You don’t usually get a chance to meet the photojournalists that cover the atrocities of war.
Most of the time they are on the front lines covering the event, or hanging in the local hospitals finding out where the most dangerous areas are.
And then going in and getting the most harrowing looking images you may ever see. It could be the adrenal rush of life in your face, or the need to tell a story that may have been missed by the journalists in the hotels.
The danger is omnipresent and part of the job perhaps, but you never want to hear that someone has been injured making those photographs.
Last month, the Annenberg Space for Photography, hosted the 67th POYi awards for outstanding journalistic photography. The honorees had come in from the field to accept the awards, and meet and greet.
Â© Damon Webster
The top award for Newspaper Photographer of the Year went to AP photographer Emilio Morenatti.
I was very happy to speak with some of the honorees, especially Emilio and his wife, Marta.
He gave a talk that night outlining his methodology, using a 28mm or 50mm lens to photograph the war around him.
Although proud of the award, he couldn’t wait to get back in the middle of it all. Yeah, that’s close.
While photographing in the hall and later at the podium, I felt compelled to share the images with his wife in the audience, as she picked a few she wanted for herself.
Â© Damon Webster
Soft spoken, and a very friendly, we all vowed to stay in touch. The photos were emailed as promised.
This past Tuesday, a military jeep that Emilio, and AP videographer, and 2 soldiers were in, ran over a bomb hidden in the open desert in Afghanistan.
After being airlifted to a hospital in Kandahar, his leg injuries were so severe, they had to amputate one of his feet.
I somehow feel that he will not be slowed down for long, and we will be seeing Emilio Morenatti’s photographs for years to come.
Here is an article from the NY Times, along with a selection of his photographs.
My thoughts and prayers go out to he and his wife Marta.