Chris Hondros – Photographing Conflict

Chris Hondros – a well-known photojournalist with works ranging from conflicts in Liberia to Afghanistan to the Iraqi invasion by the U.S. – died tragically in Libya 2011 while reporting on the Libyan Civil War. Hondros worked for Getty Images for a substantial amount of time, which help to widely publicize his photos and eventually garner up a slew of international awards for “breaking news photography.”

As seen in the images below, Hondros’ images definitely speak greatly about his photographic process and his presence in the moment as a photographer during situations in which he captures through his camera. As told be a colleague in an interview on NPR, Hondros was always first and foremost interested in the story involved in every conflict he was a part of to document and wanted his imagery to reveal certain narratives; evoking strong emotions and opening up great interpretation to the audience. It seems that through others’ words spoken about Hondros, he was dedicated to storytelling in most real and true way and wanted to tell stories about the people involved in the photograph and the people not involved in the photograph – both equally as important.

Hondros spoke multiple times in essays and publications of the influence of art and art practices on photography and the unifying element of representation and meaning between certain pieces that people can make connections to. In a way it seems Hondros approached his photography like a certain art, but always with truth and honesty on how events unfolded and absolutely never setting up any image.

What’s even more interesting is the capacity of Hondros to hold a deep level of human compassion and empathy for the people he witnessed and came upon to, yet “maintain that critical kind of emotional distance that allowed him to keep going back to these places where these horrific human events were transpiring.” (NPR.) Emotion and feeling pours out of his incredible and powerful images, but Hondros was also able to stay objective and balanced just enough to remain a credible photojournalist and stick to the story behind any photo.

Hondros was a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography.

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