Two Takes: One Picture, Two Photographers

3 minute read

The romantic notion is that photojournalists bear unique witness to the events of the world as they unfold around them. In reality, due to circumstance, comfort and organizational requirements, photographers often find themselves in the company of fellow photojournalists, working side by side, when covering the news.

Camaraderie builds between photographers, particularly those working in the war zone. They travel together, discuss their work and often become close friends. They have a mutual respect and share a common bond: their experience of the discomforts and dangers that such work entails.

Photojournalists have always worked in close proximity on foreign assignments and most notably when covering conflict in which they face the dangers this work brings. Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and Chim (David Seymour) famously did so when making their photographs of the Spanish Civil War, including the Mexican Suitcase negatives. In fact, a number of these photographs—that had actually been shot by Taro—were for decades wrongly attributed to Capa.

In 1971, Larry Burrows was killed alongside fellow photojournalists Henri Huet, Kent Potter and Keisaburo Shimamoto—while photographing the Vietnam war—when their helicopter was shot down over Laos.

This March, photographers Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks were two of four New York Times journalists kidnapped, beaten and held captive for six days by pro-Gaddafi forces while working in the Libyan city of Ajdabiya.

When photographers Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were tragically killed, and fellow photographer Guy Martin seriously injured—on April 20 this year— in Libya, they were working side by side covering the rebel fight for Mistrata.

Although both Hetherington and Martin made many distinctive photographs in Libya, there were occasions when they found themselves in the same place at the same time and drawn to taking the same picture. A few months earlier, both Hetherington and Martin had taken a similar, quite and solemn image as each other—of a dead rebel fighter. This image, as with many others shot in duplicate, is more akin to a forensic or still life study—like the aftermath of flooding or bullet holes in a wall.

In the war-zone, or amid protests and riots, there is often less time for contemplation. Images are captured in a fleeting moment—whether it’s a rocket being fired, a barking dog or a jet of pepper spray—and these photographs show that the photographers who took them were not alone.

In many cases today, photographers working in such close proximity are doing so to satisfy the insatiable appetite of the news cycle. Due to deadlines, images are filed almost immediately after they are shot. This, and the fact that photographers are often working for competing news agencies, makes it impossible for them to share their images or avoid duplication. When international journalists were put up at the five-star Rixos hotel in central Tripoli by Gaddafi’s government earlier this year, the situation resulted in guided tours that left little opportunity to make anything but similar images to each other.

From the Libyan war to the Bangkok floods, LightBox shares a small selection of photographs by some of the most accomplished photojournalists working today. Colleagues who, on occasion, over the past 12 months have found themselves in the same place, at the same time, shooting in stereo.

February 17, 2011. The body of a rebel fighter waits to be collected for burial from the Al-Hekma hospital. Libya saw the beginnings of a revolution against the 41 year regime of Muammar Gaddafi.Guy Martin—Panos (left); Tim Hetherington—Magnum (right)
March 9, 2011. Libyan rebels fire rockets at government troops on the front line near Ras Lanuf, Libya. The rebels pushed back government troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi towards Ben Jawat.John Moore—Getty (left); Yuri Kozyrev / NOOR for TIME (right)
April 7, 2011. Abandoned dogs roam an empty street in the Odaka area of Minamisoma, inside the deserted evacuation zone established for the 20 kilometer radius around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. David Guttenfelder—AP (left); Hiro Komae—AP (right)
April 15, 2011. The imprint of a recently removed decomposed body marks the ground beside the French word "Serve" at a police training academy in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan. Ivory Coast's former leader Laurent Gbagbo was arrested in April after weeks of fighting in the country provoked by his refusal to relinquish power after a November presidential election won by Alassane Ouattara.Finbarr O'Reilly—Reuters (left); Rebecca Blackwell—AP (right)
June 12, 2011. A butterfly hovers over a flower as smoke rises around the Lee Valley Recreational area in the Apache National Forest during back burn operations as the Wallow Fire continued to burn in Big Lake, Arizona. The wild fire spread over more than 600 square miles as it crossed the border into New Mexico, destroying over twenty structures.Kevork Djansezian—Getty (left); Jae C. Hong—AP (right)
June 17, 2011. On a tour led by an official of the Libyan government, an armed supporter of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi chants during a demonstration in Tripoli, Libya. Moises Saman—The New York Times (left); Ahmed Jadallah—Reuters (right)
October 5, 2011. Riot police officers try to avoid a molotov cocktail bomb hurled by protestors during a demonstration in central Athens, Greece. Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) and General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), Greece's two largest umbrella federations representing the public and private sector staged a 24-hour nationwide strike protesting against the ongoing austerity measures taken by the Greek government.Yannis Behrakis—Reuters (left); Simela Pantzatzi—EPA (right)
October 15, 2011. A car burns during a demonstration in Rome. Tens of thousands marched in Rome today as part of a global day of protests inspired by the "Occupy Wall Street" and "Indignant" movements, with the Italian capital under a security lock-down. Protesters launched worldwide street demonstrations on October 15 against corporate greed and biting cutbacks in a rolling action targeting 951 cities in 82 countries.Alberto Pizzolia—AFP/Getty (left); Riccardo Antimiani—Eidon Press/Zuma Press
November 1, 2011. Hindu devotees gather to worship the Sun god on the banks of river Ganges during the Hindu religious festival "Chhat Puja" in the eastern Indian city of Patna. Hindu devotees worship the Sun god and fast all day for the betterment of their family and society during the festival.Stringer—Reuters (left); Aftab Alam Siddiqui—AP (right)
November 2, 2011. A cutout of an online game character stands amid floodwaters on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand. Altaf Qadri—AP (left); Damir Sagolj—Reuters (right)
November 7, 2011. An aerial view shows the Mecca Clock Tower as Muslim pilgrims walking around the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque of the holy city of Mecca during the annual Hajj pilgrimage rituals.Fayez Nureldine—AFP/Getty (left); Ammar Awad—Reuters (right)
November 14, 2011. Vehicles are submerged at the Honda factory in Ayutthaya province. Clean-up work is under way at four industrial estates in Thailand's central Ayutthaya province as water has receded after devastating floods last month, and some factories are already back at work. Paula Bronstein—Getty (left); Damir Sagolj—Reuters (right)
November 15, 2011. A caretaker looks on as seven-year-old elephant Laxmi rubs trunks with her daughter 13 month old Rani during the Sonepur Mela in Sonepur near Patna, India. The cattle fair, held in the Indian state of Bihar, has its origins during ancient times, when people traded elephants and horses across the auspicious river Ganges.Daniel Berehulak—Getty (left); Kevin Frayer—AP (right)
November 18, 2011. University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, California. Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in pepper spraying seated protesters were placed on administrative leave on November 20, 2011, as the chancellor of the school accelerated the investigation into the incident.Wayne Tilcock—The Enterprise/AP (left); Brian Nguyen—Reuters (right)
December 14, 2011. A bullet hole is seen near the site of a gun and grenade attack in central Liege. Nordine Amrani, a 33-year-old previously jailed for possession of arms and drugs offenses, brought carnage to Liege, spraying bullets at Christmas shoppers and hurling a grenade at people waiting for a bus, killing four people including a girl of 17 months before shooting himself dead. Francois Lenoir—Reuters (left); ZUMA Press (right)

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