Since the time of Robert Capa, the speed of information exchange has increased significantly, and the military conflicts themselves have completely changed. But the very essence of military photography remains unshakable: you must come as close as possible, and remain alive, you must make the tragedy speak, saturate it with emotion and artistic value, you must empathize while remaining objective.
“The most horrendous emotional situation for any photographer is when he comes into eye contact with the one he is shooting, and he realizes that in fact there is absolutely no way he can help him.”
Javier Manzano moved with his family from Mexico to the United States at the age of 18, so it’s not surprising that the narcotics and events near the Mexican-American border occupy a special place in his reports. In 2011, he received his first prize, World Press Photo, for a photo from Mexican Ciudad Juarez, one of the most criminal cities in the world, and a year later he went to film the war in Syria. The result of this trip are two major photo stories marked Pulitzer Prize.
“War is worse than drugs. At some point, it turns into a terrible journey, a nightmare, but then, as soon as the danger subsides, there is an overwhelming desire to go back and get even more. ”
Since childhood, Remy Oshlik dreamed of becoming a military photographer, and already in 20 years he managed to fulfill his dream. In 2004, he went to film the political crisis in Haiti, and when he returned, he received the Francois Chalet Award for him. Oshlik continued to shoot in extreme conditions: demonstrations in his native France, Haiti, overwhelmed with the cholera epidemic, Arab conflicts. He knew perfectly well the great Robert Kapa about the fact that there is a good frame in close proximity to the subject. However, the habit of being in the center of events played a cruel joke with him, and on February 22, 2012, during the bombardment of Homs, Oshlik was killed.
“I’m half deaf. My nerves are damaged and constantly ringing in my ears, and it happens that I don’t hear anything at all. Probably, I am deaf because I did not insert plugs into my ears. All because I wanted to hear. ”
James Nachtwey – one of the most famous photographers of our time. He began his career back in 1976 and has since visited hot spots around the world, received the Robert Kapa Gold Medal five times, was twice awarded the World Press Photo, was in the famous Bang Bang Club, and also became the main character of the documentary War Photographer. In 2003, the elderly James Nachtwei was injured during an attack on a military convoy in Baghdad, but rather quickly managed to recover. Nachtway is generally an amazing example of a successful career as a military photographer: he is famous, his pictures are in demand, he is 65 years old, and he is still alive.
“The work of a photojournalist today has changed a lot. Now he is increasingly shooting not at the front line, but somewhere out there, in the depths. ”
The example of photographer Denis Sinyakova is indicative: danger lurked him during the filming of military conflicts, but overtook the peaceful Pechora Sea. On September 19, 2013, he was detained along with the crew of the ship Arctic Sunrise per share at the Prirazlomnaya platform. And although Sinyakov fulfilled only his duties as a photographer, he received a charge of piracy (now they qualify him as hooliganism) and for two months in the SIZO.
On the personal website of the photographer you can find reports from the Georgian-Russian and Lebanese-Israeli conflicts, shooting activities of the medical evacuation team (Medevac) in Afghanistan and much more.
In addition, Denis Sinyakov is known for filming the concert of the punk band Pussy Riot, the preparation and the very act “I Steal for Putin” by the group Femen, as well as the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. However, Sinyakov’s portfolio includes not only political topics: he filmed the life of the Nenets, forest fires, the inhabitants of the Muslim village of the ghost, and much more. Recently, the photographer paid great attention to his project Changing Face of Russia, in which he touched such a complex topic as the migration to Russia of citizens from the countries of the former USSR.
“To become a photojournalist, it is enough to have any technology capable of taking a photo, including cell phones with a camera, disposable or just low-budget cameras. I started my career with a conventional 6 megapixel camera, and you can still see these pictures in my portfolio. ”
American photographer Zoria Miller has a particular interest in military clash photos. At one time, he worked at the Red Cross and participated in volunteer programs to assist third world countries. Today he is trying to focus on various foundations and humanitarian organizations. The specific beauty and expressiveness of some shots can even compete with the legendary landing in Normandy performed by Robert Capa.
“I went to Slovenia, the first republic, which took the path of separation, after reading a short article in a newspaper about national movements and a possible war. In the end, I spent about five years between 1991 and 2001, documenting how the country dissolved in various wars. ”
A war correspondent from the United States began to shoot armed clashes in the late 1980s, and his finest hour came during the Yugoslav wars. His reports captured the dramatic episodes of the battle for Vukovar and the siege of Sarajevo, as well as the activities of the famous Serbian formation “Tigers of Arcan”. It was taking pictures of “tigers”, Haviv took the famous picture in the Bosnian city of Bielina. This photo has become one of the symbols of the Yugoslav war in general and war crimes in particular. On it, a soldier from the “Tigers of Arkan” kicked the body of one of the civilians who had just been killed by his comrades.
Haviv continued his photographic activities after Yugoslavia. He has photographs of the drug war in Mexico, the civil war in Sri Lanka, a photo essay on the consequences of the Russian-Georgian conflict, as well as the war of criminal gangs in Los Angeles.
“Often we hide behind cameras to not feel anything. Then we think: it works, and it doesn’t, it touches, and it doesn’t, it can attract attention. We seem to be turning to stone. And when you come back home or get to the hotel and start editing pictures, you begin to feel everything that happened during the day. ”
Spaniard Manu Brabo successfully completed his studies in the art of photography in Oviedo and Madrid, after which he found himself in the glorious business of a war correspondent and became part of the Associated Press.
This year, he won the Pulitzer Prize for a photo from besieged Aleppo, where he caught an incredible tragic shot in which his father holds a dying son in his arms. Particular attention should be paid to his reports from Libya, which were given to Brabo with great difficulty, since in April 2011 the Libyan army took the photographer into custody, keeping him in detention for more than a month.
“Every conflict leaves indelible marks, scars that you carry in yourself. What remains is the grief and pain of mothers who lost children during the bombing, the tears of happiness of the people who freed themselves from dictatorship, thousands of civilians who leave their homes in search of a safe place, people you meet along the way talking and sharing a piece of your life … “
Buchchiarelli started his career as a photojournalist only four years ago, but today he has already been awarded two major photo contests (second prize World Press Photo 2013, third place Sony World Photo Award 2013), and also publications in world-famous publications (The Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and La Repubblica).
The Italian received an engineering degree from the Polytechnic University of Turin, worked in the specialty for about a year, and then he took over and radically changed his occupation. In 2009, he went to the shooting in Turkey and Iran, but became famous only after returning home. On April 6, 2009, the strongest earthquake began, which practically wiped out the city of Aquila, the capital of the Abruzzo region. After the snapshots of the effects of this terrible tragedy on Bucciarelli and learned in the world of photography.
Later, with the beginning of the Jasmine Revolution and the war in Libya, he was able to express himself in military photography. Today, Buchchiarelli is a recognized master of his craft, the author of the book “The Smell of War” and a journalist whose articles are successfully published in major Italian publications. On its website you can find pictures from military Libya, modern Syria, reports about clashes in Mali and a series of pictures devoted to a little-known conflict between the Karen national district and Burma.
“We arrived in Libya, in Tripoli, chaos reigned around, danger, we did not know anyone and we needed a translator. In the lobby of the hotel we met quite a few locals, one of whom turned out to be an engineer. He was a pleasant man, calm, with good eyes, he was about 60, it was not a young guy in search of profit. In the end, we asked him if he could help us, and he agreed, but he said that he would be able to work only half a day, as his son was killed yesterday. ”
Few people can remain indifferent at the sight of a photograph of Gaza Burial, depicting grieving relatives and children killed during the bombing of the Gaza Strip. This picture is so strong and emotionally filled that after his victory in World Press Photo 2013 there was an expert who said that it was not just a photo, but a kind of clever collage. However, the jury and experts of the world’s largest photo contests, after analyzing the picture, came to the conclusion that this is not a collage and not the notorious Photoshop.
Hansen is a photographer with quite a long experience, one of the few war correspondents who prefer to work on the staff (the Swedish edition of Dagens Nyheter), and not freelance. In this case, the interests of the photographer extend far beyond calm Sweden, so that on his personal website you can see reports from present-day Afghanistan, problem Congo, Kenya, occupied Iraq and protest Bahrain.
“Instead of thinking:“ Again, he shows us cruelty, ”I hope people will start thinking:“ And what can I do to change this? ”
Walter Astrada was born in Buenos Aires and began his career in the local newspaper La Nacion, and finally formed as a photographer after a long trip to South America. He now lives in Barcelona, is engaged in a large photo project dedicated to the brutal treatment of women, and teaches photography.
You should enter the site at least for the sake of two of his photo essays: Bloodbathon Madagascar and Kenya Post Election Violence. This is a terrible sight for an audience with strong nerves, the quintessence of war, a realistic picture of conflicts on the black continent.