War photography is also called as war porn. People like to see bloody body parts, shocked expressions. The cloud of smoke and burning vehicles. While in the safety and comfort of their homes.
But what about the photographer? Some of the famous photographers talk about their famous photographs.
One day I'm going to do this. Capture the moment. That's going to be fun. Once you both go to university and then I can go potter around in a war zone or a disaster zone.
The Shot That Nearly Killed Me [longform.org]
Adam Ferguson, Afghanistan, 2009Adam Ferguson: ‘As a photographer, you feel helpless. Around you are medics, security personnel, people doing good work. It can be agonisingly painful to think that all you’re doing is taking pictures.’ Photograph: Adam Ferguson/VII Network
I was one of the first on the scene. The Afghan security forces normally shut down a suicide bombing like this pretty quickly. I was able to get to the epicentre of the explosion. It was carnage, there were bodies, flames were coming out of the buildings. I remember feeling very scared because there was still popping and hissing and small explosions, and the building was collapsing. It was still very fresh and there was a risk of another bomb. It was one of those situations where you have to put fear aside and focus on the job at hand: to watch the situation and document it.
This woman was escorted out of the building and round this devastated street corner. It epitomised the whole mood – this older woman caught in the middle of this ridiculous, tragic event. I wish I could have found out how her life unravelled, but as soon as the scene was locked down, I ran back to the office to file.
As a photographer, you feel helpless. Around you are medics, security personnel, people doing good work. It can be agonisingly painful to think that all you’re doing is taking pictures.
When I won a World Press award for this photograph, I felt sad. People were congratulating me and there was a celebration over this intense tragedy that I had captured. I reconciled it by deciding that more people see a story when a photographer’s work is decorated.