Infidel – Tim Hetherington

So now I am approaching my final year at university and this means that I now should be thinking about my research task, at the moment I have been looking into areas in which my interest is strong and feel that I can take further, a lot of the bodies of work I have been drawn to lately are simplistic documentary pieces what I like to see as honest portrayals, honest being the key word and the idea I am thinking about looking into. One example of this sort of work is Infidel a book containing images photographed by Tim Hetherington , I have briefly talked about his work before but after thinking about my research project I thought I would look in a little more detail at the book.

 

I bought this book about 9 months ago as a follow up to seeing a related film titled Restrepo which was made by Hetherington and writer Sebastian Junger the book and the film are both documentary pieces that show the day to day lives of the soldiers of 503 Infantry Regiment & 173 Airborne whilst on a years deployment to the Korengal Valley Afghanistan, the film is named after a medic who lost his life and whose death subsequently lead to the establishing of  Operating Base Restrepo where most of the film and photographs are shot from.

So above is one of the main images taken from the book throughout the book there are prints alongside the photographs of the tattoos of the soldiers in the case of this photograph the tattoo on the chest of the soldier was used for the title of the book, for me this book is a perfect example of a succesful body of documentary work  through the book the images vary from photographs of sleeping soldiers, combat scenes to breathtaking landscape images but despite the varying types of images for me the photographs all communicate the same idea of honesty of the situation in which the photographs are shot, for example looking at the image below which shows one soldier tending to a wounded soldier and taking into account the others in the book from a scene like this one to a photograph of the men in their downtime there is an overriding sense of Tim Hetherington trying to say this is what it is instead of trying to create an image these photographs are purely made from being in a place and documenting what unfolds without becoming part of the situation once again going back to trying to create an honest portrayal .

So as examples go of documentary photography I think this is up there with the best of it below I have added a short video of an interview with Tim Hetherington about the launch of the book in 2010

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