WAR PHOTOGRAPHY: The Ultimate Guide

[WARNING- This blog contains graphic images that may be disturbing to viewers. Viewer discretion is advised]

“Featured Image”- Image courtesy- Chiiz

We see pictures, stills of wars in our textbooks, newspapers, magazines, documentaries. As we watch firework displays and sing along to patriotic tunes, we remember the glorious fight it took to get there and the fight that still continues. 

We unanimously agree that a picture speaks a higher volume and depth than a text. Strategically taken photos manifest the complex emotions and activities of War. We must comprehend that this strategy did not develop overnight. It took years of effort and errors that we culminate into the astounding results we see today.

Let us retrospect why we needed photographs of such a catastrophic event, War Photography. What were the circumstances, and how over time, it developed as an essential department of War?  

“A wounded marine was carried off by his comrades during the Vietnam War in 1968.”

Image courtesy- Donn McCullin

WHAT IS WAR PHOTOGRAPHY

War photography involves photographing the catastrophic events coupled with armed conflict and its disastrous impact on people and places. Dedicated not just to the thick of the battles, but also the consequences after that, War Photography pictures how deep our need is to demonstrate War as a means to understand it and, perhaps, avoid it. 

“Photographs are our collective memory of War. 

Luckily, most of us don’t ever experience it first-hand”.-Ann Wilkes Tucker.

But how about seeing it through the lens of war photographers who were there in the thick of the action – often risking their own lives? Let us dive inside this anecdote of War Photography in a little greater detail than you expect.

HISTORY OF WAR PHOTOGRAPHY

After the advent of photography in the 1830s, the possibility of capturing the events of the War to increase public awareness was a novel approach. Ideally, War photographers would want to record the action of combat precisely. But the technical insufficiency during that time made this impossible. Let’s dive into the era of how War photographers attempted to start War Photography.

FIRST WAR PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGH DAGUERREOTYPES

The daguerreotype was an early form of photography that generated a single image using a silver-coated copper plate. It took much time for the image to develop and could not be processed immediately. 

Many daguerreotypes were taken during the Mexican–American War, in 1847 by an unknown War photographer. The pictures give insight into daily life on the periphery of War photography. 

“Example of Daguerreotype -Unknown photographer, General Wool, and staff in the Calle Real, Saltillo, Mexico, ca. 1847”-

 Image courtesy-  Amon Carter Museum of American Art

“Unknown photographer, Burial site of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Clay, Jr., ca. 1847”. 

Image courtesy- Amon Carter Museum of American Art 

However, due to technical insufficiency, Early photographers could not capture images of moving things. They recorded stationary aspects of War, like fortifications, soldiers, and land before and after a battle, along with the re-creation of action scenes like in the Mexican-American War. 

FIRST KNOWN WAR PHOTOGRAPHER

As per some Historians, John McCosh is considered to be the first war photographer known by name. He produced a series of War photographs documenting the Second Anglo-Sikh War from 1848–49. 

“John McCosh”- Image credits- Wikipedia

His clicks consisted of portraits of fellow officers, key figures from the campaigns, administrators, local people and architecture, artillery emplacements, and the destructive aftermath. Later on, McCosh later captured the Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852–53) too.

FIRST OFFICIAL WAR PHOTOGRAPHER

When the Crimean War began in 1853, photography’s vitality as a means of documenting and sharing “factual” knowledge of historical events was widely acknowledged. The British Government made the first official attempts at war photography during the Crimean War.

Roger Fenton is considered the first official war photographer to attempt a systematic coverage of War for the public’s benefit. His War photographs aimed to offset the aversion of the British people to the War’s unpopularity. The photos were turned into woodblocks and published in The Illustrated London News.

“Roger Fenton- The First Official War Photographer”

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Fenton photographed the landscape “Valley of Shallow of Death”– his most famous photograph was near to where the Charge of the Light Brigade took place. He became one of the founders of the Photographic Society in London and photographed the British royal family. His photographs of the Crimean War in 1855 were the first large-scale photographic documentation of war.

Valley of Shallow of Death”- Image courtesy- Roger Fenton

He had limited ways to execute his ideas due to this photographic equipment size and cumbersome nature. Because the graphic material needed prolonged exposures, he could only produce pictures of stationary objects, mostly posed pictures; he avoided capturing photographs of the dead, injured, or martyred soldiers. 

Very much like the images taken by the anonymous photographer covering the Mexican-American War, there is a notable absence of violence manifestation in much of Fenton’s work.

GLIMPSES OF FENTON’S WORK

“Hardships in the Camp, 1855”- Image courtesy- Roger Fenton

“A quiet day in the Mortar Battery”- Image courtesy- Roger Fenton.

“Men of 68th Regiment- Glimpses from the Crimean War”- Image courtesy- Roger Fenton

SEEING WAS BELIEVING IN WAR PHOTOGRAPHY

It was novel in the sense that it was the first time Americans could see images of War as it looked. People who survived and died in the War remained as a record for the first time. This profoundly shaped our understanding of the bloodiest war photography in U.S. history.

During the American Civil War, Haley Sims and Alexander Gardner began imitating scenes of battle to overcome the limitations of early War photography to get the recording of moving objects. Their reconfigured views were purposely designed to intensify the visual and emotional effects of battle. 

“Alexander Gardener” – Image courtesy- Wikipedia

The Civil War represented the first attempt to document a war broadly and systematically, spurred by the public’s insatiable appetite for War photographs. 

OFFICIAL EVOLUTION OF WAR PHOTOGRAPHY

During the Civil War, Gardner and Mathew Brady rearrangedGeorge S. Cook During deceased soldiers’ bodies to create a neat image of the atrocities associated with battle. In Soldiers on the Battlefield, within a desolate landscape, Brady produced a controversial tableau of the dead.

Mathew Brady”- Image courtesy – Wikipedia

This piece of work, along with Alexander Gardner’s 1863 Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, were images that brought home the horrific reality of War when shown to the public. Around the country, prints were widely available for sale in shops. Photographers such as Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketchbook of the War made their work possible in whole albums.

GLIMPSES OF ALEXANDER GARDNER’S WORKS

Image courtesy- Alexander Gardner

“Bodies on the battlefield at Antietam, 1862”- Image courtesy-  Alexander Gardner

“Glimpses from the American Civil War”- Image courtesy- Gardener

COMMERCIAL VENTURE OF WAR PHOTOGRAPHY

George S. Cook, during the Civil War, captured what is likely and sometimes believed to be the world’s first War photograph of real confrontation. During the Confederate fortifications near Charleston – his wet-plate photos taken under fire show explosions and Union ships firing at southern positions 8 September 1863. By coincidence, northern photographers Haas and Peale made a photographic plate of USS New Ironsides in combat 7 September 1863.

John Burke, who traveled with the British forces, documented the Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1878–1880. This was a commercial venture of War Photography with the hope of selling albums of war photographs.

HOW CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPHY CHANGED WAR

The Civil War was not the first war to be photographed, but it was the first in which the camera played an important role. War Photography was invented in the late 1830s in Europe and introduced in America in the 1840s.  Because it produced vivid records of camp life and battlegrounds, it forever changed the way people thought about what soldiers were going through.

“On the front line: Abraham Lincoln (left) sits in his tent with one of his generals during the Civil War.”

Image courtesy- Mathew Brady

We’ve all observed photos of the Civil War: high contrast pictures of whiskery Association commanders or mustachioed Confederate colonels standing along with the camera, dead bodies stacked on the front line, or regular fighters around a camp tent. 

Thinking back 150 years to the beginning of the Civil War, what effect did photography have on the War? On the individuals who lived during the time? What do these pictures disclose to us today about the warriors and their families? 

Historians state that War photography changed the war in a few different ways. It empowered families to have a recognition of their dads or children as they were away from home. 

Pictures of regular day to day existence were additionally delineated without precedent for the Civil War, men playing a card game, playing instruments, or cleaning gear. Dark fighters and slaves were furthermore outlined. The truth of the matter is that War photography appeared as a medium for searching for a silver lining.

“Military base: A federal encampment at Cumberland Landing on the Virginia Peninsula, in May 1862”-

 Image courtesy- James F. Gibson

HOW WAR PHOTOGRAPHY AFFECTED WW

War Photography was in the full venture by the time the First World War began in 1914. To preserve morale at home and protect the troops and their locations World War I saw the introduction of censoring some photos. The censoring continued until World War II in 1939. But war photography became a propaganda tool for different nations. Till the Vietnam War, people were unexposed to the un-glossed-over horrors of War, resulting in protests and widespread negativity about the war effort.

The Massive Impact of War Photography

As personal cameras became popular and mass-produced at the beginning of the twentieth century, individuals found a new photography hobby. Pictures allowed people to capture and preserve those memories to cherish them later in their lives. 

The world exploded into confrontation; however, War photography was engraved in the hearts of all. On the ground, be it soldiers attempting to record their experiences to army official War photographers trying to capture patriotic and hopeful moments. All the way overhead to airplanes that took aerial images to assist in ground attacks and air raids, War photography played an essential role in World War I.

“Destruction all-around”- Image courtesy- Chiiz

Also, War Photography introduced a novel mode of collecting memories. A picture can precisely remember what the photographer wanted to remember. By default, photographs become records of the photographer’s personal history. It is no surprise that as soldiers shipped off to fight in World War I, they carried their cameras to record their experiences of War photography.

Showcasing The Struggles of War

Soldiers snapped pictures whenever possible, despite their senior ranking officers’ disapproval. The photos were proof of their struggle, the atrocities they witnessed, and the bond they built over time.

Photographic souvenirs quickly caught on to the appeal of the commercial sector. It began producing postcards, usually showing war-damaged towns or cheerful soldiers as uncontroversial war mementos.

Also, the War photographs captured by the official war photographers became propaganda tools, offering civilians a view of the battlefield at home. For those who did not have to face the dangers of the front line, the propaganda photographs offered a censored memory of the battle.

Aerial War photography began to be heavily utilized for scientific and military recording during and after World War I. Aerial War photography was useful for scouting opposing troops, previewing terrain and conditions for ground troops, mapping airstrikes, and checking the aftermath of bomb drops.

It not only provided information for soldiers while in combat, but it also provides a visual memory of just how badly European cities were affected by World War I.

HOW WAR PHOTOGRAPHY AFFECTS OUR VISION

 “Photography has been changing the way we behold the world from the day they were invented. The Images of War captured on American battlefields made the Civil War very real to Americans. They still make that War very real to us today”. – Martha Teichner

Over the last nearly 200 years, war photography has been used to propagate truth and propaganda concerning conflicts in the world. War photographers and journalists put their lives to the risk and get us photographs, which play essential, often overlooked roles. They influence how we behold and interpret War. 

“The German War Ammunition”- Image courtesy- Chiiz

War-Time Shots

It is not only about weapons to get a perfect shot in wartime. War Photographers were there every step of the way to capture the heroic triumphs and devastating losses.

Photographic images that range from dead, fly‐infested US Civil War casualties to napalmed Vietnam War victims and the bloodied survivors of the “War on Terror” form part of our visual understanding of War. War photography enables us to be spectators of conflict and to empathize with or react to its worst horrors and greatest successes.

As a result, both the protagonists and protesters of war use photographs to document, promote, and justify their actions and attitudes.  War Photography serves as a reminder of the horrors we’ve been through and acts as a lesson from which we can begin a dialogue for peace and the importance of amalgamation of all the segregation we have created like societies, nations, interests, colors, races. 

The colored photographs further brought a change” Image courtesy- Chiiz

War Photography can serve as a medium for change. It’s not always the statue of an atrocious dictator or withdrawal of troops from a war-torn area. Many times, change has shown its face in the form of acceptance of another way of life. It’s the assembly of different minds, all willing to appreciate the differences and accept each other. 

Photography allows us to realize this vital fact and accept each other is all the same. Our hardships are ever carved into our aggregate cognizance, protecting transhistorical backdrop through photos that talk truth to our condition. 

War Photographs Worked As The Anthropological Record

These pictures fill in as an anthropological record, portraying the life of the sufferers and permit us knowledge into the complexities of human instinct. The progressions these pictures bring to permit the viewer to recognize the truth about these individuals and to enable them to acknowledge.

We’ve seen such a significant amount through photos about present-day fighting: mass graves, blasts, the essences of officers the moment they’re shot. The repercussions of war-crushed scenes, fighters are conveying their dead and getting back to their families. 

We’ve gotten acquainted with a profundity of visual inclusion that has carried profound nature with the real factors of War through and through, a distinct difference to the experience of non-military personnel crowds preceding the coming of War photography. 

Photographs from these wars illustrate modifications in photographic techniques, coverage, and distribution that would eventually develop into the prolific creation and distribution of war imagery we see today. War photography lets us learn about War with safety. It spreads knowledge, understanding, and empathy, but also desensitization.

 Photography shows us what it means to be human and what it can mean to have humanity

-Sudeshna Dutta

DEPICTING STORIES THROUGH A SERIES OF TOUGH TIMES

War Photography has been the epicenter of society’s translation and has been an essential entity in comprehending global events. From Nick Ut’s “The Terror of War” that depicts a young girl in Vietnam after her village was sprayed with napalm(a highly flammable sticky jelly used in incendiary bombs and flame-throwers, consisting of petrol thickened with special soaps.), Nilüfer Demir’s photograph of a drowned Syrian boy attempting to escape the horrors of War, to Matt Black’s “Geography of Poverty, which works to raise awareness of poverty in modern-America.

“Excerpt of Chiiz volume 39 Old is Gold section.”

All of these photographs have helped to increase our knowledge on issues of the world. They’ve been passively affecting the decisions about those issues. Their accomplishments may never be quantified. But it is crucial to see the correlation between these images and the changes in our world.

Nilüfer Demir’s photograph of a drowned Syrian boy attempting to escape the horrors of War.”

Image courtesy- Nilüfer Demir

WHAT WAR PHOTOGRAPHS SAY

One could see Missiles spiraling, the dull explosions integrating with the patterned clicks of a gun. And the insidious crackle of hidden land mines, gradually enfolding in a column of death and smoke. The symphony of sounds, seamlessly morphs into a ridiculous melody, one of laments and agony, its harsh sounds imbuing the shredded landscape with a nightmarish quality.

This is what War is like. This is what War Photography depicted.

“What Male Friendship looked like”- Image courtesy- Nilüfer Demir

IS WAR PHOTOGRAPHY ETHICAL?

Imagine a situation: You are a photojournalist reporting on the Syrian Civil War. A bomb dropped last night, and you are walking through the city’s remnants to capture the destruction. You see a young girl, nestled between scorched bushes and piles of rubble from the collapsed building once her home. Would you point your camera towards her to get your shot? Don’t you think taking a photo of this troubled girl, searching for her home, is unethical?

Is it ethical to lift the lens of one’s camera toward those standing in the most bottomless abyss of pain for the dry purpose of documentation? Does our intent to raise awareness to justify our interruption of the lives of the people whose stories we want to document? 

” The Disturbing Moments can make us aware of the plight of War”-

Image Credit: Alessio Remenzi

Indeed, there have been many instances of photographs and video recordings getting popular, which lured us with their disturbing candidness. They have silently induced a response from the audience. It has pulled the curtains from hidden pages of life. But the intention behind these photos remains uncertain. 

THAT’S WHEN CAMERA IS THE WEAPON IN WAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Many may dispute that one should take care of the camera and solace the young girl. However, photojournalists realize that a single photograph can open the world’s eyes to War’s treacheries.

The camera is utilized to record its real merciless factors and to show the world what it caused this little youngster. Think about a war photographer’s camera as the visual voice of the individuals who have lost everything in War and don’t get the opportunity to open the eyes of those blessed enough to be protected at home with their families. 

Instead of viewing these photos as an infringement of moral norms, see a war photographer’s work as an approach to perceive what is happening in struggle stricken nations.

Utilize these photos to represent the individuals who are hushed by bloodshed. Even though War itself is unethical, a war photographer is just doing their part in uncovering its immortality. But that doesn’t mean that War Photography is unethical.

WAR PHOTOGRAPHY SPEAKS A THOUSAND WORDS

Photos go about as the eyes of the journalist. Through these photos, the world can perceive what injury and carnage the photographer saw. Undoubtedly, the photos can inspire society to take a stand in opposition to its abhorrent treachery. Let’s take a look at these War photographs from the very eyes of War photographers themselves.

FROM THE EYES OF A SYRIAN WAR PHOTOGRAPHER

“First-responders attempt to stop Abu Soubhi from entering his home following an airstrike in the rebel-held area of Douma, on the outskirts of Damascus, on Sept. 11, 2016.”-                                                                                      Image courtesy- Mohammed Badra

The people heard the sounds of the rockets and raced to cover up inside the storm cellar. They felt each second go on. There were voices of shouting ladies and youngsters, individuals requiring help. At last, the commotion of the blast of the group bombs. The photographer conveyed his camera and went to figure out what occurred. The entire area was devastated. 

“The sister of a man who died in a suicide bombing claimed by ISIS in the nearby town of Tal Tamr mourns during his funeral in Qamishli, in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh province, on Dec. 13, 2015” –                              Image courtesy- Delil Souleiman

The Deadly Scenarios

A Kurdish lady in Qamishli, a Kurdish-larger part city in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh area, grieves during the burial service of her sibling, who was slaughtered by an Islamic State self-destruction plane. She was looking towards the sky, as though grumbling to God about this agony. 

“A body lies behind a harmed rescue vehicle after system airplanes apparently dropped barrel bombs in the Maadi locale of Aleppo on 27 August 2016”- Image courtesy- Ameer Alhalbi 

It was an unnerving scene. Several dead bodies were lying before them and when the subsequent bomb fell the ambulances began showing up with the family members of the harmed, who began searching for their family members.

They were shouting and crying, sobs that were stronger than any solid. The smell of death was filling the road, there were numerous dead individuals with their appendages cut off, and the Common Safeguard volunteers started to convey emergency treatment.

“Salvage laborers and occupants attempt to haul a man free from the rubble of a structure following an airstrike on the revolutionary held neighborhood of Salhin in Aleppo on Walk 11, 2016.”-   

       Image courtesy- Thaer Mohammed 

A survivor sits on the rubble of collapsed buildings at a site struck by barrel bombs in the Al-Sakhour neighborhood. Image courtesy- Hosam Katan

Um Muhammad asks people to look for her daughters Asma’a and Nadima near her home, which was hit by a government airstrike on the Masaken Hanano neighborhood. – Image courtesy-Hosam Katan

GLIMPSES FROM INDOCHINA CONFLICT 

“Indian army trucks move along a highway leading to Ladakh, at Gagangir, some 81 km (50 miles) from Srinagar, the main city in Indian-administered Kashmir on June 17, 2020”-.Image courtesy- Aljazeera

“India’s Border Security Force soldiers guard a highway leading towards Leh, bordering China, in Gagangir on June 17, 2020.” Image courtesy- Aljazeera

“Indian soldiers carry bodies that were handed over to them by the Chinese troops on the border with Sikkim, India, in this September 14, 1967 photo”. Image courtesy- Aljazeera

“Chinese soldiers guard the border on the Nathu La mountain pass. During a series of clashes in 1967, including the exchange of artillery fire. Sources say that some 80 Indian soldiers died and counted up to 400 Chinese casualties”- Image courtesy- Aljazeera

A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND TEARS

Photographs of enduring kids can mollify feelings toward the “other.” Such a large number of these photographs were made during times of significant furthest point: war, catastrophic event, profound social turmoil. 

Such photographs can trigger a sympathy that is both significant and unquestioning: When we see a kid in dander’s way, our prompt drive is to mediate, and we don’t stop to investigate that motivation. 

To some extent, this response is natural: A newborn child’s crying motivates a quick caretaking reaction in the cerebrums of grown-ups, regardless of whether they’re answerable for the infant, which bodes well, if just in developmental terms. Vulnerable animals who don’t rouse help from the incredible are defenseless animals who don’t endure. 

However, what we feel when we take a gander at pictures of kids in torment or fear or demise is clearly, we realize that they didn’t do anything to deserve what we are doing to them.

Maybe there are simply such a large number of photographs now, too many grisly troughs of enduring in an excessive amount of God-spurned spots, to concentrate for long on any one disaster. Maybe our doubt of innovation, our suspicion that the pictures have been controlled. Or maybe that we are being controlled, makes it too dull even to consider distrusting our reaction to them, as well. 

FAMOUS WAR PHOTOGRAPHERS YOU SHOULD KNOW 

Undoubtedly, War photographers like John McCosh, Roger Fendon, Alexander Gardener laid the very Foundation of War Photography. However, the below-mentioned War photographers are the ones who have continued this legacy and have achieved several laurels in this field.

FROM THE PAST

ROBERT CAPA

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Robert Capa (Endre Friedmann; 22 October 1913 – 25 May 1954) was a Hungarian war photographer and photojournalist. He worked nearby his friend and expert accomplice, photographer Gerda Taro.  Born in Budapest, Capa felt the political mistreatment of the time, constraining him to escape to Berlin. There, he saw the ascent of Hitler, which drove him to move to Paris. It was in Paris that he met and started to work with Gerta Pohorylle. 

ACHIEVEMENTS- Robert Capa had secured a progression of five wars. The Spanish Common War, the Second Sino-Japanese War, World War II across Europe, the 1948 Bedouin Israeli War, and the Main Indochina War. His pictures wound up over the globe, distributed in magazines and papers. 

GLIMPSES OF CAPA’S CLICKS 

“A Helping Hand from a Brother”

“German Soldiers on Omaha Beach on D-Day”

“A glimpse from D Day 1944”

“American Paratrooper, 1945”

MATHEW BRADY

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Mathew B. Brady (c. 1822 – 15 January 1896) was an American photographer best known for his contributions to the Civil War. He was the pioneer behind the daguerreotype technique in America.

ACHIEVEMENTS- He worked to build his skill and reputation by opening the “The Daguerreian Miniature Gallery” on Broadway in 1844. Brady won the highest award at the American Institute’s annual fair in 1844, 1845, 1846, 1849, and 1857 for his innumerable contributions to War Photography.

BRADY’S CLICKS FROM AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

“A glimpse from the scene before the Civil War”

“The destructions post Civil War”

“Soldiers gathered up for Civil War”

GERDA TARO

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Gerta Pohorylle (1 August 1910 – 26 July 1937), referred to as Gerda Taro, was a German Jewish war photographer active during the Spanish Civil War. She is viewed as the leading lady photojournalist who has died in a war frontline while covering the war. 

Taro’s career was brief, however, with incredible effect on photojournalism, particularly in war. She framed a relationship with Robert Capa, who was likewise a War Photographer in Spain. They worked intently together, and their boldness and aptitude impacted each other. 

GERDA’S SPANISH WAR SNAPS

“Look for a Hope.”

“Every other person was occupied with some work”

“A glimpse before the occurrence of the Spanish Civil War”

HORST FAAS

“Horst Faas”- Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Horst Faas (28 April 1933 – 10 May 2012) was a German photojournalist who began his photographic career in 1951 with the Keystone Agency. By the age of 21, he was already covering significant events concerning Indochina, including the peace negotiations in Geneva in 1954.

In 1956 he joined the Associated Press (A.P.), where he acquired a reputation for being a constant hard-news war photographer, covering the wars in Vietnam and Laos, as well as in the Congo and Algeria. In 1962, he became A.P.’s chief photographer for Southeast Asia and was based in Saigon until 1974. 

ACHIEVEMENTS

In 1965 and 1972, he won the Pulitzer Prize “For his combat photography of the war in South Vietnam during 1964.”  and for his picture “Death in Dacca” respectively. He was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal in 1964 and 1997. In 2005, he was honored with the Dr. Erich Salomon Prize of the German Society of Photography as his lifetime achievement

GLIMPSES OF FAAS’ WORKS

“They are tired yet helpless”

“Glimpse from the Vietnam War”

“The Vietnamese soldier has succumbed to his injuries”

MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Margaret Bourke-White (14 June 1904 – 27 August 1971) was the leading female war journalist. Additionally, the primary lady permitted to work in battle zones during World War II. 

In 1941, she headed out to the Soviet Association when Germany broke its non-hostility agreement. She was the primary outside photographer in Moscow when German powers attacked. Then, she took refuge in the U.S. Embassy.

As the War advanced, she left for North Africa close to the U.S. Armed force Flying corps. From that point onward, she joined the U.S. Armed forces in Italy and later, Germany. It was distinctly in 1928 that she went to photography full time. She opened her business photography studio in New York. After a year, she turned into a staff photographer for Fortune magazine until 1935. 

HER GLIMPSES FROM THE WORLD WAR II

“Women on a collective farm in Moscow, c.a 1941”

“Gandhi’s Funeral”

“Gearing up for World War II”

“Children witnessing the Terror of War.”

NICK UT

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Nick Ut (Huỳnh Công Út; 29 March 1951) is a Vietnamese/American War photographer who worked for Associated Press in Tokyo, South Korea, and Hanoi. He began to take photographs for the Associated Press when he was 16, just after his older brother Huynh Thanh My (another War photographer) was killed in Vietnam.

ACHIEVEMENTS

He was awarded Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography, World Press Photo of the Year, World Press Photo Award for Spot News in 1973 for his moving piece of work named “The Terror of War”, depicting children in flight from a Napalm bombing during the Vietnam War. 

“Terror of War”- Image courtesy- Nick Ut

The debated image came under fire as it features a naked 9-year-old girl, Phan Thị Kim Phúc, running toward the camera from a South Vietnamese napalm strike. But Nick Ut did help the girl to a hospital before delivering the film. This portrays how much war photographers lend a helping hand at its best to the suffering people they photograph.

On the 40th anniversary of his Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, he was inducted into the Leica Hall of Fame for his contributions to War Photography and photojournalism. Finally, he retired in 2017.

NICK’S CLICKS THAT CHANGED THE VISION TOWARDS WAR

“Despair all around”

“Into the Battlefield- Glimpse from the Vietnam War”

“Destruction All around”

“Death is inevitable”

“A mother was carrying her child groaning in pain- from the Vietnam War.”

DON MCCULLIN

Donald McCullin”- Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Sir Donald McCullin, CBE, Hon FRPS (born 9 October 1935), is a British photojournalist, notably recognized for his war photographs and images of urban strife. His career began in 1959. Since then he has specialized in examining the underside of society, and his photographs have depicted the unemployed, downtrodden, and the impoverished.

ACHIEVEMENTS

In 1964, he won World Press Photo of the Year and Warsaw Gold Medal for his coverage of the war in Cyprus. He also won the World Press Photo in 1977, 1984 for Photo stories and Spot news, respectively.

Apart from these, he was awarded the Cornell Capa Award, Lucie Award in the Photojournalism category, and Many other Honorary Doctorate of Letters for his significant contribution to Photography. In 2017: McCullin was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to photography.

FAMOUS WORKS OF MCCULLIN

The portrait of a Soldier from the Cyprus War”

“The inevitable death.”

“My survivor’s Guilt”

“Doing the last rites”

TIM HETHERINGTON

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Timothy Alistair Telemachus Hetherington (5 December 1970 – 20 April 2011) was a British photojournalist who was a regular contributor to Vanity Fair. Hetherington’s photography career began as a trainee at The Big Issue in London. He was their sole staff photographer who mainly photographed homeless shelters, demonstrations, dockers’ strikes, boxing gyms, celebrities, etc. He was killed by Libyan forces while covering the 2011 Libyan civil war.

ACHIEVEMENTS-

He was awarded the World Press Photo, (2nd prize) for Sports stories, Portrait stories, A photo from Korengal Valley, and General News Series in the years 1999, 2001, 2007 respectively. He won the  Alfred I. DuPont Award in 1999 for Broadcast Journalism. 

He posthumously received the “Leadership in Entertainment Award” by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) for his work on Restrepo, Frontline Club Memorial Tribute Award in 2011, and McCrary Award For Excellence in Journalism from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society of the United States of America, the USA in 2013.

HIS PIECE OF WORKS

“A soldier’s story”

“The Libyan Forces”

“A Libyan soldier succumbing to his injuries”

FROM THE PRESENT

LORENZO TUGNOLI 

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Lorenzo Tugnoli (b. 1979, Italy) is an Italian documentary photographer who worked as a photojournalist in the Middle East before moving to Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2010. He is a regular contributor to The Washington Post.

ACHIEVEMENTS

His work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Newsweek, Time Magazine. The Little Book of Kabul, a book on the artistic scene of Kabul, was published in 2014. He won the  Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography in 2019 for his images of devastating famine in Yemen, published in the Washington Post. 

HIS CONTRIBUTIONS IN YEMEN WAR

“A glimpse from the Yemen Crisis.”

“Sufferings all around”

“A soldier from the Yemen Crisis”

CAROL GUZY

Image courtesy- Carol Guzy

Carol Guzy (born 7 March 1956) is an American news photographer for The Washington Post. Carol’s style is characterized by long-form shooting and focus on human life.

ACHIEVEMENTS

In 1990, Guzy was the first woman to receive the Newspaper Photographer of the Year Award, presented by the National Press Photographers Association. In 2001, she was awarded the Northampton Community College Alumni Association’s Professional Achievement Award. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography twice, once in 1986, 1995 and for Feature Photography in 2000, For Breaking News Photography, The Washington Post in 2011.

She was awarded the 2018 Robert Capa Gold Medal Award for her reportage about the effects of the war against ISIS on the civilian population of Mosul and in 2019, she won the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media presented by the Newseum (Washington, D.C.).

GUZY’S FAMOUS CLICKS

“The Award-winning Pulitzer Photograph”

“The Plight of Kosovo Refugees”

“Destruction in Haiti”

“The pathetic state of women in Haiti”

JOAO SILVA

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

João Silva (born 9 August 1966) is a Portuguese-born South African war photographer. He is the last working member of the Bang-Bang Club, a group of photographers who covered South Africa from the time of Nelson Mandela’s release to the first elections in 1994. Silva has worked in Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia, Russia, and the Middle East. On 23 October 2010, Silva stepped on a land mine while on patrol with U.S. soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan and lost his left leg below the knee, and his right leg from just above it.

After recovery and receiving two prostheses, Silva’s first assignment out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center for The New York Times was at the White House. As of 2017, Silva is working as a staff photographer for The New York Times in Africa.

ACHIEVEMENTS

In 1992, he won the South African Press Photographer of the Year Award. He also won the Award-Winning photo for WordPress Photo in 2006 and 2007 for Contemporary issues and Spot news.

GLIMPSES OF HIS WORKS

“The final attempt to save”

“South African Soldiers”

“Destruction all around”

JAMES NACHTWEY

Image courtesy: James Nachtwey

James Nachtwey(14 March 1948) is one of the most famous photographers of the 21st century. He began his career back in 1976. He has documented a variety of armed conflicts and social issues, spending time in South Africa, Western Europe, and the United States. 

ACHIEVEMENTS

James received the Robert Capa Gold Medal five times, the World Press Photo twice. He was a part of the famous Bang Bang Club. And he also helped found the VII Photo Agency (2001–2011) that Specialize in documentary and war photographers globally and also became the main character of the documentary War Photographer.

He also won popular prizes like the Dresden Peace Prize, Dan David Prize, Annual Heinz Award. Nachtwey is a fantastic example of a successful military photographer.

GLIMPSES OF HIS CLICKS

“Pain-stricken child”

“Dead bodies scattered here and there”

“A helpless condition”

“Brothers in Agony and Pain”

MOISES SAMAN

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Moises Saman (born 1974) is a Spanish-American photographer, based in Tokyo. He is considered “one of the leading conflict photographers of his generation” and is a full-time member of Magnum Photos. Saman is best known for his war photography from Iraq. His book Discordia (2016) is about the revolution in Egypt and the broader Arab Spring.

ACHIEVEMENTS- 

He was awarded the World Press Photo Awards twice in 2007 and 2014. He was also honored with The Olivier Rebbot Award and  W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund fellowship for Discordia.

SAMAN’S PIECES OF WORK

“Soldiers from Egypt”

“The cries of Joy”

“Devastation all around”

“The Mission to save a life.”

MANU BRABO 

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

After successfully completing his studies in the field of Photography in Oviedo and Madrid, Spaniard Manu Brabo(1981) found himself in the glorious business of a war correspondent and thus, became part of the Associated Press. He has worked as a freelance photojournalist for the Associated Press (A.P.) and the European Pressphoto Agency, and his work has been published in newspapers and magazines.

ACHIEVEMENTS-

He is co-founder with Spanish photographers Guillem Valle, José Colón, and Diego Ibarra as well as the Italian Fabio Bucciarelli, of MEMO, a cooperative of photojournalists created in 2014 in Torino, Italy.

In 2013 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography. He was also awarded The National Headliner Awards, Robert Capa Medal, British Journalism Awards, Picture of the Year International.

BRAVO’S RENOWNED WORKS

“War brings Tears. War brings despair.”

“The children wondering where did the Head of the human go”

“In the Action”

RON HAVIV

Image courtesy- Wikipedia

Ron Haviv(1985) is a war photographer and photojournalist who has covered a broad spectrum of international conflict. He is the author of several photographic collections and the recipient. Since the end of the Cold War, he has covered conflict and other humanitarian crises worldwide. Haviv is one of the co-founders of VII Photo Agency, which is dedicated to documenting change, conflict, and development of individuals, cultures, and societies worldwide. 

ACHIEVEMENTS- He was honored with the World Press Photo Award for General News for “Blood and Hones: A Balkan war journal” and the World Press Photo Award for Spot News for “His Name is Danger” of 1989

HAVI’S FAMOUS CLICKS

“A glimpse from the Bosnian War”

“Bosnian Soldiers”

“Starving to Death”

DANISH SIDDIQUI

Danish Siddiqui

Siddiqui is a Mumbai- based War photographer and photojournalist. He heads an international news agency named Reuters Pictures team in India. As a journalist, Danish has covered several important wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugee crisis, and Asylum seekers’ crisis conditions in Switzerland. 

ACHIEVEMENTS-

Danish’s work has been published in scores of magazines. and galleries – including National Geographic Magazine, Washington Post, New York Times, Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Newsweek, BBC, The Independent, Gulf News, The Telegraph, and various other publications. 

He was honored with the Pulitzer Prize for capturing the plight of people in the Afghanistan wars. Danish has been honored with various photojournalism awards in the USA, England, China, and India.

DANISH’S WORKS

“The Plight of Afghans”

“The struggles of War..”

“Rohingya Crisis”

WAR PHOTOGRAPHY TODAY

Presently, after 150 years, wars proceed to wrath, and we keep on recording them – just in an alternate, less cumbersome way. Photojournalism and war photography has advanced to lengths incomprehensible to history’s first photojournalists.

From smaller format film to color pictures and advanced cameras to portable photography, the change of photography mode is just quickening. The photographer has got nearer to the activity and get included on the cutting edge of the fight. 

RISKS INVOLVED TODAY

International conventions of armed warfare secure Journalists and War photographers. Yet history shows that they are frequently viewed as targets by warring gatherings, in some cases, to show disdain of their rivals.

“A glimpse from the Modern War photography”-Image courtesy- Chiiz

War photography has become increasingly risky with the coming of fear-mongering in the furnished clash as certain psychological militants target writers and photographers. In the Iraq War, 36 War photographers and camera administrators were snatched or killed during 2003–2009. 

While pictures today have become a progressively significant medium of influence, photojournalists have become much higher targets. 

“If they don’t want you there, they shoot you,”

In the twenty‐first century, however, the boundaries between professional and amateur photography, photojournalism, and photographic art are blurred more than at any other time. Amateur photographs achieve worldwide distribution through the Internet, artists–photographers participate in official military art programs, and photojournalists exhibit their pictures in art galleries. 

“War Photographers today are putting themselves on the front lines of violence around the world in a fight to bring you the truth. What you do with that truth.”- Sudeshna Dutta

 

WHY PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE

The daily utilization of individual cameras to record life’s minutes and recollections still doesn’t seem to end. Today, individuals compose their captured memories in computerized assortments on sites and applications like Tumblr and Instagram.

Similarly that troopers coming back from War would arrange their memories into scrapbooks. Nobody could have predicted the impacts that the blast of the single-camera would have on the world.

War photography implies more than military combat. War photography is an artistic medium that encompasses the impact of war on civilians, environments, and culture. Many wartime photographers became internationally recognized artists. In general, the camera’s invention allowed a person to document and record the history of daily living as he or she experienced it. 

Today, War photography is high tech and continues to be considered an art form. Whether it depicts cultural activities or documents war, not only can it be viewed in a gallery, but we also use it to gain information regarding past and current events, as well as the future. War Photography continues to provide a window into the world at large.

“The Final Goodbye”- Image courtesy- Al Jazeera

Indeed, the war photographers are those genuine individuals who jeopardize their lives to take photos of War. They help us (perusers) envision the repulsions of War on the planet.

But, Victims of War are drowned continuously in tidal waves of guilt, regret, and pain. Pain isn’t superficial; it’s physical, emotional, and mental; all victims of War feel all three types. In War, no one is safe nowhere.

The role of the war photographer might seem obsolete when images of inhumanity overwhelm people. But no, today’s conflicts demand experienced chroniclers to record a nuanced truth. And to counter the rampant distortion and propaganda of the Digital Age.

CONCLUSION

We hope you got to know a lot about WAR PHOTOGRAPHY, the emotions it portrays, depicting stories through photographs, and how war photographers risk their lives to show us the brutalities of war.  Share your experience in the comment box & stay tuned with us through our Facebook & our Instagram Chiiz, Instagram Events, and Instagram Contests pages. 

If you are new to photography, master it regularly by attending various live online workshops on our Events Website. Also, head to our Blog for more such tips and tricks about photography. You can subscribe to our digital magazine through Magzter or Issuu to delve into more organized and well-furnished photography content. And if you think you have learned a lot and you want to give it a check, then proceed to our Contests content, participate there and win fabulous prizes.

Do share this Blog among your Photographer peers, Social media sites, groups, acquaintances, and friends. Comment below to read your favorite photography-related topics at Chiiz. Do give any suggestions for more pet photography ideas. And Yes! Don’t forget to provide an essential thing on which an artist proceeds- Your Valuable Feedback.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sudeshna Dutta is currently pursuing her B.Tech in Electronics from KIIT University and believes that “A calm and composed mind brings more happiness than the pursuit of success coupled with constant restlessness.” Apart from dealing with circuits and chips, she is passionate about playing the keyboard and wants to attain professionalism with her talent and hard work. She prefers the music of all tastes and genres, believing that “Every piece of music has emanated from God.” 
Instagram – @Sudeshna Dutta

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