Photographer Recalls His Formative Years in Vietnam

Tim Page revisits a conflict that was defined by photography.


Now based in Brisbane, Australia, Tim Page was just 20 years old when he started photographing the Vietnam conflict in 1965. For the next five years, he would freelance for Life, Paris Match, AP and UPI, somehow escaping the fate that befell 135 killed and missing comrades.

It’s a chapter that Page, on this 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam war, has powerfully revisited via Newsweek essay. Here’s a taste:

We who survive have one foot in nostalgia. One of the strongest, enduring band of brothers and sisters who believed to the end that their photographs made a difference. It was ungarnished truth, in-your-face reality made more memorable by the lick that each shooter put upon his or her images. It was a war you lived in, not just one you visited.

It sucked you into the beautiful country — its women, its food. The ’60s additive of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Cross cultures. Surfing at China Beach and peace prayers on an island midstream the Mekong. One hour in an ambush, the next reclined over a soothing pipe or propped at a bar with a dollar beer, retelling the last escapade as a temporal catharsis.

Page, together with Horst Faas, co-authored the 1997 book Requiem, a tribute to those aforementioned fallen photographers. Read the rest of his Newsweek piece here.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Honoring the First American Woman Correspondent Killed in Action
[Jacket cover courtesy: Random House]

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