There’s a photography joke that goes, “If you saw a man drowning and you could either save him or photograph the event… what kind of film would you use?”. While this might be a lighthearted jab at photo-lovers, it also reminds us of a very real dilemma photojournalists are often confronted with — the struggle between doing their job by documenting reality and getting involved in the reality they need to document. The short film above, titled “Moment of Truth – Photographer”, provides a powerful glimpse into the mental and emotional toll wartime photojournalists undoubtedly pay quite often.
If you’re subscribed to the New York Times, you might have noticed some unique-looking war photographs featured as the top story when opening up the paper yesterday. The four photographs were actually iPhone photos taken by NYT photographer Damon Winter in Afghanistan, and processed with the popular app Hipstamatic. Earlier this year AP photographer David Guttenfelder did the same thing in Afghanistan with an iPhone and a Polaroid filter app.
If James Nachtwey were a street photographer, he wouldn’t be the type to stand on the opposite sidewalk and stealthily capture unsuspecting strangers using a telephoto lens. As you can see from the photograph above, Nachtwey has a fearless attitude when shooting in dangerous situations, getting up close and personal with the subjects.
The photo is from a documentary titled “War Photographer” by Christian Fei, which was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Documentary Film) in 2002. The film follows Nachtwey for two years as he documents conflicts in Kosovo, Rawanda, Indonesia, and the West Bank. Read more…