The First Photojournalist


The first known combat photographs were taken by an anonymous individual during the American-Mexican War of 1846-1847. Nevertheless, the Crimean War of the 1850s is where combat photography is said to have been born, with photographers like Roger Fenton, Felice Beato, and James Robertson made images of a major military conflict. Historians believe that the Austro-Hungarian photographer, Carol Szathmari, made some of the very first pictures of this war. In the first year of the conflict, Szathmari drove to the frontlines in his specially equipped wagon which contained a dark room for him to process glass plates with wet collodion. It is said that his wagon, which was rather conspicuous, became a target for soldiers who mistook him to be a Russian spy. Fortunately, their poor aim left him unscathed. During his time there, he photographed Russian and Turkish troops, their commanding officers, battlefields and fortifications. After exhibiting his work, Szathmari offered his photographs to the European royalty.

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