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There’s a large price to pay in the name of photojournalism. There is a lot of pressure to capture the perfect shot, the photo that will make headlines and remain a source of conversation.

The New York Post recently published a photo of a subway tragedy that was captured by photographer R. Umar Abbasi. It reveals a man holding onto the subway platform mere moments before he was hit and killed by the oncoming train.

The controversy and ethical implications of this photo have spread like wildfire, and it poses a difficult question: given that objective photojournalism implies that the man behind the lens remains uninvolved, should Abbasi have taken and shared his photo, or should he have put down his camera and tried to help this man?

It’s not a black and white issue; some photographers believe that their human values and moral codes do play a large role in capturing their subjects. Others prefer to take a bystander role, simply observing and using their cameras to do the work.

So is this another example of objective photojournalism, or do you feel that the photographer has a responsibility to take action?

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