Few occupations are as clearly defined as that of a war photographer: You go into the thick of battle and take pictures. Ever since the Spanish Civil War, when Robert Capa captured the moment when a soldier actually caught a bullet, the job of photographing war has meant putting death on film.
Consequently, it takes a special kind of person to be a war photographer, and not just in terms of craft. Taizo Ichinose, who several years ago was portrayed by Tadanobu Asano in a movie version of his life, became a photographer for the Tokyo bureau of UPI in 1970, and then went freelance two years later. In 1972 and 1973, he covered wars in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Cambodia. While in Cambodia, he wrote that he wanted to take pictures of Angkor Wat, then occupied by the Khmer Rouge. He added, “I don’t know where the land mines are. I am just going to walk there using the most direct route.” He was never heard from again. He was 26.
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