A small piece of the whole picture

For a newspaper photographer, keeping things in perspective is important when covering any event. During the Jan. 27 antiwar rally in Washington, black-clad protesters identifying themselves as Students for a Democratic Society arrived on the scene and rushed to the steps of the Capitol, clashing briefly with Capitol Police before coming to a standoff. Of the thousands of people in attendance at the rally, this was the only group that I witnessed that actively sought a confrontation with the police. The vast majority came to Washington to march peacefully and express their views on the war in Iraq.

I feel it is important to document these clashes because they are part of the overall scene and make for compelling photographs. But I also know I must keep in perspective that this is a tiny fraction of the larger story and often not an accurate reflection of the broader story. I would never censor myself and not shoot a photograph of such a situation, even though it may not find its way into print. It becomes part of a large selection of photographs I send to my editors. Ultimately, they exercise their judgment to pick the ones to run in the newspaper that best tell the whole story.

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