Gabriele Sciotto photo

Above: One of Gabriele Sciotto's photos of the terror attacks around Borough Market, 3 June 2017. Credit: Gabriele Sciotto.

Happenstance

We are all photographers now. This truism is evidenced most unmistakably on the news picture-desk of a modern news "provider." Assuming something happens--a tragedy, a catastrophe--the news-desk editor will immediately enter the market for video-photo material. The material of greatest interest will be images and video captured in medias res, in the thick of the disaster, by those closest to it as it unfolds. There will be no special emphasis or interest in photos made by a specifically "pro" photographer.

In many instances such material made by passers-by is just shared to social media--at which it "goes viral." While the news provider has nothing but stock library pictures and long-zoom telephoto images made from the edge of a police security perimeter (distant from the events) by the hulking figure of the pro photo-journalist. (Having finally arrived on the scene the pro finds his/her once-vital role has been usurped by random members of the general public--eye-witnesses.)

Of course, it does sometimes happen that a passer-by of a major criminal incident is in fact a photo-journalist--much as there is often a passing doctor-medic in such grisly circumstances. In London, photographer Toby Melville was by happenstance crossing Westminster Bridge moments after the attacks of 22 March 2017, and so too, photographer Gabriele Sciotto was out having a drink at Borough Market on the evening of 3 June 2017.

(27 February 2018)