James Nachtwey

Rwanda, 1994 - Survivor of Hutu death camp

© All images shown are under explicit copyright protection and are taken from site www.jamesnachtwey.com

James Nachtwey is one of the most important documentary photographers to this day. He has covered a great number of political and social conflicts throughout the world.

Nachtwey photographs under the maxim, to be as close as possible to his subject. As I had explained it with Robert Capa, he avoids tele-zooms and goes for wide angles, following the golden rule: “If your pictures aren’t good enough you are simply not close enough.” His style of working changed over the decades. In the 80s, he followed the idea of taking archetypical single pictures that manage to show a complex problem in a single image. Nowadays he works more in photographic series. Though he says he still prefers analogue to digital photography, just like most journalists he is put under more time pressure for his jobs, which often forces him to go digital. But Nachtway underlines the high importance of a trained eye compared to technique: “documentary photography and photojournalism are based on perception, not on technology.”

All left for me to say is, that you should absolutely see his portfolio on his website, for it is one of the finest collections I have ever seen from all over the world.


Romania, 1990 - An orphanage for " incurables"
New York, 2001 - Searching for survivors

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