Thread: James Nachtwey
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Old 10-28-2004, 06:46 PM
Luko Luko is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,969
Default Nachtwey, the philantropist (1)

Sorhab and Maciek,

I suspect you're not familiar enough with other photographers work, in my example I deliberately chose Salgado & McCullin as opposed to Nachtwey why?
- Salgado also shoots difficult human causes, however and thanks to his economist background he advocates these causes with the help of a consistent message which I do not read in Nachtwey's work.
- Don MacCullin was the big name amongst war photographers a long time before Nachtwey. At some time, his manhood took over his photographying side, he decided he could not shoot these scenes anymore and went away. He now shoots landscapes or charities, an old coward or more wisdom would you think?

Photographers are human beings, photographies are things, can you feel the difference? We all have seen the most terrible Auschwitz photos, though no one of us could remember their photographers, it doesn't matter though.
Some photos are there to remind us facts: they're reporting reality and they don't need to be arty or whatsoever, anyone can take them it needs to be there.
"Photographers" such as Magnum's seldom make such photos, they're more to let us feel in depth stories in the long term, make us understand and thus will avoid immediate shock photos. (That's where I think Maciek, you sometimes mismatched the reporter and the photographer, you need to understand what his going on).

I think you have to cool down on what you think photography is. If you REALLY want to make your living out of it I'd suggest you take marriage photography, this is the shortest way to it.

You can also ask yourself what Nachtwey brought to photography :
- did he bring a new view to photography? I would be tempted to say no, it's a mix of different Magnum photographers with no distinctive touch. You can recognize Salgado, Towell, HCB, McCullin, Depardon and many others at first look. I can't with Nachtwey except that his shots would be more "extreme" : more blood, more torn limbs, more dead people... The thing in fact I don't like with him is that he started a sort of rat race, a competition or a circus in PJ to who'll be the grungiest goriest...
- I've read somewhere the word "cause" associated with Nachtwey, can one of you elaborate in more than 3 lines in a sort that I don't LOL at you...
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