The ‘Greatest Of War Photograhers’
- Cet article est une traduction de :
- « Le plus grand des photographes de guerre »
At the end of the nineteenth century, with all of the necessary technical, economic, and cultural prerequisites in place, press publishers embraced photography as their primary means for conveying visual information. In this context, the ‘reporters photographes’ (or ‘photojournalists’) emerged and proliferated, offering the newspapers series of photographs of various current events. By analyzing the war photographs of Jimmy Hare, this essay seeks to shed light on the figure of the photojournalist – this new protagonist of the journalism world – but also on the manner in which his or her images were used by American and French press publishers. For while the pairing of photography and halftone reproduction added significant value to the images reproduced in the press, it also posed problems of representation and forced editors and art directors to justify their use. They did so by emphasizing the heroic character of the photographer’s work, by taking advantage of the possibilities offered by layout, and by devising a new approach to illustration. This history of the earliest photojournalists also compels us to reconsider the phenomenon’s chronology as it is typically presented by general histories of photography.
1In the late nineteenth century, the advent of portable cameras (based on the use of gelatin silver bromide and celluloid supports) allowed for the emergence of a new type of amateur photography, whose practitioners, in their leisure hours, produced images of cultural and political events. At the same time, screens marketed by the Levy company of Philadelphia made possible the cost-effectiveness and mass distribution of halftone photographs. With all of the necessary technical, economic, and cultural prerequisites in place, press publishers were now in a position to embrace photography as their primary means for conveying visual information.
- 1 This expression was used in R. W. Ritchie’s paper about Hare and his work for the press. R.W. Ritch (...)
2It is in this context that the ‘news photographer’1 first emerged and proliferated, offering series of photographs of current events to newspapers. James H. Hare (1856–1946) took advantage of this new market to change careers. Having begun as a photographic equipment dealer, in 1895 he became a photographer – primarily of sporting events – for The Illustrated American. He went on to concentrate on international armed conflicts and worked in that capacity for the magazine Collier’s Weekly, which sent him to cover first the Spanish-American War in 1898, and later the Russo-Japanese War, fought in Korea from 1904–1905.
3By analyzing Hare’s war photographs, this essay seeks to shed light on the figure of the photojournalist and also on the manner in which his or her images were used by American and French press publishers. For while the pairing of photography and halftone reproduction added significant value to the images reproduced in the press, it also posed problems of representation. The war photographs did not meet the prevailing standards for illustrations, and the editors and art directors who published them found themselves having to justify their use. They did so by emphasizing the heroic character of the photographer’s work, by making good use of the possibilities offered by layout when the photographs alone turned out to be insufficient, and by devising a new approach to illustration in which the reader was invited to become a spectator of the news.
- 2 See especially Mary Panzer, ed., Things as They Are: Photojournalism in Context Since 1955 (New Yor (...)
- 3 Françoise Denoyelle, ‘De l’errance à l’épopée lyrique. Naissance d’un mythe,’ in Capa connu et inco (...)
- 4 M. Panzer, ed., Things as They Are (note 2), 13.
4This history of the earliest photojournalists demands a reconsideration of the chronology commonly found in general histories of photography and more narrowly focused studies of the relationship between photography and the press.2 Was the development of photojournalism between the World Wars, generally presented as ‘a new approach to news reporting’3 or ‘a new form of communication,’4 really just another stage in a journalistic process that began much earlier?
- 5 There are two biographies of James H. Hare available: Cecil Carnes, Jimmy Hare: News Photographer, (...)
- 6 Reese V. Jenkins, Images and Enterprise: Technology and the American Photographic Industry, 1839 to (...)
- 7 L.L. Gould and R. Greffe, Photojournalist (note 5), 8–9.
5James H. Hare (known as Jimmy Hare), along with many other British emigrants, reached the United States in the late nineteenth century. He arrived in New York in 1889 to work as a technical adviser for the camera manufacturer, Greenpoint Optical Company, a division of the E. & H.T. Anthony & Company.5 In the booming photography market, E. & H.T. Anthony & Company merged with the Blair Camera Company, at the time a direct competitor of George Eastman. A restructuring took place, one that directly affected Greenpoint, and Hare lost his job.6 Although he tried his hand at marketing cameras independently, it was by selling photographs to the illustrated New York press that he found the means to support himself financially. According to his biographers, in the early 1890s Hare met the photographer Joseph Byron (1847–1923), who worked for various publications, including the weekly The Illustrated American.7 After Byron’s departure, Hare took his place and, in 1895, began his career as a press photographer.
- 8 Frank L. Mott, ‘The General Illustrated Miscellanies,’ in A History of American Magazines, 1741–193 (...)
- 9 Arkel and Harrison, ‘Prizes for Amateur Photographers,’ Leslie’s Weekly, May 24, 1890, p. 330. See (...)
- 10 See for example M.A. Lunn, ‘The Beet-Sugar Industry,’ Leslie’s Weekly, December 27, 1890, p. 452, a (...)
- 11 The thirty-six images published in the January 5, 1893, issue of Leslie’s Weekly are all reproduced (...)
- 12 See for example the Christmas issue of 1894.
- 13 David Clayton Phillips, ‘Halftone Technology, Mass Photography and the Social Transformation of Ame (...)
- 14 These figures come from the dissertation of Robert S. Kahan, ‘The Antecedents of American Photojour (...)
- 15 See for example ‘The Inauguration of McKinley,’ Leslie’s Weekly, March 18, 1897, p. 1; ‘The Columbi (...)
6Among the weekly news magazines published in New York in the 1890s, The Illustrated American set itself apart by its use of images. Harper’s Weekly and Leslie’s Weekly were created in the 1850s, and in the 1890s issues of both magazines were sixteen pages in length and sold for 10 cents. Once A Week appeared in 1892, changed its name to Collier’s Weekly in 1895, and also sold for 10 cents at the time.8 In the course of the 1890s, all three gradually adopted the halftone process for reproducing their images. As early as 1890, Leslie’s Weekly published plates of halftone reproductions of photographs, in particular the winners of its amateur photography contest.9 It then began to use photographs to illustrate various reports and sometimes combined them with drawings in the composition of a page.10 Beginning in 1893, photography and halftone reproduction became the magazine’s principal means for disseminating images,11 although drawings continued to enjoy a privileged place on the cover, on the center spread, and in the Christmas issue.12 In his analysis of the use of halftone reproduction and the mass distribution of photographs in the American press at the end of the nineteenth century, David C. Phillips points out that in 1893 press publishers faced an economic crisis.13 The decision to use the halftone process instead of engraving as a means of reproduction permitted them to achieve a considerable savings, since it cost between $5.50 and $8.50 to publish an engraving of 10 cm,2 whereas it only cost between $0.30 and $0.60 to reproduce the same image using the halftone process.14 At this time, magazines did not systematically credit the photographers from whom they obtained their photographs in the captions to their images, but one name that nevertheless recurs regularly is that of John C. Hemment. Hemment’s photographs began to appear in 1893; they depicted current events in the arenas of politics, culture, and particularly sports, but were laid out in accordance with the conventions applied to the engravings that had preceded them.15
- 16 ‘The Illustrated American,’ The Illustrated American, February 22, 1890, p. 3.
- 17 Christopher R. Harris, ‘The Illustrated American. A Revelation of the Heretofore Untried Possibilit (...)
- 18 See the issues of September 9, 16, 23, and 30, 1893.
- 19 Dominique de Font-Réaulx and Thierry Gervais, eds., Léon Gimpel. Les audaces d’un photographe (1873 (...)
- 20 Emília Avares, ed., Joshua Benoliel 1873–1932. Repórter fotográfico, Photojournalist, Lisbon: Cordo (...)
- 21 See for example Arthur Hoeber, ‘At Piney Ridge,’ The Illustrated American, March 13, 1897, pp. 373– (...)
- 22 See for example Chas. E. Patterson, ‘Afield and Afloat,’ The Illustrated American, March 20, 1897, (...)
- 23 Quincy Forbes, ‘At the Nation’s Capital: The Inauguration,’ The Illustrated American, March 13, 189 (...)
- 24 Leslie’s Weekly, March 18, 1897.
7‘Our artists, sketch book and camera in hand, are now at work in distant countries,’ declares the Illustrated American in its inaugural issue of February 22, 1890.16 The British photographer Joseph Byron, who emigrated to New York a year before Jimmy Hare, produced numerous photographs of the theater scene and also supplied The Illustrated American with images of current events. Not only did the paper reproduce photographs using the halftone process, it also presented sophisticated and varied layouts often with images overlapping one another.17 This was the case, for example, with a series of reports on New York’s immigrants that was presented to the magazine’s readers in the issues from September 1893 (fig. 2).18 It was in this context that Jimmy Hare offered his services as a photographer to the magazine. Like Léon Gimpel in Paris19 and Joshua Benoliel in Lisbon,20 he covered local news,21 primarily photographing the sporting events that galvanized the city of New York.22 He also occasionally covered political events, including the inauguration of President William McKinley in 1897.23 The photographer John C. Hemment was also present at the ceremony, but on behalf of Leslie’s Magazine, which broke new ground by placing two photographs on the first page of its March 18 issue and also devoted the issue’s center spread to a series of fifteen photographs recounting the event.24 Hare and Hemment were colleagues and competitors in the quest for images; they met again the following year, in 1898, when both were sent to Cuba to cover the beginning of the Spanish-American War. Meanwhile, The Illustrated American suffered a devastating fire on January 14, 1898, from which it never fully recovered, and Jimmy Hare became the special correspondent for another news magazine, Collier’s Weekly.
- 25 C. Carnes, Jimmy Hare (note 5), 12.
8One month after the fire at The Illustrated American, Jimmy Hare introduced himself to the editors of Collier’s Weekly and obtained the permission of Robert J. Collier (1876–1918), its editor in chief, to leave immediately to photograph the wreckage of the American battleship USS Maine in the port of Havana, on behalf of the weekly magazine. When the USS Maine exploded on February 15, 1898, it was clear that it was only a matter of time before the United States would enter the war against Spain in Cuba. On April 11, President McKinley asked the American Congress to agree to a military intervention, and Congress responded on April 21 with a declaration of war.25
- 26 ‘The Havana Tragedy,’ Collier’s Weekly, March 12, 1898, pp. 4–5.
- 27 Ibid., p. 4.
- 28 Collier’s Weekly, March 19, 1898, n.p.
9The first photographs of the wreck were published in the March 12 issue of the magazine, but without crediting Hare.26 The event was depicted by seven photographs arranged across two facing pages, from the battleship’s arrival to the funeral of the soldiers who had lost their lives in the explosion. In a bellicose tone, the author of the article describes the sequence of images and, in his opening lines, points out that these ‘[p]ictures of the Maine still sell better than those of noted beauties and other celebrities.’27 The magazine’s following issue attests to the strength of this interest in pictures from Cuba: thirty-six photographs, printed on six pages, are presented in individual series of two to nine images taken by the ‘artist’ specially dispatched to the scene of the conflict by the magazine. Such was the status ascribed to the photographer at this time: ‘Special Artist.’28
- 29 James H. Hare, ‘Our Expedition to Gomez’s Camp,’ Collier’s Weekly, May 28, 1898, pp. 4–8; J. H. Har (...)
- 30 ‘From the Front: An Illustrated Bulletin of the Week’s War News,’ Collier’s Weekly, April 30, 1898, (...)
10Back in Florida, Jimmy Hare agreed to return to Cuba together with Sylvester Scovel, a journalist for New York World, to apprise Máximo Gomez, leader of the Cuban resistance, of American military support. This espionage operation resulted in two series of photographs, which were published by Collier’s Weekly on May 28 and June 4 and accompanied, in a highly unusual gesture, by Hare’s own account of the mission.29 Twenty-two photographs in the first issue and twenty-three in the second were arranged into sequences recounting the various phases of the expedition. This time, Hare was clearly presented as a ‘staff photographer’ in the subtitle of the article. Between the destruction of the USS Maine and the expedition to Gomez’s camp, war was declared, and Collier’s Weekly created a special column entitled ‘From the Front,’ in which it promised to provide its readers ‘with the very Latest Pictorial News from the Front’ thanks to ‘a brilliant staff of Artists, Correspondents and Photographers.’30 While the heavy fighting did not begin until late June, the expedition to Gomez’s camp, however questionable it may have been from the point of view of journalistic ethics, provided the magazine with recent images of Cuba, thereby assuring its readers that the correspondents for Collier’s Weekly were present at the scene, in the very midst of the action.
- 31 C. Carnes, Jimmy Hare (note 5), 64.
11At the end of June, the American army was dispatched to Cuba, and at the beginning of July, the decisive Battle of San Juan Hill took place. Jimmy Hare had followed the troops; he enjoyed considerable freedom of movement and was able to approach the front lines. But unlike the events that he had photographed thus far for the press, the battles between the Americans and the Spanish were impromptu, extended over several days, with no predetermined culmination. The conditions were punishing, and an ideal vantage point was often difficult to locate and dangerous to occupy. In other words, photographing war was a complicated exercise, whose results bore little resemblance to traditional depictions of battle. In his discussion of the San Juan Hill battle, Hare’s biographer, Cecil Crane, explains: ‘His idea of war was founded on old-time formal paintings of dignified battle scenes … Incredible as it must seem, he confidently expected, when he reached the front line, to find American and Spanish infantry drawn up face to face in serried ranks and picking each other off at a distance of fifty paces or so.’31 Needless to say, the reality was quite different.
- 32 Hélène Puiseux, Les Figures de la guerre: Représentations et sensibilités 1839–1996 (Paris: Gallima (...)
12Hare brought back numerous photographs from his forays onto the battlefield, where he followed the advances and retreats of the American soldiers, but none of them corresponded to the pictorial conventions entrenched in the visual culture of that time. And yet these photographs showed soldiers on the move – hiding from view, stretched out in a field of tall grass, or taking cover from enemy fire behind an embankment. They also show the course of operations, including the observation of the enemy’s movements through binoculars or from the gondola of a captive balloon, the firing of batteries of artillery and the clouds of smoke that envelop them, and the repatriation and treatment of the wounded. As photographic documents, they are detailed and invaluable, but they bear little resemblance to traditional representations of war that follow the rules of history painting,32 and, as such, they forced the editors of Collier’s Weekly to find visual ways of presenting them that would be accepted by the magazine’s readers.
- 33 Frederick Coffay Yohn, ‘“Charge!” Drill of the Third U.S. Cavalry, Regular,’ Collier’s Weekly, July (...)
- 34 F. C. Yohn, ‘Final Charge of Chaffee’s Brigade at El Caney,’ Collier’s Weekly, July 19, 1898, n.p.
13Hare’s San Juan Hill photographs did not arrive at Collier’s Weekly in time for the early issues of July 1898, and so the column ‘From the Front’ presented archival images and series of portraits, and devoted its main double-page spread to the kind of large-scale compositions that were typical of traditional illustrators. On July 2, a drawing by Frederick Coffay Yohn (1875–1933) depicted the attack of the Third U.S. Cavalry, on galloping horses and with swords in their hands, from a vantage point that could only exist in the artist’s imagination.33 One week later, Yohn depicted the final charge of the U.S. infantry at El Caney, with the soldiers running – and dying – in rows in a confusion of movement and smoke as they attempt to take possession of a fort visible in the background.34 Both of these drawings are clear and centered compositions that illustrate the courage of the U.S. army and imply that its victory is inevitable.
- 35 Collier’s Weekly, July 30, 1898, pp. 4, 5, 8, 15, 20, and 21.
14The photographs from the front reached New York in the days that followed, and they were used to illustrate the issue of July 30. Thirty-seven of Hare’s photographs were published on six individual pages scattered throughout the issue; on each page, they serve to illustrate a subject announced by a headline: ‘At the Front, near Santiago, July 1 and 2;’ ‘In Front of San Juan, near Santiago, July 1 and 2’; ‘The Military Balloon at Santiago’; ‘Scenes in Front of Santiago, July 1 and 2’; ‘The Exodus from Santiago, after Notice of Bombardment Had Been Given’; ‘After the Battle Caring for the Disabled Soldiers’.35 Organizing the photographs thematically seemed to be the best way not only to deal with the sheer quantity of images involved, but also to give meaning to pictures that would not have been as powerful if used on their own. Unlike Yohn’s drawings, whose symbolic and narrative power was based on the pictorial codes of history painting, Hare’s photographs captured more ordinary moments and registered a multitude of confused details. Arranged on the page, accompanied with captions, and supported by a headline, they became as effective at illustrating an episode from the war as any large-scale painterly composition.
15This way of organizing images on a page was not new, but what was unusual about the July 31, 1898, issue of the magazine is that the individual pages were not only used to elucidate various themes, but also arranged throughout the issue to produce the effect of a narrative: from the images taken ‘at the front’ to those of ‘caring for the disabled soldiers.’ The center spread of the column ‘From the Front’ became a platform for photography, with four photographs by J.C. Hemment that depict, not the naval battle between the American and Spanish ships, but the condition of the defeated Iberian fleet after the battle. From the wreck of the battleship USS Maine to that of the cruiser Cristobal Colon, events had come full circle, at least for Collier’s Weekly. Two weeks later, on August 12, Spain agreed to sign an initial treaty putting an end to the conflict in Cuba.
- 36 L.L. Gould and R. Greffe, Photojournalist (note 5), 31–34.
16In late summer 1898, Collier’s Weekly went back to covering its usual round of news, according a prominent place to halftone reproductions but, now also to photographic images. Back in New York again, Hare returned to covering sporting events and domestic politics. In particular, he followed President McKinley on his tour of the southern and western states in the spring of 1901 and photographed him shortly before his assassination at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in the autumn of that same year. Hare then left journalism and tried his hand at selling stereoscopic views. In early 1904, when tensions rose between Russia and Japan, he joined the special correspondents of Collier’s Weekly in San Francisco, where they had gathered before departing for Asia.36
- 37 ‘War Has Begun!,’ Collier’s Weekly, February 13, 1904, n.p.
17This time, Collier’s Weekly did not wait for Hare to offer his services before organizing the media coverage of this new war. In the issue of February 13, 1904, following the Japanese attack on Port Arthur (on February 8), the weekly magazine unveiled its organization by printing a map of the region showing the location of its eleven correspondents, journalists as well as photographers, throughout Asia; their names are shown tethered to a clenched fist, symbolizing the magazine’s editorial strength.37 Numerous photographs were published in Collier’s Weekly and also in Europe, in illustrated newspapers like the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung in Germany, The Illustrated London News in England, and L’Illustration in France. Such a wide distribution provides evidence of their success. Nonetheless, the photographs always posed problems of representation, which the editors addressed by presenting them in sequences as well as by shining a spotlight on the ‘news photographer’ himself, as this new figure in the press world continued to be called.
- 38 ‘Japan and the Correspondents,’ Collier’s Weekly, March 19, 1904, p. 19.
- 39 ‘Collier’s to the Front,’ Collier’s Weekly, March 26, 1904, p. 25.
- 40 A.D. Harvey, ‘The Russo-Japanese War 1904–5: Curtain Raiser for the Twentieth Century World Wars,’ (...)
18In 1904, the coverage of war had clearly become an enormously important concern for Collier’s Weekly. During the first two weeks of the conflict, the weekly magazine and its correspondents grew increasingly frustrated with the Japanese army’s strict control of the border, which prevented them from entering Korea to follow the movements of the Japanese army, and they explained why: ‘The world of journalism had planned to make this war (the most important for thirty years, if not, in its international results, since Napoleon’s time) the most completely described and reported in history.’38 Then at the end of March, the Japanese government granted passes to fifteen journalists: eight Englishmen, five Americans, one German, and one French.39 Of the five Americans, two worked for Collier’s Weekly: Frederick Palmer and Jimmy Hare. Hare followed the Japanese army until December and covered, among other battles, those of Yalu River and Shaho.40
- 41 ‘The Landing of an Army Corps,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 4, 1904, p. 11; ‘The Fortune of War,’ Collie (...)
- 42 ‘The Occupation of Ping-Yang by the Japanese Army,’ Collier’s Weekly, May 21, 1904, n.p.
19The first confrontation covered by Collier’s Weekly using Hare’s photographs was the crossing of the Yalu River in Northern Korea. It took place on April 30 and May 1 and enabled the Japanese army to gain ground against Russian positions. Collier’s Weekly published its first images of the engagement on May 21, and continued to draw out the narrative until the end of June. Hare’s photographs were used in combination with others to describe the movements of the Japanese troops on both sides of the river. The layouts were simple: two to four images printed one above the other, accompanied by their captions and a generic headline announcing the theme of the page: ‘The Landing of an Army Corps,’ ‘The Fortune of War,’ and ‘The Crossing of the Yalu River by the Japanese under General Kuroki’.41 Double-page spreads followed the same type of thematic arrangement but illustrated subjects that were perceived to be more important, such as ‘The Occupation of Ping-Yang by the Japanese Army,’ in which four wide-angle photographs of the Japanese troops were laid out around a photograph of the general staff, whose orders they followed.42 The multiple images of troops on the move emphasized the idea of the occupation of terrain by the Japanese army that obeyed the orders of its general, whose image anchored the layout as a whole.
- 43 ‘Landing the Men Who Fought on the Yalu,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 4, 1904, n.p.
- 44 ‘War Has Begun!’ (note 37).
20Finally, some of the images received by the magazine were sober and effective compositions that the editors felt comfortable using on their own, across two pages, or even on the cover. An example is the issue of June 4, 1904, whose central spread was entirely given over to a photograph by Hare of Japanese soldiers in their boats. In a close-up that excludes all irrelevant details, the image shows narrow-hulled boats in which the Japanese soldiers are seated in serried ranks.43 It is an image that permitted the editors to highlight, in the caption, the soldiers’ determination, which brought them victory despite the enemy army’s superior numbers, and also expressed their support for the Japanese army, which, according to the caption, was fighting for ‘democracy and progressiveness’ against ‘despotism and duplicity.’44
- 45 Frederick Palmer, ‘An Historical Day on the Yalu,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 25, 1904, p. 14.
21Different layouts were used for Hare’s photographs from the front, depending on their content and their effectiveness. In the final segment of the narrative account of the Battle of Yalu River, published on June 25, 1904, the magazine presented the war correspondent, Frederick Palmer, and the war photographer, Jimmy Hare, side by side, at work on the same terrain.45 Having begun as a ‘special artist’ in the Spanish-American War, Hare had now become a ‘war photographer.’ The nature of his activity hadn’t changed, but this new status enhanced the prestige of his images by pointing to the fact that, unlike many illustrators, who worked in newsrooms from descriptions, sketches, and occasionally photographs, the photographer was actually present at the scene of his pictures. This proximity to the event was seized upon by the magazine as an additional means of legitimating the war photographs. In this image, Hare is seen in front of a tent bearing his name, developing his negatives prior to sending the resulting prints to the illustrated newspapers and magazines. The fact that this portrait appeared on the same day in the French illustrated weekly L’Illustration suggests that Hare produced multiple prints which he simultaneously sent to Collier’s Weekly and to European illustrated publications.
- 46 ‘La guerre russo-japonaise,’ L’Illustration, no. 3181, February 20, 1904, p. 114.
- 47 Viktoria Zanozina, ‘The Destiny of the Bulla Dynasty’s Photographic Collection,’ Comma, nos. 3–4 (2 (...)
- 48 The first of Viktor Bulla’s photographs to appear in L’Illustration were published on September 24, (...)
- 49 Ibid.
22René Baschet took over as the director of L’Illustration in March 1904, a few weeks after the beginning of the Russo-Japanese conflict. Of all the important decisions made by the new director, that of privileging photography over drawing had the greatest visual impact. Like Collier’s Weekly, L’Illustration wasted no time in informing its readers that every possible means would be used to keep them apprised of the situation in Asia.46 Where the medium of photography was concerned, the weekly magazine obtained images from both sides of the conflict. For example, the Russian army’s movements were relayed through Viktor Bulla’s photographs. The son of a family of photographers with its studios in Saint Petersburg,47 Bulla was hired to cover the Manchurian front by the newspapers Spark and Russian World. It was the photographs made on this assignment that were published in L’Illustration beginning in September 1904.48 In the issue of September 24, 1904, a double-page spread entitled ‘Scenes of Battle in Manchuria’ reproduces the ‘details of a battle photographed by our war correspondent’.49 Eight photographs are printed across two pages: five of them ‘taken successively in the same phase’ of a battle, two illustrate the rear of the Russian army, and one introduces the reader to the photographer. This latter image shows the young Bulla (aged twenty-one), on horseback, outfitted with cameras, at ‘Si-Mou-Tchen’ in Manchuria. Printed in the upper left-hand corner of the page, the photograph serves to introduce, as well as to validate, the images that follow: Viktor Bulla’s photographs come directly from the front and as such, can take their place in L’Illustration.
- 50 L’Illustration, no. 3200, June 25, 1904, p. 422.
23On the Japanese side, L’Illustration had a number of sources, including Jimmy Hare, who sent the magazine a few dozen photographs during the conflict. The image of the photographer in front of his tent was published in the June 25 issue, where it illustrated not an article on the war but rather one on the photographer himself.50 Entitled ‘War Photography,’ this article is a testament to the importance and the central role ascribed to the photographer in covering the news, and it provides information intended to justify that role: ‘to say nothing of the grave risks to which a war correspondent, photographer, or journalist is exposed, when one knows the conditions in which these results were obtained – the make-shift nature of the setups used to perform the delicate operations of the photographic art right on the battlefield – one cannot help but be astonished and would not dream of begrudging these bold and resourceful contributors one’s respect and even admiration.’
- 51 All three citations are from ‘La photographie à la guerre,’ L’Illustration, no. 3200, June 25, 1904 (...)
24Through the description of the photojournalist’s labors, the figure of the hero being tested by difficult ordeals gradually emerges. As a result, the photographer’s work, which demanded that he travel to the scene of the conflict in order to record it, gains prestige, and the conditions under which the work was done can be invoked when assessing the quality of the images published by L’Illustration: ‘Think of the courage required to produce these images, and don’t judge too harshly if you are sometimes shown a less than flawless photograph.’51 The retouching of the original photographs received by L’Illustration is proof that the prints from the front did not meet the aesthetic standards of the magazine and had, at the very least, to be touched up with gouache to soften their contours and eliminate shadows. The article further stresses that, due to the conditions under which Hare’s photographs were made, they were not subject to the prevailing aesthetic constraints of L’Illustration. Even before publication, the images of the Japanese army were justified by the nature of the journalistic work involved in producing them. The role of the photojournalist was defined, and his personal engagement and the fact that he risked his life on behalf of his work served to validate his images.
- 52 ‘Concentration d’une division japonaise dans la plaine de Feng-Hoang-Tcheng,’ L’Illustration, no. 3 (...)
- 53 David T. Zabecki, ‘Lioa-Yang: Dawn of Modern Warfare,’ Military History 16, no. 5, (December 1999): (...)
25Like Collier’s Weekly, L’Illustration on rare occasions devoted a full page or even an entire spread to a single photograph. One such image is a slightly high angle shot of the plain of Feng-huang-cheng, where the Japanese troops were deployed.52 The photograph is clearly structured, crisp, and detailed and provides a coherent and panoramic view of its subject and draws attention to the unusually large number of soldiers who fought in this war, a characteristic feature of the conflict.53 But this presentation is atypical, and like Viktor Bulla’s photographs, those of Jimmy Hare were usually presented in series.
- 54 ‘Scènes de guerre,’ L’Illustration, no. 3209, August 27, 1904, 136–37.
26In the August 27 issue, seven photographs are artfully arranged across a spread devoted to ‘Scenes of War’. The very first lines of the article refer to the images: ‘Among all the photographs we have received from the theater of the war these past few days, we have selected one series from the Japanese side of the conflict; the images capture various episodes of life on campaign and show the Japanese soldier going about his various tasks.’54 Among the photographs, the magazine selected a single ‘series,’ which it arranged sequentially such that the reader would pass from an image of the Japanese standard bearer to views of trenches, on to images of spoils and prisoners, and finally to a photograph of the ‘wounded and the dead before the arrival of the stretchers.’ The images and their configuration on the page turns the reader into a spectator as the action unfolded.
27This temporal dimension, suggested by the magazine’s editorial decisions and layout, reached its high point in the issue of December 10, 1904. L’Illustration devoted its center spread to a series of sixteen of Hare’s photographs beneath the headline ‘A day of fighting between Yen-Tai and the Cha-Ho photographed hour by hour’. Arranged in four rows, the photographs constitute a sequence, each following on from the preceding image. The reader first has a view of the Japanese general staff and then accompanies ‘the photographer, Mr. Hare, as he advances toward the line of fire’ through a series of views of the battlefield taken ‘successively.’ In order to ensure that the reader follows the photographer’s progress, L’Illustration has numbered each of the images. This way of laying out a day of fighting, photographed hour by hour, corresponds to what is written about the photographer in the article. Indeed, the final image in the sequence is of Hare himself. Captioned ‘Mister Hare stops taking photographs to care for the wounded,’ this image presents the photographer as a direct participant in the conflict and no longer as someone whose role is simply to record it. Just as the article affirmed the credibility of the photographs by describing the photographer’s work and personal investment, the magazine substantiated the authenticity of the photographic sequence by presenting the photographer himself at the scene of the photographed events. Everything is done to provide the readers/spectators with the sense that they have direct access to the conflict. In this spread, it is no longer a matter of representing a battle scene but of presenting the battle itself, ‘hour by hour.’ Hare’s (photographic) images, like their (analytical) layout, reflect an approach to illustration that seeks at one and the same time to glorify the photographer and to conceal the act of representation, to mask the work involved in covering the news in order to establish its credibility with the readers.
- 55 T. Gervais, ‘L’invention du magazine,’ Études photographiques, no. 20 (June 2007): 50–67.
- 56 For more on this subject, see Tom Gretton, ‘Différence et compétition. L’imitation et la reproducti (...)
- 57 L’Illustration, no. 2975, March 3, 1900.
28French magazines had been arranging photographs in this fashion since the late nineteenth century, and other illustrated publications, such as the supplements of the major national dailies – Le Petit Journal, for example – had done so even earlier with drawings.55 Before 1904, however, it was unusual to find images presented in the sequential manner of the central spread of L’Illustration, itself the most high-profile section of the magazine.56 Just a few years earlier, this weekly had responded to a similar event – the Boer War in South Africa – by hiring draftsmen and engravers to illustrate the battles with grand compositions. Georges Scott’s depiction of the difficulties encountered by the English artillery at the Battle of Colenso was printed across two pages of the March 3, 1900, issue.57
- 58 G.B. [Gustave Babin], ‘La guerre vue par les photographes. Jimmy Hare,’ L’Illustration, no. 3238, M (...)
- 59 Laurent Gervereau et al., eds., Voir/Ne pas voir la guerre (note 2).
- 60 A.D. Harvey, ‘The Russo-Japanese War 1904–5’ (note 40).
29In spring 1905, the magazine published an article by Gustave Babin on Hare’s photographs and war photography in general, in which the author explored this new type of presentation: ‘No one will have failed to notice the extent to which this image of the war – faithfully recorded by the lens, which is incapable of telling a lie or showing indulgence – is unexpected, how far removed it is from the epic paintings that showed it to us in the past.’58 Babin declares: ‘This is what war is today: a few specks smoking in the distant sky, the men sliding on their bellies, cautious and taking cover in every twist and fold of the terrain. A series of minor incidents that are all the same; this is the face of a war in which one hundred thousand soldiers lose their lives.’ While small photographs did not systematically take the place of all large-scale battle compositions, it is impossible not to agree with Babin’s conclusion that the photographs of the Russo-Japanese front represent a dramatic break with traditional depictions of war.59 The publication of these analytical plates, which stand in such marked contrast to the synthetic compositions of the illustrators, goes hand in hand with the modernity of the Russo-Japanese conflict60 and the transformation of journalistic practice. In this sense, the demonstrative character of the photographic series dovetails closely with the investigative ambitions of the reporter. The publication of sequences provides an analysis of the conflict and reflects the movement of the narrative of current events away from the single image to the page of the magazine or newspaper. The visual information is no longer contained entirely within the drawing but deployed across the page by the serial distribution of the photographs. In other words, the way in which Jimmy Hare’s images were published shows that the forms and practices of photojournalism were established in the opening years of the twentieth century.
- 61 F. Palmer, ‘About “Jimmy” Hare,’ Collier’s Weekly, February 25, 1905, p. 18.
- 62 Ibid.
- 63 Collier’s Weekly, June 18, 1904, p. 1; L’Illustration, no. 3200, June 25, 1904, p. 428; Berliner Il (...)
- 64 See, for example, Hare’s photographs published in Die Woche on June 11, 1904, p. 1045; in The Illus (...)
- 65 ‘War Has Begun!’ (note 37).
30After the Battle of Cha-Ho, Hare returned to New York. In February 1905, under the byline of Frederick Palmer, Collier’s Weekly ran an article extolling Hare’s virtues as a photographer, his tenacity and his commitment to capturing images that come closer and closer to the action - ‘[n]o one realized photographic limitation better than he. Only the detail can be shown; and the photographer must be near the detail.’61 Palmer also points out that ‘[i]n England, France, and Germany, as well as in America, many millions of people have seen the war on the Japanese side through the lens of James H. Hare’s camera.’62 Indeed, not only did the photographs of the Russo-Japanese war overturn existing modes of representation, they were also distributed on a hitherto unprecedented scale. Many of Hare’s – and Bulla’s – photographs were reproduced just a few days apart on both sides of the Atlantic. That was the case, for example, with Hare’s photograph of a soldier carrying one of his wounded comrades after the Battle of Yalu River: it appeared on the first page of Collier’s Weekly on June 18, 1904; was published full-page in L’Illustration on June 25 (the magazine took care to use a paint brush to touch up the background); and again on the first page of the June 26 Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung.63 Others of his photographs found their way into weeklies such as Die Woche and The Illustrated London News, and even into French daily newspapers.64 There is no doubt that Jimmy Hare’s photographs of the front were seen in the many Western countries that had granted Japan a place in geopolitical discussions regarding Asia. They also helped Collier’s Weekly achieve the goal it had articulated on February 13, 1904: to ‘set a new standard of weekly journalism.’65
- 66 ‘The Greatest War-Photographer in the World,’ Picture Post, December 3, 1938.
- 67 ‘James H. Hare, Greatest of War Photographers,’ Leslie’s Weekly, August 27, 1914, p. 195.
- 68 Ibid.
31At the turn of the century, photojournalists became important figures in the world of the illustrated press, which had just embraced the halftone process and photography. In order to disseminate this new body of illustrations, editors made extensive use of layout and found themselves called upon to justify the value of these images to their readers. In the case of Jimmy Hare’s war photographs, the publication of thematic sets and photographic sequences made it possible to lend meaning to images that would have been difficult to publish individually. As for the work of legitimating these images, that was accomplished by recognizing and valorizing the figure of the photojournalist. After beginning as an ‘artist,’ in the opening years of the twentieth century Hare became a ‘war photographer’ whose journalistic commitment and willingness to take risks were powerful arguments for disseminating new images of questionable aesthetic merit. Twenty-four years before Robert Capa was declared ‘the greatest war-photographer in the world’66 by Picture Post (1938), Leslie’s Weekly introduced Jimmy Hare to its readers as the ‘greatest of war photographers’ (1914).67 When Collier’s Weekly refused to send him to Europe to cover the First Word War, Jimmy Hare turned to the magazine’s competitor, which seized the opportunity and made the most of his reputation: ‘Everybody knows him for the greatest man that has ever reported war with the camera … He made himself famous by his wonderful work in the Spanish-American war, and he has been in the firing line in every war since – and he always gets the best.’68
- 69 Gilles Feyel, La Presse en France des origines à 1944. Histoire politique et matérielle (Paris: Ell (...)
- 70 Dorothy E. speirs, ‘Un genre résolument moderne: l’interview,’ Romance Quarterly 37, nos. 3–4 (Augu (...)
32But photojournalism is more than a practice that emerged at the beginning of the twentieth century and underwent a massive expansion in the 1930s; it must also be seen as a new phase in the search for credibility of news publications in general.69 Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, news publications consistently adopted new forms of coverage which were heralded as being more faithful to the events themselves. In the 1870s and 1880s, the traditional form of the narrative was revitalized by the news report and the interview.70 The use of images in general, and of photographs in particular, was justified in the same way. The engravings published in the first illustrated newspapers of the 1840s were presented as pedagogical vehicles that were more effective than text because they were regarded as more immediate. Similarly, the photograph’s supposed authenticity was invoked to legitimate its massive use at the beginning of the twentieth century. While the emergence of photojournalism in the early twentieth century arose from economic, cultural, and aesthetic conditions, the justification for the use of photography followed strategies that had informed news journalism from its beginnings – the impulse to minimize any sense of mediation between the reader and the news in order to enhance credibility, while at the same time celebrating the heroic roles of the photographers involved.
33 The author wishes to thank Valérie Boileau-Matteau, Myriam Chermette, Robert Lebeck, Emily McKibbon, Gaëlle Morel, Alison Skyrme, and Gabriel for their invaluable assistance.
1 This expression was used in R. W. Ritchie’s paper about Hare and his work for the press. R.W. Ritchie, ‘“Jimmy” Hare,’ American Magazine 75 (February 1913): 31.
2 See especially Mary Panzer, ed., Things as They Are: Photojournalism in Context Since 1955 (New York: Aperture Foundation/World Press Photo, 2005); Fred Ritchin, ‘La proximité du témoignage. Les engagements du photojournaliste,’ in Nouvelle histoire de la photographie, ed. Michel Frizot, 590–609 (Paris: Bordas/Adam Biro, 1994). There are, however, a few authors who have presented the practice of reporting within a larger historical context stretching much further back; see Clément Chéroux, ‘Mythologie du photographe de guerre,’ in Voir/Ne pas voir la guerre. Histoire des représentations photographiques de la guerre, ed. Laurent Gervereau et al., 306–11 (Paris: BDIC/Somogy, 2001); Bodo von Dewitz and Robert Lebeck, Kiosk, Eine Geschichte der Fotoreportage (Cologne: Museum Ludwig/Agfa Foto-Historama, 2001); Richard Whelan, This is War! Robert Capa at Work (New York: International Center of Photography/Steidl, 2007); Kevin G. Barnhurst and John Neron, ‘Civic Picturing vs. Realist Photojournalism: The Regime of Illustrated News, 1856–1901,’ Design Issues 16, no. 1 (Spring 2000): 59–79.
3 Françoise Denoyelle, ‘De l’errance à l’épopée lyrique. Naissance d’un mythe,’ in Capa connu et inconnu, ed. Laure Beaumont-Maillet, 49 (Paris: BnF, 2004).
4 M. Panzer, ed., Things as They Are (note 2), 13.
5 There are two biographies of James H. Hare available: Cecil Carnes, Jimmy Hare: News Photographer, Half a Century with a Camera (New York: Macmillan, 1940); Lewis L. Gould and Richard Greffe, Photojournalist: The Career of Jimmy Hare (Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1977).
6 Reese V. Jenkins, Images and Enterprise: Technology and the American Photographic Industry, 1839 to 1925 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975), 138–39.
7 L.L. Gould and R. Greffe, Photojournalist (note 5), 8–9.
8 Frank L. Mott, ‘The General Illustrated Miscellanies,’ in A History of American Magazines, 1741–1930, vol. 3, 57–59 (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1957).
9 Arkel and Harrison, ‘Prizes for Amateur Photographers,’ Leslie’s Weekly, May 24, 1890, p. 330. See also ‘Our Amateur Photographic Contest,’ Leslie’s Weekly, May 31, 1890, p. 352, as well as ‘Our Second Amateur Photographic Contest,’ Leslie’s Weekly, December 27, 1890, p. 389.
10 See for example M.A. Lunn, ‘The Beet-Sugar Industry,’ Leslie’s Weekly, December 27, 1890, p. 452, and the plate of three images, two of them photographs, that accompanies the article on p. 454.
11 The thirty-six images published in the January 5, 1893, issue of Leslie’s Weekly are all reproduced as halftone images, seventeen of them are photographs.
12 See for example the Christmas issue of 1894.
13 David Clayton Phillips, ‘Halftone Technology, Mass Photography and the Social Transformation of American Print Culture, 1880–1920’ (doctoral dissertation in philosophy, Yale University, 1996), 58–60.
14 These figures come from the dissertation of Robert S. Kahan, ‘The Antecedents of American Photojournalism’ (doctoral dissertation in journalism, University of Wisconsin, 1969), 205.
15 See for example ‘The Inauguration of McKinley,’ Leslie’s Weekly, March 18, 1897, p. 1; ‘The Columbian Exposition at Chicago,’ Leslie’s Weekly, May 18, 1893, p. 1; ‘Degradation of the Turf in New Jersey,’ Leslie’s Weekly, February 23, 1893, pp. 120–21 .
16 ‘The Illustrated American,’ The Illustrated American, February 22, 1890, p. 3.
17 Christopher R. Harris, ‘The Illustrated American. A Revelation of the Heretofore Untried Possibilities of Pictorial Literature,’ Visual Communication Quarterly 6, no. 4 (Fall 1999): 4–7.
18 See the issues of September 9, 16, 23, and 30, 1893.
19 Dominique de Font-Réaulx and Thierry Gervais, eds., Léon Gimpel. Les audaces d’un photographe (1873–1948) (Paris/Milan: Musée d’Orsay/5 Continents Editions, 2008).
20 Emília Avares, ed., Joshua Benoliel 1873–1932. Repórter fotográfico, Photojournalist, Lisbon: Cordoaria Nacional, May 18 – August 21, 2005 (Lisbon: Camara Municipal de Lisboa, 2005).
21 See for example Arthur Hoeber, ‘At Piney Ridge,’ The Illustrated American, March 13, 1897, pp. 373–75.
22 See for example Chas. E. Patterson, ‘Afield and Afloat,’ The Illustrated American, March 20, 1897, pp. 414–15.
23 Quincy Forbes, ‘At the Nation’s Capital: The Inauguration,’ The Illustrated American, March 13, 1897, pp. 359–62.
24 Leslie’s Weekly, March 18, 1897.
25 C. Carnes, Jimmy Hare (note 5), 12.
26 ‘The Havana Tragedy,’ Collier’s Weekly, March 12, 1898, pp. 4–5.
27 Ibid., p. 4.
28 Collier’s Weekly, March 19, 1898, n.p.
29 James H. Hare, ‘Our Expedition to Gomez’s Camp,’ Collier’s Weekly, May 28, 1898, pp. 4–8; J. H. Hare, ‘Our Expedition to Gomez’s Camp,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 4, 1898, pp. 4–8.
30 ‘From the Front: An Illustrated Bulletin of the Week’s War News,’ Collier’s Weekly, April 30, 1898, p. 17.
31 C. Carnes, Jimmy Hare (note 5), 64.
32 Hélène Puiseux, Les Figures de la guerre: Représentations et sensibilités 1839–1996 (Paris: Gallimard, 1997).
33 Frederick Coffay Yohn, ‘“Charge!” Drill of the Third U.S. Cavalry, Regular,’ Collier’s Weekly, July 2, 1898, n.p.
34 F. C. Yohn, ‘Final Charge of Chaffee’s Brigade at El Caney,’ Collier’s Weekly, July 19, 1898, n.p.
35 Collier’s Weekly, July 30, 1898, pp. 4, 5, 8, 15, 20, and 21.
36 L.L. Gould and R. Greffe, Photojournalist (note 5), 31–34.
37 ‘War Has Begun!,’ Collier’s Weekly, February 13, 1904, n.p.
38 ‘Japan and the Correspondents,’ Collier’s Weekly, March 19, 1904, p. 19.
39 ‘Collier’s to the Front,’ Collier’s Weekly, March 26, 1904, p. 25.
40 A.D. Harvey, ‘The Russo-Japanese War 1904–5: Curtain Raiser for the Twentieth Century World Wars,’ The RUSI Journal 148, no. 6 (December 2003): 58–61.
41 ‘The Landing of an Army Corps,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 4, 1904, p. 11; ‘The Fortune of War,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 18, 1904, p. 7; ‘The Crossing of the Yalu River by the Japanese under General Kuroki,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 25, 1904, p. 15.
42 ‘The Occupation of Ping-Yang by the Japanese Army,’ Collier’s Weekly, May 21, 1904, n.p.
43 ‘Landing the Men Who Fought on the Yalu,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 4, 1904, n.p.
44 ‘War Has Begun!’ (note 37).
45 Frederick Palmer, ‘An Historical Day on the Yalu,’ Collier’s Weekly, June 25, 1904, p. 14.
46 ‘La guerre russo-japonaise,’ L’Illustration, no. 3181, February 20, 1904, p. 114.
47 Viktoria Zanozina, ‘The Destiny of the Bulla Dynasty’s Photographic Collection,’ Comma, nos. 3–4 (2002): 93–106.
48 The first of Viktor Bulla’s photographs to appear in L’Illustration were published on September 24, 1904, beneath the headline ‘Vision de bataille en Mandchourie,’ L’Illustration, no. 3213, September 24, 1904, pp. 208–9.
50 L’Illustration, no. 3200, June 25, 1904, p. 422.
51 All three citations are from ‘La photographie à la guerre,’ L’Illustration, no. 3200, June 25, 1904, pp. 422–23.
52 ‘Concentration d’une division japonaise dans la plaine de Feng-Hoang-Tcheng,’ L’Illustration, no. 3208, August 20, 1904, pp. 120–21.
53 David T. Zabecki, ‘Lioa-Yang: Dawn of Modern Warfare,’ Military History 16, no. 5, (December 1999): 54-61.
54 ‘Scènes de guerre,’ L’Illustration, no. 3209, August 27, 1904, 136–37.
55 T. Gervais, ‘L’invention du magazine,’ Études photographiques, no. 20 (June 2007): 50–67.
56 For more on this subject, see Tom Gretton, ‘Différence et compétition. L’imitation et la reproduction des œuvres d’art dans un journal illustrée du xixe siècle,’ in Majeur ou mineur? Les hiérarchies en art, ed. Georges Roque, 105–143 (Nîmes: Éditions Jacqueline Chambon, 2000). See also Tom Gretton, ‘Le statut subalterne de la photographie. Étude de la présentation des images dans les hebdomadaires illustrés (Londres, Paris, 1885–1910),’ Études photographiques, no. 20 (June 2007): 34–49.
57 L’Illustration, no. 2975, March 3, 1900.
58 G.B. [Gustave Babin], ‘La guerre vue par les photographes. Jimmy Hare,’ L’Illustration, no. 3238, March 18, 1905, p. 167.
59 Laurent Gervereau et al., eds., Voir/Ne pas voir la guerre (note 2).
60 A.D. Harvey, ‘The Russo-Japanese War 1904–5’ (note 40).
61 F. Palmer, ‘About “Jimmy” Hare,’ Collier’s Weekly, February 25, 1905, p. 18.
63 Collier’s Weekly, June 18, 1904, p. 1; L’Illustration, no. 3200, June 25, 1904, p. 428; Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, June 26, 1904, p. 1.
64 See, for example, Hare’s photographs published in Die Woche on June 11, 1904, p. 1045; in The Illustrated London News, August 13, 1904, p. 229; and Le Matin, August 31, 1904, p. 1. For more on the French daily newspapers’ coverage of the Russo-Japanese War, see Myriam Chermette, ‘La guerre russo-japonaise (1904–1905). Début du reportage moderne ou fin d’une époque?,’ in ‘Donner à voir. La photographie dans Le Journal: discours, pratiques, usages (1892–1944)’ (doctoral dissertation in history, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 2009), 205.
65 ‘War Has Begun!’ (note 37).
66 ‘The Greatest War-Photographer in the World,’ Picture Post, December 3, 1938.
67 ‘James H. Hare, Greatest of War Photographers,’ Leslie’s Weekly, August 27, 1914, p. 195.
69 Gilles Feyel, La Presse en France des origines à 1944. Histoire politique et matérielle (Paris: Ellipses, 1999); Marie-Ève Thérenty and Alain Vaillant, 1836. L’an I de l’ère médiatique. Analyse littéraire et historique de La Presse de Girardin (Paris: Nouveau Monde, 2001).
70 Dorothy E. speirs, ‘Un genre résolument moderne: l’interview,’ Romance Quarterly 37, nos. 3–4 (August 1990): 301–7; see also the special issue of the journal Lieux littéraires/La revue, nos. 9–10 (June 2006), ed. Martine Lavaud and M.-È. Thérenty, which explores L’interview d’écrivain. Figures bibliques d’autorité.
Thierry Gervais, « The ‘Greatest Of War Photograhers’ », Études photographiques, 26 | novembre 2010, [En ligne], mis en ligne le 28 mai 2014. URL : http://etudesphotographiques.revues.org/3452. consulté le 30 mars 2017.