Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Read: "A Soldier’s Portfolio: this is our war: servicemen’s photographs of life in Iraq" edited by Devin Friedman

Read: A Soldier's Portfolio: this is our war: servicemen's photographs of life in Iraq, edited by Devin Friedman, 2006, 157965309X.

Very good book. But, to nitpick, there are photos from Kuwait and even from the U.S. (a gal's 'sexy' shots to her boyfriend.)

This started as a photo essay for GQ with submissions sent in from servicemen to the magazine. Editor Friedman was on assignment in Iraq and realized how many thousands and thousands of great photos showing "what it's like" for servicemen there. GQ had so many photos submitted they did a book.

Some photos are by Army and Navy journalists but most shots are just snaps. Some of the photographers are seriously into photography as a hobby, and some people just wanted mementos and photos to e-mail home.

There some funny photos with a Navy Lieutenant at sea and floating in a massive metal container filled up with cold water and beer during a "steel beach party" on an aircraft carrier. Another, from August, 2004, is a shot of a hundred or so topless soldiers gathered in front of a beer commercial model, taking her picture, and waiting for an autographed photo.

The sad shots are the memorial services and the story by a dad from AR whose son was based at Camp Anaconda at the same time he was. The son would visit his dad's quarters in the evenings for two or three hours they'd "just talk and talk". The dad's unit stayed in Iraq when the son went home. Dad was wakened by a commanding officer and told he had to call home; his son was killed by a drunk driver while driving home.

No comments: