Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seeing Is [Really] Believing

There are some photographers that have the power to stun with their work. James Nachtwey is one of those photographers. Pardon me for being so subjective here, but my jaw is literally on the ground looking at his work. As Mr. LaRocca, who first brought Nachtwey to my attention, described him, "[He is] literally 'The Man'." I know it's a cliche, I know I know I know, but these pictures speak so many words, so many more than what anyone could say about the subjects they portray.

Nachtwey decided to make photography his career after seeing images of the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights Movement. He taught himself the skills of the trade and has since worked for Time among other publications risking his life at times to cature his powerful photo essays on subjects including Rwanda, Darfur, and the 9/11 WTC attacks.

See a video of some insight from the photographer, here. "There is a vital story that needs to be told," he says, " I have been a witness and these pictures are my testimony." He also did an interesting "5 Questions" with the Apple team regarding (my favorite) digital vs film and brings up an important point that, "...documentary photography and photojournalism are based on perception, not on technology...[but] in journalism the delivery is vital."

All images: James Nachtwey. From top: Romania, 1990 - An orphanage for " incurables";South Africa, 1992 - Xhosa young men in rite of passage; Afghanistan, 1996 - Mourning a brother killed by a Taliban rocket.

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