Carlos Orjuela Visits The Space

By now, Los Angelenos have seen the face of U.S. Marine Gysgt. Carlos “OJ” Orjuela all over the city. Louie Palu's powerful photo of Orjuela was part of our street banner campaign. The latter came in with his son for the final weekend of War/Photography. Read Palu's story behind the photograph here and our interview with Orjuela here.

Learn More About This Photo From WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY

Private First Class Wayne C. Weidner, assumed American, dates not known
Personnel of Battery B, 937th Field Artillery Battalion, US 8th Army, Attached to the IX US Corps, Fire Their Long Toms on Communist Targets in Support of Elements of the 25th US Infantry Division on the West Central Front, Near the Village of Nunema, Korea, 1951

This powerful photo from our upcoming War/Photography exhibit was taken by Private First Class Wayne Weidner during the Korean War. Want to know how the image was photographed? An excerpt from the accompanying 600-page exhibit catalogue, soon to be on sale the day the show opens on March 23, explains:

Another artillery photograph in this section was taken during the Korean War of personnel in Battery B, 937th Field Artillery Battalion, U.S. 8th Army, firing on Communist targets in support of the 25th U.S. Infantry Division near the village of Nunema, Korea (1951). The self-propelled guns seen in this photograph are artillery placed on a motorized chassis capable of rapid maneuver. “Fast-moving forces of armored infantry and tanks needed their artillery to keep pace with the advance,” wrote Jeffrey Hunt. “Weapons of this type could be brought into action very quickly and with devastating consequences for an enemy caught unprepared or above ground. And, as in this picture, the firing of heavy guns, whether on land or aboard ship, is a visually stunning spectacle.” Taken at night, the camera’s lens was held open until both guns had fired, illuminating the scene with explosions and the reflected light from the snow.

Click here to watch a preview of the exhibit.

Photos From The War/Photography Opening Gala

Last night was the opening party for our 11th exhibit, WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY. The show opens to the public on Saturday, March 23, 2013.

As you might expect, The show is very powerful and quite moving. It is a difficult yet very important subject matter.

It was also a great opportunity to see photographers whose images are featured in the exhibit get together with photographers from our past shows. Seen here are Barbara Davidson (2010 Pictures of the Year), Kirk McKoy (Los Angeles) and Nick Ut (WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY).

Two Pulitzer Prize winners whose work is in WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: David Hume Kennerly and Nick Ut.

Here is Beauty Culture featured photographer Lauren Greenfield with (and another Pulitzer Prize winner!) Barbara Davidson.

 Also in the crowd was actor and SHFT co-founder Adrian Grenier.

Around halfway through the event, attendees gathered in the Digital Gallery of the Space to view the original short documentary film. At the conlusion of the film, there were more than a few guests who were moved to tears.

Here's a shot of some of the photographers whose work is in WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: (From left to right) Carolyn Cole, Ashley Gilbertson, Nick Ut, Luis Sinco, Hayne Palmour IV and Edouard H.R. Glück.

The show opens to the public tomorrow, March 23 and runs through June 2, 2013.

Photos by Unique Nicole for the Space

Louie Palu: Behind The Photograph

© Louie Palu; U.S. Marine Gysgt. Carlos “OJ” Orjuela, age 31, Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from Project: Home Front (2008)

By Louie Palu

Louie Palu, Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2010

In the summer of 2008, I spent several months covering frontline fighting around the volatile districts west of the city of Kandahar in Afghanistan. By August I was preparing to move from an area under Canadian Army command in Kandahar to one in neighbouring Helmand Province where the United States Marines had been fighting. When I arrived at the Marine’s headquarters the public affairs officer asked me what I wanted to do. I asked her to send me to the combat outpost located in the worst area with the most austere conditions. I was told to meet a Marine at a tent on the flight path at Kandahar Airfield around midnight and they would take me on a C-130 military aircraft, then a helicopter followed by a heavily armed convoy (a journey totaling several days) and finally arriving in Garmsir District at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Apache North. As expected from my 2+ years covering the war, it was 120 degrees Farenheit everyday, 4-6 patrols per day, no running water or toilet and sand fleas biting me all night.

At 31, U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Orjuela was one of the oldest Marine’s in the unit at the FOB. Most of the Marines in the unit were just 21-years-old. The conditions were so rough there that for me what said the most about this place was the faces of these young men. Everyday I spent several hours talking to each Marine and getting to know them, sometimes it took several days to build a connection. When we returned to the FOB at the end of each patrol I took a Marine into an empty bunker where there was natural light and took some portraits of them for about 5-10 minutes. Carlos was the very first Marine I photographed for this body of work.

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath will show at the Annenberg Space for Photography through June 2, 2013. Learn more about Louie Palu on his official website.

Sal Veder On His Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photograph

Want to know the story behind how Pulitzer Prize winner Sal Veder took his famous powerful shot, Burst of Joy, back in 1973? Watch an interview of Veder talk about the moment he snapped the photo, which depicts POW United States Air Force Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm being reunited with his family at Travis Air Force Base in California.

See this photo as part of the WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography - on view now through June, 2, 2013.

Ron Haviv's Photos Documented The Yugoslav Wars

© Ron Haviv/VII

By Ron Haviv

In 1991, I covered the beginning of the end of Yugoslavia. By 1992 with new fighting brewing in Bosnia between everyday citizens both Muslim and Serb: I arrived in the town of Bijeljina where the restaurant owner was fighting the candlestick maker and so on and so on. After a few days of fighting the feared Serbian paramilitary leader known as Arkan arrived with his unit, the Tigers. He told me he had arrived to liberate the town from Muslim fundamentalists. I had taken a portrait of him that he liked during the previous war, so he allowed me to accompany one of his paramilitary units as they fought through the town.

After a few hours we arrived at a mosque. The Serb militia quickly tore down the Islamic flag and replaced it with a Serbian one. They then took one man prisoner almost immediately. I heard some shouting when I was inside and went out to the front of the mosque.

Across the street an unarmed middle-aged couple were standing against the wall. The woman began screaming and some shots rang out. Her husband fell to the ground. The soldiers were yelling at me not to photograph anything. It was chaotic, dangerous and obvious there was nothing I could do to change things. I had been in a similar situation before, and at that time had promised myself that if I wasn't able to stop an execution, I needed to make sure there was a photograph to document what was happening. I slowly backed away from the soldiers and tried to blend into the background near a crashed truck on the other side of the street. I was able to photograph several frames as the wife tried to help her husband, who lay dying. As I moved back towards the soldiers, more shots rang out and the woman fell to the ground too. Moments later, another woman was brought out and she too was shot.

Things quieted down for a bit until another prisoner was brought to the soldiers. A young boy in his teens: he was confused and terrified. He managed to break away from the soldiers and to the back of the mosque to escape but was unable to jump over the wall. He had no choice but to return and when he did they shot him. I knew I needed an image with the paramilitaries and the victims in the same frame. That way, there would be no doubt of what had happened.

The soldiers decided to bring the remaining prisoner back to their temporary headquarters. As most of them left, I stood in the middle of street, framed the shot and as I did one of the soldiers came from my left, cigarette in hand; sunglasses on his head and moved towards the Bosnians as they lay dying on the sidewalk

After we had arrived at the headquarters, I needed Arkan’s permission to leave. I waited along with a Serbian colleague who had been with another unit. I heard a great crash and looked up to see the first prisoner of that day coming out of a second story window. He crashed at my feet. Miraculously he survived the fall but was quickly beaten by the soldiers, doused with water and brought back into the house.

Arkan arrived and immediately asked for my film. I had managed to hide some of the film and than proceeded to argue with him for the rest. He said he would process the film and give me back what he liked. I said the labs were terrible and I would process the film and let him edit. In the end, I lost the argument but managed to keep my film.

The images were published all over the world but to little reaction. The war began officially the following week, killing thousands and creating millions of refugees. In the end I spent more than five years on the ground during the ten years of wars that dissolved the country known as Yugoslavia.

WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath will show at the Annenberg Space for Photography through June 2, 2013. Learn more about Ron Haviv and his work on his official website.

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