Award-winning photojournalist James Nachtwey (1948-) wakes the world up with his photographs of war.
Born in Syracuse, New York and raised in Massachusetts, he taught himself photography after college, then went to work for a local newspaper for four years "as a kind of basic training."
Nachtwey said, "My decision to become a photographer was inspired by photographs from the Vietnam War... The effects of war no longer end when the shooting stops."
Front-line photography was always his goal and for over 20 years, Nachtwey's celebrated career has taken him to Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and other war zones. The images he captured at ground zero of the World Trade Center on 9/11 are unforgettable.
His critically-acclaimed Inferno captured 382 stark glimpses of 20th century tragedy, a visual archive for the collective conscience.
"I want my pictures to cut through political abstractions... and make a connection on a human level," he explained, calling himself an "antiwar photographer."
George Patton once described war as "very simple, direct, and ruthless." That's also an apt description of Nachtwey's powerful photographs. The photos, he said, are "meant to immerse the viewer in a reality that's relentless."
With his prying eye and stunning images, he has won his field's three highest honors: the Robert Capa Gold Medal, Magazine Photographer of the Year, and World Press Photo of the Year.
"I've seen things that make every bone in my body hurt," Nachtwey revealed. "People should be aware that something highly unacceptable is taking place, and (they need to) think about it and talk about it with each other."
Use truth as a wake up call.