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Chromatic Photographs from World War I

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hans-hildenbrand-trenches1The first forays into what later would be called “embedded journalism” were made in World War I, when some photographers were commissioned to travel and work with certain platoons on both sides. Interestingly enough, even in this time there were some of them who were using chromatic photography, which leads to a far more plastic look into the reality of this war.

As with all the b/w photos of this war we nevertheless have to take this perceived realism with a grain of salt. Photography was a far more tedious process than it is today,  so all the colored photos which are available from this time were staged. Otherwise the photographer would not even have been able to capture the scene, as the film needed a longershutter time than those of today.

That said,  even other photos and movies from the war often were staged for similar reasons. It was a war after all, and it was hard to make photos and films when there were bullets whistling all around you and you had to move all your bulky equipment around.

German news magazine Spiegel has a fascinating gallery about that on it’s English-language page, as well as a longer article at it’s historical subpage einestages:

Photos on spiegel.de [link], Article (in German) on einestages.de [link]

Written by G. Neuner

29. December 2008 at 2:42 pm

Posted in History

Tagged with , , ,