Tag: war

Witnesses by choice

Last week, the news of the deaths of two photojournalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros raced around the world of photojournalism (and the larger media world.) I read the various pieces and mostly I was saddened by the loss. I grieve for their families, for our profession and for our world as a whole. During a presentation I gave Thursday night, I paused and asked the audience to remember the two photographers. As I was reading the various articles on their deaths, one thing caught my attention and it may be nitpicking but I think it is important. The two are frequently described as having died “in the line of duty.” They were not under any obligation to be there. It was not part of any military term or enlistment they had made. They were there by choice. That in no way negates what they were doing, or the tragedy of their deaths, but they put themselves in harm’s way by choice. Read More

War stories, part two

In the first part of this series of blog entries, I wrote about recent ethics controversies spurred by student photographers going to places like Haiti in order to develop their skills and their portfolios, as they photograph the horror of that nation’s earthquake/disaster. I appreciate the ethical issues raised by such actions, but my overarching question was, and still is, how do aspiring conflict photographers develop the skills required for covering war/disaster? In this blog entry, I will talk about how I developed my own, limited skills in that area of photojournalism and what I learned in the process of gaining those skills. Read More

War stories, part one

For the last few months I have been carrying around a copy of a commentary written by the National Geographic photographer, turned university professor, Steve Raymer. It appeared in the March, 2010 issue of the magazine, News Photographer (which is published by the National Press Photographer’s Association.) He talks about the photography of Haiti’s earthquake/disaster as well as the ethics of students going to places like Haiti in an attempt to develop their portfolios as they photograph that horror. All of this, and last week’s “bandh,” here in India, prompted me to tease out some of my own “war stories” and put them down in type. Read More

Staring at life, staring at death (part two)

In the first part of this two-part blog entry, I shared my daughter’s perspective on our shared experience photographing kids with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses through an organization called, “Flashes of Hope.” Although I was in the exact same place as she was, working on the same project, I took away a different set of experiences from that very emotionally compelling day. Out experiences are divergent of course because of many reasons including the fact that she is a child and I am a parent. Our perspectives also diverged because of how we experienced the same people in very different ways. In the end, we came to the same belief, that family photos are an especially important part of the world of photography. The route we took to get there was a bit different. Read More

Vietnam as a war, Vietnam as a country

When I told my seventeen-year old daughter I was going to Vietnam, she was very impressed. I ostensibly went to visit a friend who lives there and to try to see the country through his eyes. I also went to photograph (and scout locations for a potential photo workshop.) I am pretty sure my daughter thinks of Vietnam in connection with the TV show, the Amazing Race and maybe the musical, Miss Saigon. For American men of a certain age (like me,) Vietnam conjures up something very different. Read More

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