Haiti - Photography as awareness or expoitation?

Images are so important to understand the enormity of what has happened in Haiti.

But the fundamental premise of documentary photography is to, excuse the obtuseness, "document" a happening or place. But there is bias everywhere. The photographer can control composition, colour, light and shadow. They can focus our attention on a subject of their choice. They can manipulate what we see and feel. And more importantly edit out what they don't want us to see. In an altruistic sense, I want to believe that a photographers' integrity would not allow the reduction of a pure form of documentation into a exploitation of people and context. But with recent media coverage of the crisis in Haiti, I'm not so sure. The initial images of crisis were raw and reflective of mortal struggle. But the relentless barrage of media coverage in the weeks to follow seemed to eclipse the boundary of appropriateness. At what point do we put our cameras down out of respect? When do we stop documenting and pick up a shovel to help?