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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Urban Life & Travel Talk 
Thread started 19 Jun 2011 (Sunday) 18:55
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What do I have to do to become a war/news photographer?

 
x_tan
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Jul 13, 2011 21:21 |  #76

Agrees, Dave & Alan

Also, that is why the kids never ask their parents for advice ;)


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cptrios
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Jul 19, 2011 01:42 |  #77

I realize OP has been banned, but in case he's reading this...

Someone earlier mentioned the Peace Corps. Does Canada have something similar? Because that'd be the absolute best option for you. Go somewhere to (try to) do some good, get a feel for how to deal with locals and make connections in a developing country, and spend as much time as possible taking pictures. You'd learn a lot of things that'd be useful for the type of photographer you want to be.

A less effective, but still decent option would be to do something Peace-Corpsy with a private organization. Hell, even one of those "build a school in Mali" trips that yuppie kids do pad their resumes/extracurricula​rs/self-esteems would be good. Just beware that those'll involve a big financial investment on your part.

You could also just pick up and go to a developing country. Southeast Asia would be a good option. Vietnam and Lao are pretty safe, but you can get into plenty of trouble if you're not careful. Which makes them sort of perfect places to cut your teeth, I'd think.


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djentley
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Jul 19, 2011 02:54 |  #78

cptrios wrote in post #12783889 (external link)
I realize OP has been banned, but in case he's reading this...

Someone earlier mentioned the Peace Corps. Does Canada have something similar? Because that'd be the absolute best option for you. Go somewhere to (try to) do some good, get a feel for how to deal with locals and make connections in a developing country, and spend as much time as possible taking pictures. You'd learn a lot of things that'd be useful for the type of photographer you want to be.

A less effective, but still decent option would be to do something Peace-Corpsy with a private organization. Hell, even one of those "build a school in Mali" trips that yuppie kids do pad their resumes/extracurricula​rs/self-esteems would be good. Just beware that those'll involve a big financial investment on your part.

You could also just pick up and go to a developing country. Southeast Asia would be a good option. Vietnam and Lao are pretty safe, but you can get into plenty of trouble if you're not careful. Which makes them sort of perfect places to cut your teeth, I'd think.

I'd warn that you should not do a for-profit development-volunteer-etc. thing, as there are questionable to scam like businesses charging huge sums for limited exposure and little benefit to the locals. I recall one was directing volunteers to a home where children were neglected and 0.001% of money paid ever went near them, paying anything above board and a small contribution is usually a money making scheme for corrupt people somewhere along the line.

Often just being there will allow you to judge the quality of an NGO, volunteer, etc. position and allow you to find and judge places that do benefit from your being there. Being 18, I was going to volunteer at Wat Opot in Takeo, Cambodia, however my father had serious health issues, so I'm hoping to go in the future.

Also, at this age you are conning yourself if you believe you have any spectacular ability for photojournalism; I can hit a few good pictures every so often, but mostly they are average pictures that I value for the memories. A pro-photo-journalist needs to capture the mood almost every single time.


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Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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Jul 25, 2011 15:03 |  #79

Hey lads, I started a similiar thread a while back but this one seems to be a bit more lively.

I have been interested in war photography for a long time. As long as I can remember since I had a morbid fascination with WWI and WW2.

My family is Hungarian and I was introduced to the great photos of Robert Capa at an early age. Seems like the irony of fate that I was born in Sweden the most peaceful country on earth (it feels like).

I did my basic training in the army after I was drafted, realised the army wasn't my thing and did not pursue it any further. Since then I have read as many books and biographies about war photographers as possible. Tim Hetherington, Joao Silva, Robert Capa and Nachtwey heck the list goes on...

My current goalset is to start my three year education in photojournalism that I was accepted to, starting this September. My best friend is from Nigeria and I have loose plans going there on a self funded trip to document the fighting between muslims and christians in the northern part, this has been pusehd twice because of finance and family issues on both of our sides.

This saturday I got my first baptism of fire when I heard a shot and rushed towards it. Oh and this idiot only brought a wide angle!! XD

You can find the photos here. (The kick of adrenalin was unreal, beats any drugs I have ever tried. Try writing on a smartphone when your hands are shaking)

http://www.flickr.com/​photos/65615397@N08/ (external link)


Lots of old stuff but hey I am a student
Photojournalist in Johannesburg.

  
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The ­ Shaheen
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Jul 26, 2011 10:02 as a reply to  @ Bang Bang Boy's post |  #80

Wide lens choice might be ok, at least it forced you to get closer to action... Something you would have to do at war scenes...

Have a look at some of Chris Hendros stuff in his last days in Libya.. I think he had a 5D and 24-105mm for these... Didn't seem to use his 70-200mm much...

I would be interested in any links or courses that you got so far, if you have any..


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Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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Jul 26, 2011 10:41 |  #81

It's a Swedish college, I know the danes are really good aswell. Won't really help with a link since it will be in swedish...?

And yeah I am familiar with Hendros work, great shots. Violence only looks good up close I suppose. Thinking of selling the 70-200mm for a 24-70/24-105.


Lots of old stuff but hey I am a student
Photojournalist in Johannesburg.

  
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Ingerson"PCD"
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Aug 29, 2011 00:49 as a reply to  @ Bang Bang Boy's post |  #82

Joining the Army might not get you "as close" as you think you need to be. What it will do is get you experience and knowledgable about world travel. Both of which will come in handy. I will say be careful what you wish for. It isn't just running at a crouch, getting the shot and then showing off your great picture in a magazine. There is risk. Not just your own personal risk, but risk to those around you because you are their liability.

I have been a United States Marine for 21 years. I've seen plenty of photographers in the field. Their life attached to us is not fun either. Good luck, and have fun shooting. I hope you decide to shoot a different style of photography.

Eric


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Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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Aug 02, 2012 18:56 |  #83

Alas I am here a year later. Batteries charging and a backpack filled with freezedried food, underwear and memory cards. Leaving on monday for my first conflict, scared ****less but looking forward to it.

Learnt so incredibly much the last year that I laugh at my previous comments in this thread. Real gearhead and flowerphotographer. Anyways for those wondering it all comes down to having the money and a strong faith in your dreams.


Lots of old stuff but hey I am a student
Photojournalist in Johannesburg.

  
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The ­ Shaheen
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Aug 03, 2012 11:53 |  #84

Bang Bang Boy wrote in post #14806592 (external link)
Alas I am here a year later. Batteries charging and a backpack filled with freezedried food, underwear and memory cards. Leaving on monday for my first conflict, scared ****less but looking forward to it.

Learnt so incredibly much the last year that I laugh at my previous comments in this thread. Real gearhead and flowerphotographer. Anyways for those wondering it all comes down to having the money and a strong faith in your dreams.

Really happy for you... You are determined..

Can you give us some indication about the important things that you learnt in the past year... Go on make a long list...

I am certainly looking forward to reading every bit of it..

PS: I hope you are not heading for Syria....


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RPCrowe
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Aug 05, 2012 20:57 |  #85

I spent about twenty-six months in-country Vietnam as a Navy combat cameraman. I shot all phases of Navy and Marine Corps activities as well as a lot of coverage of the Vietnamese Navy.

However, the vast majority of Military photographers never have the opportunity to shoot actual combat. Grip and grin medal presentations and broken parts documentation is their daily chore...


See my images at http://rpcrowe.smugmug​.com/ (external link)

  
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Bang ­ Bang ­ Boy
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Aug 06, 2012 10:22 as a reply to  @ RPCrowe's post |  #86

Gear doesn't matter, most places like papers etc give you gear to use. As long as you know the essentials of a camera you're good.
The end product is what matters. Your view of a good product might not be the same as the one that hired you.

Be determined to do what you wan't, money matters and is everything. Either you need it or you have to spend it. To get money you need contacts, I am not saying that I have suceeded here just that I have learned it. Contacts get you jobs and contacts help you meet other contacts. From making a picture editors daughter get a crush on you to chugging down litres of beer with acknowledged photographers.

Make friends and use social media to make more friends, make an impression.

I am making a move to get into Syria.


Lots of old stuff but hey I am a student
Photojournalist in Johannesburg.

  
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The ­ Shaheen
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Aug 07, 2012 11:55 |  #87

RPCrowe wrote in post #14819048 (external link)
I spent about twenty-six months in-country Vietnam as a Navy combat cameraman. I shot all phases of Navy and Marine Corps activities as well as a lot of coverage of the Vietnamese Navy.

However, the vast majority of Military photographers never have the opportunity to shoot actual combat. Grip and grin medal presentations and broken parts documentation is their daily chore...

I don't know if it existed during Vietnam, but that seems to apply mainly to ' Embedded' photographers..

Most Western armies (esp. US, UK, Israel etc) to my knowledge, give their 'embeddeds' a nice merry-go round, only letting them taking pictures of 'Safe' stuff.. Us learn that after Vietnam, UK after Falklands and Israel after the last Lebanon 'trip..

These days most war photographers are freelance.. The problem is, everyone from both sides will probably shoot at you..

Just Google 'Aleppo, photos, and you will see some amazing bloody warfare pictures from freelance photographers... One example is 'Bulent Kilic' a Turkish photographer working for Getty/ASP.. that i looked at recently..


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What do I have to do to become a war/news photographer?
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