2.15.10 "Covering Calamity"

These photos, taken by Roger Fenton and Felice Beato respectively, provide examples of early attempts to capture journalistic images of their time.
Fenton was a pioneering British photographer who, backed by a number of wealthy individuals, captured photos of the Crimean War and provided some of the first images surrounding battle. While he never photographed a dead body, he did establish the descriptive stylistic basis for photographers who covered the American Civil War. The top image, taken in 1856, shows a general conversing with one of his staff officers.
Beato, an Italian-British photographer, did similar groundbreaking work in journalism, covering war and providing some of the first images from East Asia. The latter image, taken in the 1870's depicts three men carrying a woman in a kago in Japan.
Fenton and Beato provided much of the basis for photojournalism today, but many differences have emerged throughout the last century and a half. Growth in technology now allows photographers the opportunity to capture instantaneous motion without fear of danger; our images of modern war are much more intimate. In addition, modern photojournalists often adopt more artistic approaches, incorporating aesthetic principles in their subject matter rather than simply capturing reality.

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