A Photo Teacher |

War Photographer

Posted in PHOT 167 by Paul Turounet on October 29, 2007

..Clip from War Photographer – a film by Christian Frei of photographer James Nachtwey

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If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough. – Robert Capa

For over 20 years, James Nachtwey has been more than close enough, having photographed every major world conflict and social issue during this time, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, South Africa, and the Middle East. Having been a contract photographer with Time magazine since 1984, Nachtwey previously worked with Black Star and Magnum Photos photo agencies before becoming one of the founding members of VII in 2001. His photographic efforts have earned him numerous honors, including the Robert Capa Gold Medal (5 times), the World Press Photo Award (2 times), Magazine Photographer of the Year (7 times) as well as the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography and most recently, the prestigious 2007 TED Prize.

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..James Nachtwey 2007 TED Prize acceptance talk and slide show presentation

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I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated. – James Nachtwey

War Photographer follows James Nachtwey for two years, documenting his motivation, fears and daily routine as a conflict photographer. Director and producer Christian Frei provides an insightful, first-person perspective with special mirco-cameras attached to Nachtwey’s cameras of scenes of conflict and suffering in Indonesia, Kosvo and Palestine. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2002, the Peabody Award in 2003 as well as 16 international awards.

In consideration of the first-person perspective that allows the viewer to experience what it is like behind Nachtwey’s camera, what are your impressions of his experience as a war and conflict photographer?  How does Nachtwey engage and work with his subject matter?  Would you want to make photographs of such social significance?  Why or why not?

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