I was tossing between going into photography or automotive. The smell of the oily rag won the day. Your blog about your Lancer VRX made a very impressive reading, very informative and full of bells and whistles.Nowadays, I drive a black beauty, also punching out 125kW. I have to always keep an eye out for the lurking cops whenever I floored the gas pedal to the deck. I can use the excuse "that my work boots is too heavy", officer! sounds like a Tui advert.
Whenever an honest opinion is needed, you can count on me. If I am any younger, I would have taken you as my "sifu", to learn the ropes of the trade. Keep up the good work and have a good weekend. Cheers