Occasional Images

17 Sep 2009 268 views
 
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photoblog image Danger Photographer at Work

Danger Photographer at Work


The American Civil War was perhaps the fourth war in history to be covered by camera, and one of the bloodiest.

Photography profoundly changed the way wars were covered and viewed. Any grandeur and sweetness of an aftermath of a victorious battle, which was once up to a painter to portray, all of a sudden became objective. Losing its subjectivity, the true terror of war could not be hidden any more. Americans for the first time saw the vividly horrific photographs of maimed and dying fellow Americans in agony slowly withering away on a battlefield far away from their homes. Astonishment and shock -- not toward the cruelty of war as much as to the newly innovated barbaric weapons of war -- left Americans bewildered.

As newspapers did not yet have the technology or equipment for making half-tone blocks, magazines across the land published cadaverous pictorial representations of the worst of humanity. Those scenes of pillage and shame were captured by men like George Brady and many more.

In the truest aspect of any conflict the winners did get to write the most of the history and the majority of known photographers were from the North. 

Many photographs were taken by Southerners but many of them were lost in history. The Photographic History of the Civil War (It is quite big and boring but there are some interesting early photographs) might better explain:

The natural disappointment in the South at the end of the war was such that photographers were forced to destroy all negatives, just as owners destroyed all the objects that might serve as souvenirs or relics of the terrible struggle, thinking for the moment at least, that they could not bear the strain of brooding over the tragedy.
So what would be more natural for the American Civil War Society to have a photographer on it's battle roster, working for the North of course.

That is the last of the ACW images for now but if you need more then they can be found on my
Flick Slide show here.


Danger Photographer at Work


The American Civil War was perhaps the fourth war in history to be covered by camera, and one of the bloodiest.

Photography profoundly changed the way wars were covered and viewed. Any grandeur and sweetness of an aftermath of a victorious battle, which was once up to a painter to portray, all of a sudden became objective. Losing its subjectivity, the true terror of war could not be hidden any more. Americans for the first time saw the vividly horrific photographs of maimed and dying fellow Americans in agony slowly withering away on a battlefield far away from their homes. Astonishment and shock -- not toward the cruelty of war as much as to the newly innovated barbaric weapons of war -- left Americans bewildered.

As newspapers did not yet have the technology or equipment for making half-tone blocks, magazines across the land published cadaverous pictorial representations of the worst of humanity. Those scenes of pillage and shame were captured by men like George Brady and many more.

In the truest aspect of any conflict the winners did get to write the most of the history and the majority of known photographers were from the North. 

Many photographs were taken by Southerners but many of them were lost in history. The Photographic History of the Civil War (It is quite big and boring but there are some interesting early photographs) might better explain:

The natural disappointment in the South at the end of the war was such that photographers were forced to destroy all negatives, just as owners destroyed all the objects that might serve as souvenirs or relics of the terrible struggle, thinking for the moment at least, that they could not bear the strain of brooding over the tragedy.
So what would be more natural for the American Civil War Society to have a photographer on it's battle roster, working for the North of course.

That is the last of the ACW images for now but if you need more then they can be found on my
Flick Slide show here.


comments (7)

  • Alan Rolfe
  • Scottsdale, Arizona
  • 17 Sep 2009, 03:54
A fascinating subject and a good image; looks like the photographer found it boring, too!
Les Auld: Gathering his strength for the forthcoming battle Alan, thanks for the comment.
  • zed
  • Australia
  • 17 Sep 2009, 05:02
Love the pp Les, gives it a real authentic feel
Les Auld: Thanks Zed, just the effcet I was working towards.
  • Chris
  • England
  • 17 Sep 2009, 07:30
This is a fantastic image Les. I've read about the civil war - there was a very good TV series (American) on a few years ago. I never realised how bloody it all was until I saw that
Les Auld: Thanks Chris, the forerunner of modern war some would have it.
Superb image Les...Now this one really does look authentic. 10/10.
Les Auld: Thanks Ron, I was trying for an old fashioned look.
So obesity in America wasn't just a 20th century phenomena.

richard
Les Auld: Somehow I doubt they carry the realism that far, thanks for the comment Richard.
One of the few decent American documentaries i have ever seen was about the civil war and it ran on the History channel a year or two back. I had never appreciated just quite how bloody an affair it was. This picture is a gem Les
Les Auld: The forerunner of modern war Bill, thanks for the comment.
This is a great picture les, not a hint of anything modern about it.
Les Auld: Thanks Brian smile

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