David James .
Follow Lifeforcemag on Twitter
David James Film Stills Saving Private Ryan
Robert Capa returned to Paris from one of his first war assignments, looked at his images and decided they looked too much like movie stills.  After that, he stopped worrying about technicalities like focus and correct exposure. Learning from the master war photographer, I approached the assignment to cover Saving Private Ryan  as I believed Capa would have photographed the subject.  I set out to cover it as a war assignment, not a movie. I went to boot camp with the actors before the film started.  This was invaluable.  For the duration of shooting they treated me like I was their platoon photographer.  I followed another great piece of advice from Capa,  "if your pictures aren't good, you're not close enough".  I got close, got in there with the action and gave (sometimes) little thought to focus or exposure.  Run-and-shoot was my method to get the images that would make this look real. Saving Private Ryan meant a lot to me.  It brought home to me the sacrifice that was made by so many so that we could have the freedom we enjoy today.  If you ever want to question that freedom, take a trip to Normandy and walk amongst the white crosses in the war cemeteries on the cliff tops.  Stand in the middle and turn 360 degrees and you will see. MAY 2012 BACK ISSUE Back to current issue