Photojournalist James Nachtwey is considered by many to be the greatest war photographer of recent decades. He has covered conflicts and major social issues in more than 30 countries.
Nachtwey has been a contract photographer with Time since 1984. However, when certain stories he wanted to cover – such as Romanian orphanages and famine in Somalia – garnered no interest from magazines, he self-financed trips there.
He is known for getting up close to his subjects, or as he says, “in the same intimate space that the subjects inhabit,” and he passes that sense of closeness on to the viewer.
In putting himself in the middle of conflict, his intention is to record the truth, to document the struggles of humanity, and with this, to wake people up and stir them to action.
As Nachtwey says:
[Photography] puts a human face on issues which, from afar, can appear abstract or ideological or monumental in their global impact.
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Like to learn more about Nachtwey’s work? Check out the following links…
Bomb blast, Libya
© Benjamin Lowy – Reportage by Getty Images
Ben Lowy is an award-winning conflict photographer and photojournalist considered controversial by some because he captures his images with an iPhone.
Of his work, Ben says:
For years, I have worked with bulky digital cameras, always mindful of the technical manoeuvres from setting the shutter speed and aperture to editing and toning on a computer screen. In the last two years I have discovered that my iPhone has allowed me to capture scenes without feeling that I am once again on the job. To “point and shoot” has been a liberating experience. It has allowed me to rediscover the excitement of seeing imperfections and happy accidents rendered through the lens of my handheld device. I am able to create imagery, edit, and transmit all these images, creating a modern and efficient workflow for the most inefficient of pursuits – self expression.
Here are some more images that Ben shot while on assignment in Libya last year…
Omaha Beach, Normandy, France – 1944 (Robert Capa)
If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough. Robert Capa (1913-1954)
And he should know. Dubbed ‘The Greatest War Photographer in the World‘ in 1938 by Picture Post, Robert Capa went on to establish Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert in 1947.
Capa’s mantra highlights that the elements a photographer chooses to leave out of the frame are as important as those they choose to leave in.
Moving in close allows you to exclude extraneous and distracting elements and to focus in intimate detail on your subject, making for a more powerful image.