Portraits of War

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Deciding to be a war photographer seems to me to be the equivalent of deciding to opt for an early death.

Robert Capa, Tim Page and Larry Burrows are among those killed by conflict. Tim Hethrington is the latest in this tragic and distinguished line.

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It always amazes me that people who spend much of their time in fear of their lives manage to have the courage and self-control to make sure they’re also taking a perfectly composed and exposed image of what they are going through, let alone managing to create a singular body of work.

Hethrington had managed to do just this.

Though it is interesting to note that some of his pictures were not action shots of men in the heat of battle but simple portraits of men posing with hand grenades or asleep in their bunks, through which the vulnerability of men in battle is still vividly seen.

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In the documentary ‘McCullin’, legendary war photographer Don McCullin states that it’s best to always be ‘on the side of humanity’. It’s clear that Hethrington in his war images had taken this advice to heart

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