gut-wrenching photography, convergence on war

If you haven’t seen this Nina Berman slideshow, go there now.

You can also read the NY Times article about her work on this project. I’ve subscribed to Jen Beckman’s blog for a while now, and been blown away by the photographers she curates.

I was impressed with the access that Ms. Berman had to her subjects. The soldiers reminded me of the men in No End In Sight. I saw that at Cinema21 just a week ago. It is the best war documentary I’ve seen about Iraq. Far better than Fahrenheit 911. I’ve been re-visiting 9/11 stuff – I picked up the Illustrated 9/11 Commission’s Report that I bought nearly a year ago and read it cover to cover.

And did you know that Errol Morris had a blog?

When I was a little boy I asked my older brother, If you blow up a photograph can you eventually see atoms? Here is one answer. When you magnify a leaf, in principle, you get down to the atomic level of the leaf. But when you magnify a photograph of a leaf, you get down to the atomic level of the photograph. You can keep magnifying the grains of silver-halide and get down to the atomic level of the silver-halide, but you do not see additional detail of the leaf. As a result of this inherent limitation, photographs are nothing more than coarse-grained screens laid over reality, revealing nothing more (about what is photographed) than a certain size. They provide an imperfect simulacrum of the surface of things.


Photography presents things and at the same time hides things from our view. It allows us to not-see at the same time that it allows us to see. But language plus photography provides an express train to error.

My media consumption is converging on war these days.