‘Covering war is perilous for anyone, but photographers are more exposed’

New York Times
New York Times executive editor Bill Keller explains why:

They need a sustained line of sight to frame their photographs; a reliable source is never enough. And they cannot avert their eyes; they have to let the images in, no matter how searing or disturbing. Robert Capa’s famous advice to younger photographers — “Get closer” — translates in combat to “get more vulnerable,” both literally and emotionally.

He asks: “Why do they do this crazy work?” The editor’s answer: “They do it for the most mundane of reasons (to feed their families) and the most idealistic (to make the world pay attention) and the most visceral (it is exhilarating; it is fun) and the somewhat existential.”

> Keller talks to war photographers Silva and Marinovich
> Dec. 2010: New York Times hires injured photographer Silva

We have made it easy to comment on posts, however we require civility and encourage full names to that end (first initial, last name is OK). Please read our guidelines here before commenting.