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Photographing War: Tyler Hicks

Photojournalist Tyler Hicks spoke at the 2014 National Geographic Photography Seminar in January—an annual celebration of photography held at the society’s headquarters in Washington.

In the video above, Hicks discusses his experience documenting conflict in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and most recently, the massacre at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, the city he calls home. He shares his thoughts about the losses he has witnessed and those he’s experienced personally, emphasizing the importance of remembering it all:

“The thing about war photography, and the thing about combat, is in a still image when you strip away everything, when you take away all the sound and explosions, and bullets, and the adrenaline, and the personal experience of being there, sometimes you’re left with something very different. When I look at these pictures later, and I do look at these pictures a lot…I remind myself. I think I owe it to myself and to these people to always remember this. Sometimes people say, ‘you should try to compartmentalize things and try to put this behind you.’ And I say “No, that would be disrespectful.”

Tyler Hicks is a senior photographer at The New York Times. He was recently awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography, first place for News Picture Story in the News division of the 71st Pictures of the Year International Competition, and the Robert Capa gold medal from the Overseas Press Club.


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