I’ve always been fascinated by war photography. Photographing requires patience, composure and skill all at once. To do that in the middle of a battlefield is something that is nothing short of magical. I really don’t know how war photographers think, or how they manage to compose and focus their shots in the middle of destruction but it’s always such a surreal image to think about, a war photographer and the war around them.
I found a write up on PetaPixel about a man who served in Vietnam, a photographer. He rediscovered his huge archive and decided to share them with the world….forty-five years later.
The original write up states that
“In October of 1967, at the age of 24, Charlie Haughey received a draft notice from the US Army notifying him that he would be spending a tour of duty in Vietnam as a rifleman. A couple of months after he arrived, his commanding officer put a camera in his hands and asked him to start taking pictures for Army and US newspapers. His only instructions: “You are not a combat photographer. This is a morale operation … ”
Haughey brought back nearly 2,000 negatives from Vietnam, shot between March 1968 and May 1969, none of which ever saw the light of day until very recently.
That “very recently” was the Fall of 2012, when a chance meeting brought the negatives out of their boxes and into a digital scanner. Now his entire archive is being digitized and shared online via Facebook, Tumblr and Flickr as Haughey and a team of volunteers prepare a 28-photo exhibit titled A Weather Walked In for the ADX in Portland.”
Charlie Haughey (Chieu Hoi to his friends in the Army 25th Infantry Division), a now-retired cabinet maker, was drafted to the US Army in 1967. He served a tour of duty in Vietnam from March 1968 to May 1969 with the 25th. Charlie, a photographer from a young age, was commissioned by his commanding officer to take photos—not traditional combat photos, but morale-boosting content to uplift the spirits of the members of the unit. When he left Vietnam for good, Charlie brought back to the United States almost two thousand negatives that had captured his unique view on the war and life in the army. The negatives lay in boxes until the fall of 2012, when a chance meeting brought them out of dormancy. – as told by Charlie’s personal website.
Heres some photos from his archive:
These are by no means the entire collection. To really get the idea of his style and photo set, go here to see even more.
I really liked these images. Instead of seeing what you’d expect in a combat photo series, these photos gave you a look into the down time of the soldiers and some insight into personalities, not just actions. If you are interested and happen to live in Portland, go see his exhibition!
A Weather Walked In, a 28-photo curation of Charlie Haughey’s Vietnam photo collection, opens on April 5th 2013 at ADX, 417 SE 11th Avenue, Portland, Oregon.