In April of 1970 I was near Phu Tai, Vietnam in the 173rd Airborne Brigade Admin Compound. We were pissed off at taking Viet Cong sniper fire from the mountain above us several nights in a row. The guy would stand up from behind a rock and blow off a clip from his AK47 on full-auto. The sniper was shooting at such a high angle that most of his rounds came through the sheet metal roofs of our hooches. We decided to use a “heavy” response the next time(s) the sniper hit us.
Update: Jansen has requested that his photos be removed, as they are currently “being investigated for possible violations of sensitive information.”
US Army lieutenant Alexander Jansen has spent the past year serving in Afghanistan as a liaison officer, training the members of the Afghan National Army. During this time, he has been very involved in photography, using his DSLRs to capture what deployment is like through a soldier’s eyes.
A few hours ago, the official Facebook page of the First Army Division East posted the above photograph with the caption:
Soldiers of the 3rd Inf Reg continue to stand guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, despite the worsening weather conditions surrounding Hurricane Sandy. The tomb has been guarded continuously since 1948.
The powerful photograph instantly attracted tens of thousands of Likes and Shares, and began going viral online.
Earlier this month the US Army published an article warning its soldiers that the ubiquitousness of geotagged photographs these days can present a serious security risk, citing a real-world example of something that happened back in 2007:
When a new fleet of helicopters arrived with an aviation unit at a base in Iraq, some Soldiers took pictures on the flightline, he said. From the photos that were uploaded to the Internet, the enemy was able to determine the exact location of the helicopters inside the compound and conduct a mortar attack, destroying four of the AH-64 Apaches.
Officer Kent Grosshans recommends disabling the geotagging feature on your phone (or camera) and double-checking your social media settings to see who you’re sharing location-based info with, regardless of whether you’re an enlisted soldier or a civilian.
Geotagging poses security risks (via John Nack)
If you’ve ever tried shooting in a dark location without using flash or a tripod, you probably know how difficult it can be to remove camera shake from your photos. Alex Jansen — a photography enthusiast who’s an officer in the US Army — has written up an awesome tutorial on how you can apply some of the tricks used by rifle shooters to shooting with a camera:
I am by no measures a “pro,” but I understand my fundamentals very well, and this specific set has been drilled into my head so many times that it is now second-nature. I am going to teach you how to “shoot” your camera like a high end rifle because at the end of the day, the fundamentals stay the same in every aspect.
The guide focuses on the US Army’s four fundamentals of marksmanship: steady position, aiming, breath control, and trigger control.
Making the Most of Long Exposure Handhelds [Pentax Forums]
Image credits: Photographs by Alex Jansen/Pentax Forums
Think your lens is good in low-light conditions? Check out this Nikon D700 with a Nightstalker II night-vision system attached — standard issue for the Navy’s Combat Camera unit. PopPhoto has published an interesting article that offers a glimpse into what life is like as a US military photographer. You an also see an example photo shot with the above lens here.
Life as a US Military Photographer (via Nikon Rumors)
Photojournalists Mary Chind of The Des Moines Register and Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post won Pulitzer Prizes this year in photography.
Chind’s photo of a harrowing water rescue photo won as the Best Breaking News Photograph. The photo, published July 1, 2009, shows a construction worker dangling above the rapids of a dam, in an attempt to reach a victim in the water. The Pulitzer board say the photo captured “a heart-stopping moment.”
The victim and her husband had gone over the edge of the dam on a boat. Rescuers could not reach the pair with a crane. According to the National Press Photographer Association, Chind took the photo from a nearby bank crowded with rescue workers and firefighters. A worker in a makeshift rig was lowered down towards the water and managed to save the woman after several attempts.
Walker won the Best Feature Photography for his intimate photo essay of a teenager, Ian Fisher, as he entered the Army. Walker documented the young man for 27 months, following him as he recruited, trained, was deployed to Iraq, and finally returned.
The Pulitzer board described Walker’s work as “an intimate portrait of a teenager who joins the Army at the height of insurgent violence in Iraq, poignantly searching for meaning and manhood.” Color versions of Walker’s essay can be seen on the Pulitzer website and the multimedia package can be seen on the Post’s website.
Image Credits: River Rescue in Downtown Des Moines by Mary Chind and American Soldier by Craig F. Walker