I wanna become a War Photographer

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by TheDutchMan, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. TheDutchMan

    TheDutchMan TPF Noob!

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    Hello, Im totally new to this forum and I could need all the help I could get.

    I've been in the Dutch Marine Corps for 3 years serving as a Marine 1st Class and
    I did 1 year Press Photographer for the same Marines Corps as-well. (confidential)

    But now I'm about to travel the world and start making pictures from the most shocking thing men ever invented, war.

    But where do you start? I mean, i know you just have to go there but I'm curious about other peoples experience in this subject.
    I was thinking to go down Israel first and get the Palestinian conflict first on camera. I also would like to go Congo and capture what the stories are there.

    I hope some people can help me on my way over here.

    Thanks, Niels

    A link to some pics on Picasa.
    Picasa Web Albums - Henk Bloedvlek - Random Thoughts
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  2. Randall Ellis

    Randall Ellis TPF Noob!

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    Watch the movie 'War Photographer' and read books about this type of journalism. And keep your head down...

    Good luck...

    - Randy
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Put together a portfolio and start shopping yourself around to magazines and other periodicals. You're not likely to get a 'Foreign Correspondant" assignment right off the bat, but military training is a big plus. Really, it's just like applying for any other job (except this one involves angry people shooting in your direction). Good luck!
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First you need to realize that you are trying to enter a dying field. I guess I could mean that literally as well as figuratively but pieriodicals are dying. Newspapers especially large ones with big photography budgets are dying at a rapid pace. Online news is getting bigger and bigger and I think the days of being a traveling photojournalist might be almost over. I personally think it sucks as I am sure alot of you do but I don't think right now is a good time to be considering somethingkike that as we are definately if nothing else in a transition pieriod where there will be alot of people put out on the streets that used to be photojournalists. If I were you I would do ALOT of research on the possibilties and opportunities that are available before you dedicate your life to such a pursuit.
     
  5. chakalakasp

    chakalakasp TPF Noob!

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    My advice would be to Google "Lightstalkers". Go there and ask this question there. A large number of the members there have experience in war photography.
     
  6. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    True the printed media is not in good shape but it is not because of the photography. People don't read. And they won't read anymore on line than they do in a newspaper or magazine so photography for news is far from dead. I am not a seer but imho it still has a long life. And video cannot cover some of the stuff that still photography can. Video is not very discreet.

    That said, I don't know how you can get started today. I just flew to Vietnam myself as an independent and I did some of the craziest things you could think of to get photos few others were getting. But it was a lot easier then. Today, they have figured out how to control the media by embedding journalists (photo or otherwise) into units. From what I read, there are still some who go the free roaming way but they seem pretty rare.

    What it means, unfortunately, is that it is that much harder to get shots that are different. The other problem is that the public is so used to images of war that to get something that is going to have an impact, and therefore interest the buyers if they even have the guts to publish, is much harder too.
     
  7. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh no I never meant to say that the death of it had anything to do with the photography. Quite the contrary I am sure people look more at the pictures more than read the entire stories. It's just things are a hell of alot more competitive because there are alot less opportunities out there.
     
  8. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    Every field is competitive. I wouldn't let that discourage me from following my dreams.

    As for dying periodicals, I'm not sure I'm following your logic here. People are still getting their news from some source - right now that source is the internet. The internet was a visual media just like print, the only difference being one is digital and the other is printed. They both still require images for their stories, editorials and articles. These pictures don't take themselves.

    The consumption of media isn't dying, the print industry is dying. Photography is unchanged.
     
  9. msf

    msf TPF Noob!

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    It shouldnt be that hard to get into this field. Grab your camera, go up to your mother in law, and ask if shes gained weight. walla, your front lines of a new war. :D
     
  10. TheDutchMan

    TheDutchMan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the replies so far, really appreciated !!!

    I saw the movie/documentary War-Photographer and that made me curious. And thanks for the tip about "lightstalkers"

    Looking at the situation as it is now, I would probaly go for shooting the poorest people in world first to build up some photo experience in this field and build my portfolio mainly out of that.

    Other questions in mind are about what sort of equipment to bring.
    I have at the moment a Nikon D80 and F5, the F5 i hardly use so i thought to get a Nikon D2x on the side so i would bring mij D80 and D2x in the field. The lenses i have now are not to great and not very suitable for rough field work.
    As i don't have a money tree in the backyard i was looking at these lenses to bring. Any sugestions on it are welcome.

    For on the D2x:
    -Sigma 30mm F/1.4 HSM
    -Sigma 50-150 F/2.8 EX II DC HSM

    For the D80:
    -Nikkor AF-G 10.5mm F/2.8 ED DX
    -Nikkor AF-S 50mm F/1.4 G

    Thanks again.
     
  11. TheDutchMan

    TheDutchMan TPF Noob!

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    Nobody any suggestions on the kit I described above here?
     
  12. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    call michael yon, or his rep, they were able to get me on track with a media embed with us forces. - - i know he has also embedded with british forces. he's the real deal . . .

    as for kit, i'd scratch the sigma zoom for a nikon zoom. i'd want a 35 or so, 85 or so, wide zoom and something in the 70-200 range. with those 4 lenses you can cover lots. the problem your going to run into is breaking all your **** all the time. YOUR GEAR WILL BREAK DOWN. if i treated my camera kit like my war kit, or carried both all my photo gear would be trash by now.
     

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