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Photographer Joao Silva Talks Injuries and the State of Photojournalism

By // September 2, 2011 // Posted in Photography, WPPI News

Photographer Joao Silva lost both of his legs last year to an IED landmine explosion in Afghanistan. He kept shooting as he was dragged to safety and treated by medics. But to hear him tell it, he’s just an ordinary guy who ran into some bad luck.

I heard the mechanic click. I knew: this is not good. And I found myself lying face-down on the ground, engulfed in a cloud of dust, with the very clear knowledge that this has just happened and this is not good. I could see my legs were gone, and everybody around me was dazed. I was like, “Guys, I need help here.”

Beyond his chilling description of the explosion and its immediate aftermath, he also talks about the ethics and craft of being a photographer in a warzone—”The things that we see go through the eye straight into the brain. Some of those scenes never go away.”—and the current state of photojournalism.

It’s a moving and inspirational bit of wisdom from a supremely humble, self-aware, and talented photographer. And as a reminder, you can still buy prints of Joao’s work to help support him, with any excess funds going to a charity of his choice. [NY Times, Support Joao via Gizmodo]

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Jacqueline Tobin

Jacqueline Tobin

Jacqueline Tobin is the Editor-in-Chief of Rangefinder magazine and the author of Wedding Photography Unveiled: Inspiration and Insight From 20 Top Photographers (Amphoto Books, 2009); and The Luminous Portrait (Amphoto Books, 2012). The second-generation native New Yorker cherishes her Sunday mornings hunkered down with The New York Times, fresh bagels and a great cup of coffee.

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