Roger Fenton: 1819-69

  • Crimean War
  • Under contract from the British museum
  • Used a large format camera
  • Prints would be quite large up to 14x17inches.
  • Printed on glass negatives.
  • Carried with him what could be described as a portable darkroom
  • There is a possibility that one of his photos Valley Of The Shadow Of Death could have been staged.
  • Was born into a wealthy family
  • Studied at the University College, London
  • Was part of a photography club with 11 other photographers
  • Took photos of the royal family
  • Also was able to draw and took his sketch pad to the Crimea
  • Exposures would be around 3-20secs in good weather
  • Groups would have to be arranged to avoid movement. – Is this really documenting?
  • The photos were taken on albumen-on-glass
  • After feeling ill and depressed (from watching friend die) for some time he left the war. He sold his equipment for £35. This happened in June 1855
  • He wasn’t able to sell his photos as no one wanted to be reminded of the war so no photos were sold.
  • At the end of 1855 he went back to the Crimea at stayed for 4 months
  • Did not just take photos of the war. For example taking photos in the British museum of classical sculpture. He was the first photographer allowed to photograph  the British Museum.
  • In 1962 he seemed to be very well known but at this point he announced he would retire form photography some speculated it was because he did not see it going any further due to his fading prints. He sold all his equipment even some of his larger negatives.
  • Founded the Royal Photographic Society.
  • In 1969 he died due to illness

Larry Burrows: 1926-71

  • Vietnam war
  • He started his photographic career as a darkroom assistant at Keystone Photographic Agency
  • Around 16 years old he got a job at LIFE
  • Travelled anywhere with LIFE magazine.
  • Would try to get right in on the action.
  • Main worked in South East Asia from 1962 until 1971 when he died there
  • Did a front page article for LIFE called  “We Wade Deeper Into Jungle War” and Burrows documented it with 12 photos
  • Created a photoessay called “One Ride with Yankee Papa 13” in 65
  • Died at war in Vietnam along with three other photojournalists in a helicopter.
  • He wanted to see the war through and hope it would have been peaceful.

Don Mc Cullin: 1935 – present

  • Recognised as the greatest war photographers
  • Doesn’t want to be known, remember or classified as a war photographer, would rather be known as just a photographer he feels like he is a photographer who has taken photos of war.
  • Art scholarship at Hammersmith School of Art and Crafts and Building but gave it up at 14 due to his father’s death
  • From the age of 29 he did his national service with the RAF as a photographer.
  • Known as a war junkie 14 years of documenting wars- he kept going to document more and more
  • He said it became too addictive and stopped after not being able to bare seeing the sights he saw.
  • Took photos of Berlin war 1961 and industrial England
  • Considers photography more of a science than art
  • The series that are horrific: Congo, Vietnam, The Homeless, Derry Northern Ireland 1970s, Cambodia, Bangladesh,
  • The series that aren’t as horrific: Upriver he has even photograph the Beetles.
  • A lot of his photos picture horrific scenes of dead people, or people crying over dead family members. He captured the hurt that war creates
  • His photographs of friends got him an assignment for the Observer as these were one side of a gang fight where a police man died so he gave them to the Observer who wanted him to take more photos for them
  • He never like any of the pictures and some he is even ashamed of.
  • He has escaped death many a times – one time his camera was hit with the bullet of an AK47
  • He prefers his pictures of his landscapes especially Hadrian’s Wall, which is on the cover of ‘Open Skies’
  • Worked for the Sunday Times.

“I tried to make myself unimportant in the eyes of such people” “I tried to let their eyes be my eyes”

“The landscape became a process of healing, so I could forget about the process of war”

“Photography isn’t looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”

“you dont take photographs because you’re a machine-like person and you have been shown how to use a camera, you do it with your soul.”

“i like the idea of showing damage because war is not  a creative situation”

Paul Seawright: 1965 – present

  • Northern Ireland
  • Irish photographer
  • Tutored by Martin Parr
  • Photos enable us to find new ways to visualise war “We’re too use to seeing a picture of a dead man in the street” “my work is about the narrative beyond the frame”
  • Was the official (commissioned) war artist for Afghanistan for the Imperial War Museum, captured the aftermath of war
  • Pictures don’t have dying/dead people or tanks – things we associate with war this is why IWM chose him – they don’t need to copy the media
  • He grew up around war, West Belfast in the 70s
  • His father took a lot of photos of the family
  • When documenting Afghanistan he doesn’t have the same connection to it as Ireland
  • He feels you don’t have to show a literal representation of war and how it effects people, his photos are a representation of what war does
  • A war artist depicts how it shapes are life
  • Similarly to Fenton photographed the landscapes around the war zone.

My theme is artist:

What is an artist?

How do these photographers relate to art?

War used to be painted, which in some ways relates more to art than photography. Photography documents what we can see. – Paul Nash


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