Thursday, June 23, 2011

"The Shot That Almost Killed Me"...

Last Saturday, the British Guardian newspaper ran a terrific story, which my friend Deborah Mauro just to me. It's called "The Shot that Almost killed Me." Seventeen photojournalists tell the tales about their most harrowing experiences. If you ever wanted to know what's it's like to be a war photographer, this is it. Below are a few of excerpts. Go here for the complete piece.


"I'd been in Afghanistan a month when I stepped on a landmine. I was the third man in, and as I put my foot down I heard a mechanic click and I was thrown in the air. I knew exactly what had happened. As the soldiers dragged me away from the kill zone, I took these pictures....I had to keep working."
--Joao Silva, Afghanistan, October 2010


"The situation was very tense--people were drunk and aggressive. I was with two other photographers most of the time, but at this moment I went back to the road alone. I saw three soldiers smoking, playing with their guns, and I felt safe--I don't know why. Then I saw a man with a knife in his mouth, coming out of the bush. He was holding up a hand like a trophy. The soldiers started laughing and firing in the air. I didn't think about it and started shooting." --Alvaro Ybarra Zavala, Congo, 2008


"I got into Ajdabiya shortly after it's fall. The rebels had just moved in and the locals were going crazy, shooting in the air. Bodies of pro-Qadaffi were lying around, beginning to stink as the sun got higher. The fire from the tank was incredibly strong and I was worried that it might explode at any moment. Suddenly this guy jumped up on it....I had wanted to capture that sense of release that everyone had, and suddenly this became the shot. I got as close as possible, within meters, and started shooting, counting to five in my head. Then I got out. I had corpses, torn apart, in the morgue, and I didn't want to end up like that." --Mads Nissen, Libya, February 2011

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