This is a photography film worth watching. Franco Pagetti speaking about his work in Afghanistan. He shows actual prints and breaks down the importance of each. This shows skill in editing and skill in knowing what images have actual resonance. Basically, the opposite of much of the online photography world. Hipsters don’t go to the Korengal Valley. Plain and simple. Each time I see a subpar photographer being hyped, which is a daily occurrence now, I think of someone like Franco. Knowing these people are out there, taking major risks to bring back the reality of war, it makes me feel like there is still hope in the world. It makes me feel like, at some distant point, the world will tire of the hype and bullshit and will, once again, return for the lean protein while turning our back on empty calories. (Not anytime soon.)
To be stationed in the valley meant long patrols, extreme danger and nonstop daily attacks. High elevation and high drama. The legendary film Restrepo was made in this location. To get good at photography requires a level of commitment that most people won’t agree to. It’s that simple. Getting good at conflict photography takes this requirement and ups the degree of difficulty exponentially. Have a look, have a listen.
I have a few of Pagetti’s prints. They share wall space with Hetherington, Hondros, Nachetwey, Addario, Gilbertson and a few others. Addario had an exhibit recently in NYC. All big prints. 30×40, 40×60, all in color except for 2. Truly amazing and awe inspiring body of work. The level of commitment is not just life threatening but soul threatening as well. I don’t think everyone understands that part of it.
This was a great intro to Pagetti. He gave a great talk through Magnum awhile back that was just as fascinating. Restrepo is an amazing film as well. Sebastian Junger, who made the film with Tim, has another great one called Korengal. He also did a biography on Tim, Which Way is the Front Line From Here?, which is well worth a watch as well. Tim’s video diary, which I think you’ve probably seen, should be watched by everyone wanting to do this job. It’s on Vimeo.
Dude, you are not messing around. So YOU are the guy who buys PJ prints….I knew you were out there somewhere. I loved Tim’s diary. Saw it at Aperture in NYC. they had it playing in a small room all by itself. So crude but so much better than 99% of what I see.
Very interesting, thanks for sharing that.
That’s a very strong short film about documenting war. The Iraq pictures really hit me. And the last story about the curtains too. Damn you. Thanks for sharing.
This is indeed what’s photography about. Not about how telegraph poles look like on medium format versus 135.
Yes, an actual working photographer. The thing that nobody in the online world seems to know or care about.
Just want to mention “War Photographer” by Christian Frei. Jim is just the best to ever do it…He just put everything in it. Almost every war there was…
That’s a great film. Jim is a friend of a friend, so have had a few chances to hang with the guy. Nothing serious, but always interesting.
War Photographer is my favorite. Such a great insight into watching him work and the camera on his shutter finger… just gold.
That was so cutting edge at the time.
i guess i can’t reply to your reply but, yes, i’m that guy. 😉 it’s work i understand and work that moves me. they are the reason i picked up a camera in the first place. most of the prints have come from magnum or VII depending on who is getting rep’d where at any given time. magnum usually offers some great ones during their print sales.
i still owe you a phone call but life has me by the short hairs again and things have been a bit overwhelming. i’ll try this week though.
I had COVID, broke my ribs, got a concussion and followed with stomach bug.
A most EXCELLENT blog entry, sir! It was very compelling and instructive.