The history of military photography has its roots in the deep past. Nevertheless, even in the era of the absence of any advanced devices and tools, some authors managed to make extraordinary shots that became legends. The impressions made by the photo of Fenton on the reviewer were significant for several reasons. Firstly, the simplicity of the display of war horrors can be traced in this shot, which attracts and, at the same time, repels. Secondly, during that period, Fenton was one of the few who were interested not only in depicting battle scenes but also in such conceptual plots that could be seen in the photograph.
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Finally, from the standpoint of war, such a large number of cannonballs on the road testifies to the scale of the hostilities, which also makes one wonder about the alarming consequences of attacks. For that era, a careful approach was typical since photography was not developed well enough, and authors considered it as the means of artistic expression. Making any creative forms took long, and the public adopted such a style due to its meaningful nature and design. Therefore, the style and features of the image prompted a keen interest in the reviewer.
Visual Representations and Their Meanings
Using Fenton’s photo for comparison with video materials containing battle scenes allows drawing certain conclusions regarding the various techniques and approaches of the authors. The shot is the silent display of war, its consequences, and frightening nature. Video scenes have a simpler and more straightforward plot where only tactical actions are presented. In both genres, there are unique features; however, the meanings and promise are different.
Fenton seeks to show the viewer not the key war events but their background and takes his photo that conveys an unusual and apocalyptic landscape with cannonballs on the road. Video materials do not have the goal of engaging viewers to thoughts and reflections, although the scenes presented also convey the frightening nature of armed conflicts with injuries and victims. Regarding the effect of the impact, cinematic excerpts can have a greater influence on those who can hardly see the idea of the photographer in his shot. Therefore, based on the analysis of materials, it is possible to argue about a completely different approach to the image of war and its interpretation by different authors.
Fenton, Roger. “The Valley of the Shadow of Death.” 1855. Getty Museum, Los Angeles. The Getty. Web.