De Krimoorlog (1853-1856) is de eerste oorlog die gefotografeerd is
en Roger Fenton werd de eerste oorlogsfotograaf uit de geschiedenis

Onderstaande foto is niet genomen door de Phoenix bijna 250 miljoen kilometer van hier, maar ruim 150 jaar geleden tijdens de Krimoorlog Het is de eerste oorlogsfoto uit de geschiedenis, genomen door Roger Fenton. Deze Robert Capa van de vorige-vorige eeuw was oorspronkelijk kunstschilder, maar verwisselde zijn beroep voor dat van fotograaf, zoals wel vaker gebeurde in het midden van de negentiende eeuw. Actiefoto’s waren door de lange sluitertijd nog niet mogelijk, dus moest hij de tijd wel stil zetten zoals de kunstschilder zijn model.

Valley of the Shadow of Death
Valley of the Shadow of Death, 1855
Salted paper print from glass negative
[ The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles ]
Fenton’s most famous photograph is also one of the most well-known images of war. Across a desolate and featureless landscape, not a single figure can be found. The landscape is inhabited only by cannonballs–so plentiful that they first appear to be rocks–that stand in for the human casualties on the battlefield. The sense of emptiness and unease is heightened by the visual uncertainty created by the changing scale of the road and the sloping sides of the ravine.
Borrowing from the Twenty-third Psalm of the Bible, the Valley of Death was named by British soldiers who came under constant shelling there. Fenton traveled to the dangerous ravine twice, and on his second visit he made two exposures. Fenton wrote that he had intended to move in closer at the site. But danger forced him to retreat back up the road, where he created this image.
Bron: getty.edu
Artist's Van
Roger Fenton the artist’s van
Roger Fenton’s Crimean War photographs represent one of the earliest systematic attempts to document a war through the medium of photography. Fenton, who spent fewer than four months in the Crimea (March 8 to June 26, 1855), produced 360 photographs under extremely trying conditions. While these photographs present a substantial documentary record of the participants and the landscape of the war, there are no actual combat scenes, nor are there any scenes of the devastating effects of war.
Bron: Library of Congress

Roger FentonThe photographic career of Roger Fenton (1819-1869) lasted only eleven years, but during that time he became the most famous photographer in Britain. Part of the second generation of photographers who came to maturity in the 1850′s, only a decade after the process was invented, Fenton strove to elevate the new medium to the status of a fine art and to establish it as a respected profession. He was the first official photographer to the British Museum and one of the founders of the Photographic Society, later named the Royal Photographic Society, an organization he hoped would help establish the medium’s importance in modern life.

Bron: nga.gov

Crimean War Photos [loc.gov] | The Photographs of Roger Fenton (1852-1860) [National Gallery of Art ] | The Crimean War Research Society
Roger Fenton [ metmuseum.org ]