San Francisco Chronicle派驻伊拉克的摄影记者Kim Komenich风尘仆仆地从前线归来。带着他的厚厚的防弹衣、沉重的钢盔和所有的摄影及录音录像器材，他来到我们的教室，给大家讲述他的新闻图片和背后的故事。
As part of the search for weapons in a suspected insurgent's home, Sgt. 1st Class Louis D'Angelo opens a bag of flour. Chronicle photo by Kim Komenich
Sajida Turki, sister of two suspected insurgents, signs a receipt for $80 to pay for a demolished gate. Chronicle photo by Kim Komenich
Kim is one of my most favorite big-time photographers I met last year at the Missouri Photo Workshop. I always remember what he suggested about how to keep trying to take a different and better picture - you need to constantly be thinking and trying high and low to find a different angle and to tell a better story.
He has still been doing so himself, as I could tell from his pictures in Iraq. Be it the sun-set motar attack picture that he put the camera on the sand, or the vehicle gunner picture shot upward, or the pictures that used the available lights of a cigarette lighter or vehicle headlights, he has always been trying different angles or lighting to bring those moments to life. Although Kim belittled himself as playing a fool when trying to find the best positions to shoot a picture, his practice is really useful for all photographers.
Journalists' job is to tell a story with objectivity. But when they witness the brutality of war with their own eyes, many would personally become anti-war, as many soldiers on the frontline did. I'm a bit surprised to see Kim still seemed to remain neutral, reluctant to judge it as good or evil. He felt "indignant" only when he saw American soldiers in search of weapons tore open a bag of flour that might be the Iraqi family's one month of food. I know we should not show opinion in a news photo, but personally I would say I'm anti-war, though I respect the soldiers who were doing their job.
Modern photojournalists' transfer from still photography to multimedia production is something worth noting. I have to admit the impact of video that has both moving pitures and sound. The video Kim showed us in class, the one that recorded the tumult during the raid and the horrified screaming of the Iraqi children, is really not replaceable by still photos in this case. Take the award-winning photo of a raid to regain custody of a Cuban boy in 2000, I could imagine now how the real commotion was if I saw it in a video. Although I hate to switch back and forth from video camera, still camera or a audio recorder, I have to admit the power of video and audio in certain kinds of situations.
At last, I would pay my respect to Kim. The US soldiers in Iraq are the most vulnerable target from Iraqi ambushes or attacks. Glad that Kim came back safe from the dangerous "embedding."