War Photography research – Liz Wells

For a Contexts of Practise task, we are looking into war photography. I have looked at Liz Wells, Photography, A Critical Introduction, to see how see feels about the practise. There wasn’t a lot of relevant information for what we are doing, but I did find the following information and quotes.

The first photographer to go to war was Roger Fenton. Roger Fenton was sent to photograph the Crimean War. His images showed scenes of calm and disciplined order. These images were seen as more truthful than the work of an artist or illustrator, as these people could have added things that weren’t there.

‘One major factor in the development of photography around the world was the desire to record wars. Even today most people’s understanding of the nature of war comes form photographic images rather than literary accounts.’

Liz Wells, Photography, A Critical Introduction, fourth edition, page 86

‘We should remember that war reporting, like other kinds of reportage, has depended historically on the ability of the photographer to bear witness to the action taking place.

Liz Wells, Photography, A Critical Introduction, fourth edition, page 89

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