Monday, 20 April 2009

George Rodger

George Rodger is a photographer whose works I admire greatly. He died in 1995 but there is lot to learn from him about photojournalism and being at the right place at the right time. He is known for his work during World War II and especially because he was one of the first to enter Belsen in 1945. His pictures remain shocking even today. That is the power of photography.

I have often written about the photographer as an historian and if you ever come across someone who denies the Holocaust then you could do worse than to refer them to George's work. Today people are protesting and walking out of a speech to the UN by the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He is described as a Holocaust denier. I wonder if he has seen George's pictures. If you feel up to it then google his photos and take a look yourself.

George, like me, was from Manchester and I have something else in common with him because we went to the same school. He took pictures of the Blitz and then Belsen, but he was moved by these atrocities and began to take photographs in Africa which focused on lifestyle rather than death.

Photographs can put distance between the subject and the viewer, but they can still be horrific, and they can definitely be of historical significance.

Happy snapping

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