‘When the heart gets filtered up through the camera’: Vietnam War photographers on how to cover COVID better

On February 29, Washington State health officials announced what they believed to be the first death due to the novel coronavirus in the United States. By March 31, the official national death toll stood at 3,173. It was a larger number, news outlets n

“War is 95 percent boredom and 5 percent sheer terror, from a journalist’s point of view,” says David Hume Kennerly, who won a 1972 Pulitzer Prize for his feature photography of the Vietnam War. CJR sat down with Kennerly and three other esteemed photojournalists from that conflict, Art Greenspon, Robert Hodierne, and David Burnett, to ask what lessons we can take from Vietnam to cover today’s invisible killer and the absence of public suffering.

Paris Photo LA 2015 : Diary of David Hume Kennerly – The Eye of Photography

As a photographer, and one who truly loves other people’s pictures, I try not to be critical, but when I see so many photographs in one place, my mind immediately goes into contest judging mode. I can’t help but sort the vast display of work into winners and losers categories. And that’s how most people look at art, whether they admit it or not, especially if they want to buy something.

In Ford's White House, Not Holding Back

In the second part of a two-part series on photographing in the White House, David Hume Kennerly discusses his work with presidents as well as recent controversies over access.

Someone once asked David Hume Kennerly if he ever held back when he was President Gerald R. Ford’s White House photographer. Though it was sometimes difficult — as when the Fords cried after his 1976 election loss — Mr. Kennerly said he did not. “I think it comes from my background,” he said. “It comes from journalism.”