'TOO FAR AWAY TO HELP': A day after snapping the slaying of a man pushed onto the tracks, photographer R. Umar Abbasi returns to the scene.
Anguished fotog: Critics are unfair to condemn me
By R. UMAR ABBASI
Last Updated: 9:27 AM, December 5, 2012
Posted: 12:39 AM, December 5, 2012
[New York] Post freelance photographer R. Umar Abbasi captured the dramatic moments before Ki Suk Han was struck by a downtown Q train. A day after the pictures were published, a flurry of criticism erupted — from other media and over social media like Twitter. He recounted the ordeal to The Post yesterday:
R. Umar Abbasi, the Post freelance photographer who took the disturbing shot, still insists that he was trying to warn the subway driver with his flashes and didn't have time to save Han. He'ss also trying to distance himself from the controversial cover, saying that he left his camera's memory card with editors at the Post after showing the photos to police officers, and wasn't part of the decision to publish the picture. "Every time I close my eyes, I see the image of death," he said. "I don't care about a photograph."
For the second straight day, Abbasi made the cover of the Post, but this time he's the story. In a firsthand account, he wrote, "I have to say I was surprised at the anger over the pictures, of the people who are saying: Why didn't he put the camera down and pull him out? But I can't let the armchair critics bother me. They were not there. They have no idea how very quickly it happened."
He goes so far as to put the blame on others: "The sad part is, there were people who were close to the victim, who watched and didn't do anything. You can see it in the pictures," Abassi said. "The truth is I could not reach that man; if I could have, I would have."