U.S. Marine Albert Rivas from San Juan, Puerto Rico and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade sits outside his tent at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan's Helmand province. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
This photographic portrait caught my eye while going through the excellent images posted on The Big Picture photoblog. The way that David Guttenfelder has used tight focusing to capture the marine is very clever. Like all good portraiture, it's the eyes that capture the viewers attention and tells the story. In an era of 'wondrous' military technology, it's photographs like these that put a human face to the conflict. More images can be found HERE
Over forty years ago, a photographer called Robert Jackson Ellison was taking similar types of portraits of U.S Marines at Khe Sahn, Vietnam. The marines were surrounded by a large North Vietnamese force and the fighting was intense. Robert Jackson Ellison's superb images of the battle fatigued Marines told the whole Khe Sahn story via the exhausted faces of the marines themselves. Sadly, Jackson Ellison was killed when his plane was shot down while taking off from Khe Sahn's runway. He was just 23 years old and had only been in Vietnam for about a month.