Defence optics suddenly warped by real-life bushfire task

Australian and New Zealand Army engineer support teams have begun the gruesome and inevitable task of collecting and burying dead livestock and wildlife on Kangaroo Island.

CAPTION: New Zealand Army sappers from the 2nd Engineer Regiment collect dead wildlife to be buried on Kangaroo Island, during Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20. Defence said, “This image has been digital manipulated due to the sensitive nature of the subject”. Photo by Corporal Tristan Kennedy.

RELATED STORIES: Operation Bushfire Assist 19-20

It’s a gruesome task – hot, smelly and unenviable.

It is real, it is happening, it is a fact of life after a bushfire.

But, for some reason, ‘the powers that be’ in military PR circles seem to think it’s way too gross and/or gruesome for mere mortals to witness?

 

If they do think that way, perhaps they should have refrained from photographing it.

Perhaps they should have given the soldiers involved extra rations, or a beer chit or some free Fisherman’s Friends or something to compensate for the awful chore – and not display it to the rest of us.

But no – ‘the powers that be’ in military PR circles said something along the lines, “If we can’t show dead bodies, let’s draw attention to the gruesomeness by so ridiculously over-blurring the photos that the viewer begins to wonder ‘what are they really trying to hide?'”

New Zealand Army sappers from the 2nd Engineer Regiment collect dead wildlife on Kangaroo Island. Defence said, "This image has been digital manipulated due to the sensitive nature of the subject". Photo by Corporal Tristan Kennedy.

Defence said, “This image has been digital manipulated due to the sensitive nature of the subject” —>
Photo by Corporal Tristan Kennedy.

If you don’t want to portray grotesqueness for the sake of public sensitivities, then why take the photo in the first place?

If you are determined to take the photo, then take it in such a way as to not show the dead body.

Or, if the dead body must be photographed, then blur the dead body – don’t blur literally two-thirds of the whole photo for no good reason.

Quite simply, that just makes the photo stand out more, and amplifies grotesqueness in the viewers’ imagination.

And ruins an otherwise good photo.

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P.S. And with no story to go with the photos, people like me are left to make shit up just to have an excuse to publish the photo and draw attention to the ridiculousness of Defence PR thinking.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Aside from this complete gaff, Defence is doing a better-than-usual job of covering this massive operation, and CONTACT wholeheartedly commends them for it, despite what Sir Jeffrey says.

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sir_jeffrey_blog_logoAnother comment from resident crankyman Sir Jeffrey Armiger – a retired Public Servant with a pet hate for BE (bovine excrement).

 

Follow Sir Jeffrey on Facebook here
or view his previous diatribes here.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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