Heroes of Photography

A tribute to ten photographers who inspire us.

Heroes-of-Photography

Heroes-of-Photography

Not one of the photographers featured on the following pages wanted to be called a hero. We sympathize: The word is immodest and certainly overused these days. Nonetheless, we can't help but consider them heroic, and when you read their stories, we think you'll understand why.

There are many different kinds of heroes in photography -- people committed to causes large and small, public and personal, and hoping to make a difference. In that regard, the ten people featured in this portfolio are merely examples of the deep vein of dedication to do good that has animated photography almost since its invention. Consider, for example, the 19th-century pictures of New York City tenements by Jacob Riis, used by social reformers to improve living conditions for the poor; or the photography of the Farm Security Administration that described so vividly the state of America during the Great Depression; or the vigil kept by W. Eugene Smith over the people living near polluted Minamata Bay; or the iconic images with which Sebastião Salgado showed the effect of powerful economic forces on people without power.

Many of the heroes in this issue follow in that line of work. British photojournalist Hazel Thompson took great risks to document children being held in terrible conditions in Philippine prisons. "They commit some small crime -- shoplifting, for instance -- and end up losing their freedom and youth," she says. Timothy Fadek has spent 13 years covering a series of murders in the Mexican border town of Juárez -- murders largely overlooked by authorities because the victims were women, and prostitutes. Photojournalist Chris Hondros has made nine trips to Iraq in the past four years to cover a war that grows increasingly dangerous by the day. Others, like Yunghi Kim, have spent entire careers seeking out stories that would otherwise remain untold. In doing so, they have put themselves into the kinds of situations that get journalists killed.

Heroes of Photography Gallery****The Photographers Brent Stirton - Gallery Chris Hondros - Gallery Fazal Sheikh - Gallery Hazel Thompson - Gallery John Dugdale - Gallery Joseph Rodriguez - Gallery Phil Borges - Gallery Stanley Greene - Gallery Timothy Fadek - Gallery Yunghi Kim - Gallery

Some photographers are heroes simply because they show us how to overcome obstacles that would seem to be insurmountable. Fine-art photographer John Dugdale has continued to work at the highest level despite progressively losing his eyesight due to an HIV-related illness. Joseph Rodriguez, who rebuilt his life after getting into drugs and being arrested at a young age, is documenting the lives shattered by Hurricane Katrina. Phil Borges has been unshakable in his conviction that his fine-art portraiture can be a vital force for good in the world.

Are they heroes? Maybe a hero is simply a story, because it is in the stories that we find inspiration. To pay tribute to the photographers here, we have turned to people who know just how much they have risked and how much has been achieved by their efforts. Our aim, however, is not merely to honor these photographers for what they have done. The goal is to provide an insight into what photography can offer to all of us.

Photography has never been an end in itself; we are all dedicated to taking good pictures. But sometimes that's not enough. As artists, journalists, and even hobbyists, we also look for a meaning in life beyond the image. The heroes on the following pages show us how to find it.

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*Brent Stirton*A girl fetches water, Tanzania.Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*A child on a bamboo bridge over flood water in Dhaka, Bangladesh.Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*Water hole, Tanzania.Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*A new NGO-sponsored well in Tanzania.Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*A young girl near the fence of a newly dug well in Tanzania.Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*A young refugee child suffering from cholera, Buchanan, Liberia.Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*Portrait by David TurnleyDavid Turnley/getty Images
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*Brent Stirton*Brent Stirton's shot of drought-striken Tehuacan Valley, Mexico.Brent Stirton/getty Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Miriam with three of her kids.Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Miriam's family faces hardship and stigma.Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Mysam is the only male child of an Afghan widow, Miriam, whose husband died in a Taliban prison.Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Yunghi Kim's shot of a U.S. Marine's shadow in Baidoa, Somalia.Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Yunghi Kim/contact Press Images
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*Yunghi Kim*Writer Wil Haygood (front), Bob Allen, and a relief worker in Somalia.Yunghi Kim/boston Globe
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*Yunghi Kim*A Somali man, looking for grain, is caught in a dust storm.Yunghi Kim/boston Globe
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*Yunghi Kim*Portrait by Mario TamaMario Tama/getty Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Timothy Fadek/polaris Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Crosses represent the bodies of women found in the hills.Timothy Fadek/polaris Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Timothy Fadek/polaris Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Timothy Fadek/polaris Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Timothy Fadek/polaris Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Timothy Fadek/polaris Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Timothy Fadek/polaris Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Lupe and Enca Mendoza with a picture of their sister Miriam, killed at age 14.Timothy Fadek/polaris Images
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*Timothy Fadek*Fadek portrait by Chris Hondros.Chris Hondros
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*Stanley Greene*A rebel killed by Russians in Grozny is trucked off.Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Inside a rebel stronghold, a child awaits the Russians.Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Markha at home, Grozny.Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Outline of a body in snow after a rocket attack.Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*A firefight breaks out on residential streets.Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Asya, a fighting nurse.Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Stanley Greene/vu Agency
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*Stanley Greene*Portrait by Alessia BulgariAlessia Bulgari
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*Phil Borges*Yelda, 12, Kabul, Afghanistan.Phil Borges
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*Phil Borges*Asgeli, 52, Awash Fontale, Ethiopia.Phil Borges
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*Phil Borges*Humaria, 11, Kabul, Afghanistan.Phil Borges
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*Phil Borges*Abay, 28, Awash Fontale, Ethiopia.Phil Borges
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*Phil Borges*Augustina, 13, Dekoto Junction, Ghana.Phil Borges
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*Phil Borges*Transito, 91, Cayambe, Ecuador.Phil Borges
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*Phil Borges*Genesis, 4, Suipira, Ecuador.Phil Borges
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*Phil Borges*GiloPhil Borges
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*Phil Borges*HomiaraPhil Borges
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*Phil Borges*LaijuPhil Borges
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*Phil Borges*RufoPhil Borges
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*Phil Borges*Portrait by Jeff GimaJeff Gima
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*Joseph Rodriguez*Hilda Hendriks outside her damaged New Orleans home, 2006.Joseph Rodriguez/anarchy Images
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*Joseph Rodriguez*Mexico, 1996.Joseph Rodriguez/anarchy Images
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*Joseph Rodriguez*New Orleans, September, 2006.Joseph Rodriguez/anarchy Images
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*Joseph Rodriguez*Former New Orleans resident Kevin Scott in his new Denton, Texas, apartment, 2005.Joseph Rodriguez/anarchy Images
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*Joseph Rodriguez*Joseph Rodriguez/anarchy Images
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*Joseph Rodriguez*Joseph Rodriguez/anarchy Images
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*Joseph Rodriguez*Joseph Rodriguez/anarchy Images
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*Joseph Rodriguez*Joseph Rodriguez/anarchy Images
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*Joseph Rodriguez*Portrait by Thomas Carabasi.Thomas Carabasi, 2007
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*John Dugdale*Self portrait.John Dugdale
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*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
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*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
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*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
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*Hazel Thompson*Portrait by Peter MillsPeter Mills
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*Fazal Sheikh*Vrindavan, India.Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*LakshmiFazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Charu Bala Devnath.Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Shanti Karuna.Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*KamalaFazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Asha Rajak.Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Vrindavan, India From A Camel for the Son.Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Jamaa Abdullai and her brother Adan, Somali refugee camp, Mandera Kenya, 1993.Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Fazal Sheikh
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*Fazal Sheikh*Self Portrait.Fazal Sheikh
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*Chris Hondros*Iraq through the window of a Humvee.Chris Hondros/getty Images
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*Chris Hondros*Muslims pray in Pakistan.Chris Hondros/getty Images
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Heroes-of-Photography-Chris-Hondros-A-girl-screa

*Chris Hondros*A girl screams after her parents were killed by U.S. soldiers in Iraq.Chris Hondros/getty Images
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*Chris Hondros*Anti-Taliban soldiers drag the body of an al Qaeda fighter in Afghanistan.Chris Hondros/getty Images
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*Chris Hondros*A U.S. Marine in Iraq.Chris Hondros/getty Images
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*Chris Hondros*Cradling comrade.Chris Hondros/getty Images
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*Chris Hondros*Liberian fighter.Chris Hondros/getty Images
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*Chris Hondros*Portrait by Jeff Swensen.Jeff Swensen
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*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
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*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
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*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
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Heroes-of-Photography-Hazel-Thompson-Child-priso

*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
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Heroes-of-Photography-Hazel-Thompson-Child-priso

*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
Heroes-of-Photography-Hazel-Thompson-Child-priso

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*Hazel Thompson*Child prisoners in crowded jails in Metro Manila, the Philippines.Hazel Thompson
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