The Photography of War: Then and Now

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Mathew Brady/NARA, via The Atlantic

The Vietnam War is often credited as the first conflict that was actually brought into the homes of American civilians. Graphic television reports, blooding images on black-and-white televisions…a lot has changed about the way we cover the war.

But this series in The Atlantic captured my attention and pointed it to the first American war where photographic images were even captured. Made me realize how, even though photography has changed, and war has changed, the images of war haven’t really changed at all.

Click through the photo tabs above and compare these photos–from the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Record Administration–of the Civil War to the photos you see everywhere in modern conflicts, in the Middle East, for example. The clothing is different, the technical details might have changed, but besides those peripherals, the photographs of war are fundamentally the same.

Erie as all hell. Is this a commentary on our human approach to photographing conflict? or is this a commentary on war? Neither or both?

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**Update/Aside: Come watch us work. Mark your calendars to join us LIVE online on Wednesday, February 29th. We’re broadcasting a LIVE, interactive fashion shoot with the legendary $150,000 Phantom cinema capturing 1000 frames or more per second in HD resolution. Details are here, attendance is free. Tune in.

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