Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
June 10, 2011

War is … Heaven?

<em>JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images</em>
JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

I must have written this a few times before, but…

Looking at this pic, it feels like the transition from war to art photography is finally complete.

(There are so many spiritual/supernatural suggestions here, starting with halos, though the ring in the center also looks like one of those symbolic dark clouds a cartoonist will place over a character’s head. The vapor trails coming off the smoke rings combined with the illumination — especially the one far right with the light breaking through the clouds inside the smoke ring — especially evokes “something heavenly” going on. And then, the tank basks in it’s own brightness. It’s like the best side of Ares.)

More (s)examples here.

(caption:A South Korea’s K1 tank fires smoke shells during a joint military drill between South Korea and the US in Paju near the inter-Korean border on June 8, 2011 aimed at deterring North Korea’s military threat. Tensions on the Korea peninsula are high following two deadly border incidents last year which Seoul blames on its neighbour.)

  • http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ Ralfast

    Well, smoke grenades are designed to protect the tank by obscuring it from enemy eyes, so I think the halo analogy is apt.

  • Gasho

    The 3rd pic at the link is even more “artsy” and incredible.  Wow. These are something.  Even a peace loving buddhist dude from San Francisco like me has to admit that there is something cool about these.  In the same was as the sonic booms from the Blue Angels simultaneously aggravate me (it’s a war machine display) and amaze me (they’re engineering marvels).

    I think as a species, we have a collective understanding of reality.  Among our ancestors were the warriors.. and whatever spark still lingers on in us from them gets jazzed over displays of power like this.  

  • pcalvin

    It is interesting to compare this view of warfare to the images of David Douglas Duncan. (This Is War and War Without Heros – Korea and Vietnam Nam respectively)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PV4JXFNDQXSOHJBOWVZC6LSFYM ColinN

    HDR Photography is this generation’s “Vaseline on the lens”. It’ll make anything look acceptable.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes