Influence of war photography

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by PaulineAnne, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. PaulineAnne

    PaulineAnne TPF Noob!

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    Hey.

    I was wondering if you cold give me some ideas how war photography influences us. I am thinking of World War I and II. I have already found some information about the photographs of American Civil War and the Vietnam War.
     
  2. Sam6644

    Sam6644 TPF Noob!

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    read about James Nachwey
     
  3. Hooligan Dan

    Hooligan Dan No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From the list on the left side click on "Judge's Choice(Graphic)" Best doc I've ever watched.

    Poynter.org - NPPA 2006 TV Photojournalism Winners

    It's mainly about the impact war has on photographers(not really what you're looking for) but still incredibly enlightening. Before I watched it I wanted to be a war photographer. And after I finished watching it becoming a war photographer became a need and less of a want, like I will never feel complete in life if I don't do it at least once. Either I try and fail/cant handle it, oh well, I tried, or I do it until the day I die or war photograph
    y is no longer needed.
     
  4. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Take a look at Robert Capa, The best book on my shelf is Vietnam INC/ Philip Jones Griffiths it is more anti war
     
  5. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    The US military didn't like the influence of photography on the population during the Vietnam War and have changed the way photographers work in war zones to control the output better. Thus, PJ are now embedded. Also, there have been few photos of the caskets returning home.

    Although I am sure there are still some PJs going off on their own, the fact that they are more targeted by the enemy than they once used to be probably cools down the enthusiasm. And being embedded definitely limits what images you will get, I think.

    Also, I believe that people are so used to photos and images (film/video) of war that they just don't react much anymore. Violence is such a normal part of every day life...
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hotel Rwanda (the film) had a great line on that - went something like'

    "People see these horrible images on their tv or in the paper and say 'that's terrible' and then go on eating their breakfast"

    I've no idea if its because of familiarity with such imagary of simply the fact that the world is so massive that what is happening a whole country or further away is just so far removed from most peoples daily lives that it has no effect upon them. Even when it does have an effect its hard for most peple to even see that effect unless its very direct.
     
  7. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Not that I'm sure of anything in this case but if you think that the US military uses video games in their training (it supposedly desensitizes soldiers to death), it is fair to assume that the amount of images we see have the same effect. It is also fair to assume that the younger generations who have been playing violent video games are themselves even more desensitized.

    I've also seen a difference in the way people in Europe react to wars. People living today here in the US have never experienced a war in their country. They are still a lot of people in Europe who have.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I still disbelive that killing in a computer game desensitizes one to killing in real life. Maybe if they kill be remote methods only (like pressing the launch nuke button) but direct in your face killing and battle field combat is awhole different life and world.
    I suspect that its more to try and work out which members are totally nuts and hell bent on the idea of killing from those who are more restrained and controled ;)

    It might desnesitize right up until the act for some, but I doubt that it acts as a long term method
     
  9. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I tend to believe you are right. Considering the number of soldiers who come back with major psychological problems, it doesn't work very well for them. But unlike the non-military public, they actually kill people and get to see the result up-close and personal.

    The general public doesn't actually kill anyone and I can see how not having to deal with an actual blown away corpse makes it seem not so real.

    Again, I am not a psychologist/psychiatrist and I don't even play one on TV. This is just my opinion from watching people around me. A lot of people do seem to agree, though, that the amount of war imagery since the first Gulf War is partly responsible for the fact that the current anti-war movement has never gotten anywhere as big as it was for Vietnam.

    Of course, the fact that we don't have a draft today also makes a huge difference.
     
  10. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    would you clarify who you mean by ''us''?
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes... Please do watch War photographer (2001). It is powerful.

    I'm a big fan of Robert Capa for he is a pioneer in so many ways but I think James Natchwey is far far far more influential. To Robert, it was playing a part... in fact, the whole persona of "Robert Capa" was an invention between him Endre Ernő Friedmann and his wife. They created a personality for his wife as well

    James Natchwey's is in a very complex place... he is obviously in a love hate relationship with his career. He loves being "the messenger" in hope to bring some good to the world but hates the terrible circumstances. He lives in a very conflicted place....

    There are a few quotes from the movie that stuck in my mind:

    "The worst thing is to feel that as a photographer I am benefiting from someone else's tragedy. This idea haunts me. It's something I have to reckon with every day because I know that if I ever allowed genuine compassion to be overtaken by personal ambition, I will have sold my soul. The only way I can justify my role is to have respect for the other person's predicament. The extent to which I do that is the extent to which I become accepted by the other; and to that extent, I can accept myself. "

    "Why photograph war? Is it possible to put an end to a form of human behavior, which has existed throughout history, by the means of photography"

    "We must look at it. We're required to look at it. We're required to do what we can about it. If we don't, who will?"

    "In a way, if and individual assumes the risk of placing himself in the middle of a war to communicate to the rest of the world what's happening, he's trying to negotiate for peace. Perhaps that's the reason for those in charge of perpetuating the war do not like to have photographers around. "


    -----

    The OP mentioned WWI WWII, Vietnam and American Civil War. BUT you missed probably one of the most influential wars in the history of war photography (at least in the U.S.). The KOREAN WAR. Please do not forget it (as so many of us tend to do). No research on this topic is complete without it.
     
  12. matfoster

    matfoster TPF Noob!

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    it makes me very angry. how does it influence you?

    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
     

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