Sunday, May 13, 2012

R.I.P. Horst Faas

horestHaas_photoTo me, Horst Faas was the photographer who put a human face on the Vietnam War. I can remember a one-eyed high school teacher showing me a photo of a woman morning over the body of her husband. I first saw it in the 70s. It has haunted my dreams for years. When I think of the Vietnam War, the first image that comes to mind is this one

I was browsing a book on the war a few weeks ago. It contained a number of his photos; Including this one. Seeing it again evoked an emotional response. I could feel the woman’s grief. I stood looking at it for long time. Photos that pull on your emotions are rare. Faas produced dozens in his career.

Few people understand the impact Faas had on photography. He’s recruited and trained dozens of photographers during his time in Vietnam. Including the man who took the war’s most iconic photo.

My's younger brother, Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut, followed his brother at AP and under Faas's tutelage won one of the news agency's six Vietnam War Pulitzer Prizes, for his iconic 1972 picture of a badly burned Vietnamese girl fleeing an aerial napalm attack.

Read more: Horst Faas - the images that changed course of history and touched the human heart

Fass died of complications from a chest infection. He was 79. The New York Times Obituary is good, the Lens remembrance is outstanding.

Technorati Tags: ,