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Crimea: Where War Photography Was Born | LIFE.com


With the great historical crossroads Crimea now very much back in the news — as Russian troops tighten their hold on the Ukrainian peninsula and the United States and its allies threaten to “isolate” Russia over the escalating crisis — LIFE.com takes a look back at another, long-ago conflict in the region through a singular lens: namely, that of the very earliest war photography.[MORE: “4 Reasons Putin Is Already Losing in Ukraine.”]The Crimean War of the 1850s, after all, was arguably where the genre was born, with British photographers like Roger Fenton 1819 – 1869 and James Robertson 1813 – 1888, the Italian-British Felice Beato 1832 – 1909 and the Austro-Hungarian Carol Szathmari 1812 – 1887 making what most historians consider the very first photographs of a major military conflict. Their pictures might lack the often-brutal drama of modern war photography, but they nevertheless serve as compelling documentation of the look and, in a sense, the logistics of mid-19th century warfare. Within a few years, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and others would document the American Civil War more thoroughly and graphically than Fenton, Robertson, Beato or any others managed in Crimea — a clear indication of how rapidly photography took hold as a critical method of reportage.

 

Valley of the Shadow of Death, c 1855.

Crimea: Where War Photography Was Born | LIFE.com.


Lunes, 17 de marzo de 2014 Sin comentarios