Combat photography is a difficult, heart-wrenching job, but the work of depicting images of conflict is very important to our world. Reporters in the field can talk about buildings destroyed or bombs fired, but nothing drives home the message of what war actually is like a picture of the action itself. Unfortunately, there are far too many times or regions of the world where this work is taking place.
Sometimes, you never get a chance to meet the person taking pictures behind the lens, putting himself in harm’s way just to document the truth. In return, the world is left with a snapshot of a moment in time in some of the world’s tensest situations. A soldier running, a car on fire or a bullet-riddled flag can create indelible images that stay with a person well after they put the newspaper down.
Some of these combat photographers are grizzled veterans who have seen action in many combat theaters, including recent ones that have formed all over the Middle East. One such professional is Goran Tomasevic, a Reuters photographer who was recently profiled in this article from The Washington Post. If you’ve seen any war photos from recent conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria, it’s likely that you’ve seen his work. Tomasevic has been covering wars since 1996, and his work is so renowned that you can find some on display at a Fall 2013 exhibit in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.
These images can do many things to a viewer. Some may be shocked by the raw nature of the images; many newspapers spend a lot of deliberation on war photos, deciding whether they’re too graphic for a readership. Sometimes they can be heartwarming when we see people in strife helping others who need it most. However, these images are largely educational, as they show us exactly what war is without any filter.
Masserman Photography knows that it’s important to document our tragedies. Without a good record of human history, we may be doomed to repeat a lot of awful mistakes. We’d like to salute combat photographers all over the world for the good work that they do in bringing conflicts from across the world onto the front pages of our newspapers for all to see.