What makes Tim Hetherington Experimental?


– Hetherington recognised that for the solders, it wasn’t to do with war or politics when they were in the Korengal Valley, it was brotherhood

– He goes into video (Restrepo, Sleeping Soliders, Diary) to show more about war. ‘To get both video and stills, really good, thats good’ – James Barabazon – Restrepo was recognised on a large platform with the box office hitting $1,436,391 and it was nominated for the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary

– Infidel (or sleeping solders) showed the vulnerability of US solders, because other countries have censorship with war images, Hetherington was the first to really explore this vulnerability, making people think more about the dangers of war

– Hetherington’s approach with photography is experimental, he understands people and risks his life to get the picture. There was a time in Libya where government spies were sent to find information about the revolters, and Hetherington negotiated to prevent the execution of a government spy, putting his life on the line.

– ‘no one else was (using medium format)… he had to slow down and look for the moment, almost as if he saw a different layer to the conflict’ – He had to think about the image, and consider the outcome before he took it. Medium format is rare in was photography because its size and square image, but with the right photographer, it has created brilliant results

–  Captures humanity rather than the horrors of war, – ‘Tim’s project was not about war, it was about human nature’ – Chris Anderson – ‘No desire to be a war firefighter, no interest in photography, I am interested in reaching people with ideas and engaging them with views of the world’ – ‘Even in these terrible times people are still human.. for me thats the redeeming factor’

– Traditional war photographers usually take images in a voyeuristic or candid way, instead Hetherington breaks the barriers of his and the subjects relationship and takes an image that has more connection – ‘instead of the interaction ruining the dynamic of the images, it actually breaks through the ice straight away and it allows you to get on and start working’

The quote that sums up whether Tim Hetherington’s work is experimental or traditional is on from an interview with Michael Kamber, June 2010, when Hetherington says:

‘If we are interested in the outside world and making images of it and translating it and relaying it to as many people as possible, then in some ways the traditional photographic techniques are really not important.’


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