While on assignment in the Middle East, war photographer Tracey Shelton had her gear stolen during an attempted kidnapping back in August 2011. As a freelance photojournalist, she didn’t have a newspaper’s funding to lean back on, and found herself out of several thousand dollars worth of camera gear.
Her work in the Middle East has been nothing short of an inspiration to photojournalists everywhere, but since the theft she’s had to borrow gear and use sub par equipment to do her job. And so two recent journalism school graduates have decided to turn to crowdfunding to try and get her properly equipped to do what she does best. Read more…
Behold, the coolest photography-related toy we’ve seen so far this year: War Journalist: Battlefield Hero. It’s a 1/6-scale Toymaster-brand action figure that lets kids play make believe with their very own conflict photographer! Read more…
What’s it like to shoot on the front lines of battle as a military photojournalist? This 15-minute documentary by filmmaker Hannah Hill will tell you. Here’s the video’s description:
This is a documentary about Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane, a United States Air Force photojournalist, who has deployed to Afghanistan twice. He shares his experiences as a photojournalist in a combat environment as well as the mental and physical toll it takes on him.
Crane is based out of O’Fallon, Illinois, and has served as a combat cameraman for a Special Forces, photographing the war with a DSLR and an M4. Read more…
When photojournalist Tim Hetherington suffered a mortar shell wound to the groin in Libya in April of last year, he ultimately died of massive blood loss. His death, according to friends, may have been prevented. “Tim was my closest friend,” says Michael Kamber [...] “He bled to death because he was surrounded by photographers who didn’t know how to stop the bleeding.”
In response to this assessment, Hetherington’s other close friend and co-director of the Oscar winning documentary Restrepo, Sebastian Junger, founded [RISC] of which Kamber sits on the board. The organization simulates real war-injury scenarios [...] complete with pools of blood, contorted limbs and frenetic movement amid smoke-clad air, in order to train photographers and journalists in potentially life-saving techniques. “We go to great lengths to achieve the feel of war,” says Kamber.
Here’s an inspiring video in which we hear war photographer Joao Silva discuss the biggest fight of his life: losing his legs to a land mine in Afghanistian and fighting to return to his career. We’ve reported on Silva’s story a number of times before.
What would you pack if you were assigned to cover a war from the inside? The photo above shows what photographer Umit Bektas decided to pack in his camera bag for his embed with a US military unit in Afghanistan.
I was going to need two cameras but to be on the safe side, I took a third. As I was planning to do a multimedia piece as well, I packed an audio-recorder and GoPro Camera too. Also a Bgan to give me the internet access necessary to transmit my photos and the Thuraya to ensure communication at all events. As I placed my laptop in its bag, I thought “what if it breaks down” and added a nine-inch backup laptop too. Also packed was one spare battery for each piece of equipment that ran on them. For my cameras though, I took two spares each. As I would not be able to carry large lenses, I packed a converter, chargers, cables, memory cards, cleaning kits and adapters. All this filled up my largest bag.
Also in one of his bags was body armor and a helmet: a requirement for being embedded.
Here’s a fascinating video in which Italian photographer Ruben Salvadori demonstrates how dishonest many conflict photographs are. Salvadori spent a significant amount of time in East Jerusalem, studying the role photojournalists play in what the world sees. By turning his camera on the photographers themselves, he shows how photojournalists often influence the events they’re supposed to document objectively, and how photographers are often pushed to seek and create drama even in situations that lack it.
You might start looking at conflict photos in the news a lot differently after watching this.
Anyone who says they aren’t frightened during war is either lying or a fool. It’s about finding a way of dealing with the fear – you have to be very calm. You’re not there to get your rocks off; you’re there because you feel your pictures can make a difference.
– Tom Stoddart
It’s amazing the kinds of dangerous situations photographers place themselves into to serve as the world’s eyes during wars and conflicts.