And like with modern-day conflict photography, the relationship between aesthetics and truth is an issue. Mr. Fenton’s image “Valley of the Shadow of Death” (after the Tennyson poem) (Slide 12) was the first iconic war photograph — and it is believed to have been staged.


A photograph believed to be of Gerda Taro, one of the world’s first and greatest war photographers, apparently lying on her deathbed in a hospital during the Spanish civil war, has been found 80 years after she was killed.

War Photographer | Poetry | Scottish Poetry Library

War Photographer

I started when I was 28. I'm 40 now, and a lot has changed in the risks I'm prepared to take. When you're younger, you're immortal. Three days into my first assignment, I was photographing between two lines of people shooting at each other in Kosovo. I'm more scared now, more aware of the risks. I've lost a lot of friends and colleagues – two of them very recently. I'll keep doing the job I do but I'll be more careful.

‘Deathbed photo’ of war photographer Gerda Taro …

to go to these places and come back with the images.'
For Discussion..
Do you think Duffy’s poem is pro or anti-war photography?
How do the following people react to the war photographs:
The photographer?
The newspaper editor?
The public
There is a clear use of contrast in the poem.

The war photographer | regularguy

“I never looked at the back,” he said. “To me this was just a photograph of my father with another patient.” But after he posted it on Twitter two days ago, Spanish civil war enthusiasts began to ask him more – and he then looked at the back.

Analysis: War Photographer (Carol Ann Duffy) | litxpert

Like many later war photographers Mr. Fenton left the battlefield affected by the deaths he had witnessed. He might have been the first war photographer who turned his back on the craft, but he was certainly not the last.

Through the Lens of Britain's First Female War Photographer

The book notes that Mr. Fenton covered the war thanks to a commission by the publisher Thomas Agnew and Sons to photograph as many of the officers as possible so that Thomas Barker could use the images as the basis for paintings. Other sources have suggested he was more motivated by the Duke of New Castle, Prince Albert, and other patrons who wanted photographs that could help shape British public opinion about the war. The conflict with Russia was already well-chronicled in words, including Alfred Lord Tennyson’s 1854 poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”

Roger Fenton: the First Great War Photographer - The …

Before the war, Mr. Fenton, a lawyer from a well-to-do family, was already renowned for his technical abilities and his close association with the royal family, which resulted in several historic portraits. A co-founder of the Royal British Photographic Society, he was also an accomplished landscape photographer, a skill he employed often in Crimea.