Shooting under pressure: Combat photographer stays composed even when taking enemy gunfire


posted Friday, October 14, 2016 at 11:29 AM EST


U.S. Union Army General William T. Sherman was quoted as saying that "war is hell." For British soldier and photographer Rupert Frere, it is his job to document this hell.

In the video below from Photography News, we see Rupert Frere on patrol with the British Army. Thru his body camera, we get a first-person view of the life-threatening situations he and his fellow soldiers encounter on duty. The patrol starts safely enough, with Frere taking photos of his fellow soldiers, only to have the peace shattered by enemy gunfire. Frere stops shooting with a camera and is forced to prepare to fire with his assault rifle. You'd think he'd be too busy worrying about being struck down by an enemy combatant to take photos, but he maintained enough composure to put down his rifle and capture images. Talk about working under pressure!

In an interview with Photography News, Frere describes his job quite simply: "All I needed to do is stay alive and take photos." He enlisted at 16, but has long loved photography, so it was a welcome transition when he was able to transfer from bomb disposal to the role of Army photographer. Besides being outfitted with the standard military gear, Frere's photographic kit is not unlike what you would expect for a photojournalist deployed to cover military efforts for a publication: a pair of Nikon D4 cameras, a Nikon D800 and a Nikon D5 as well as an assortment of glass. When shooting for pleasure, Rupert uses a Fuji X-T1, but he plans on purchasing a Canon 5D Mark IV this fall.

To learn more about Rupert Frere's work as an Army photographer, you can read his full interview with Photography News here. You can see his excellent work, both as a service member and civilian, here.

(Seen via The Digital Picture)