hello everyone,

I'm new here and can't seem to figure out how to post except anonymously. I'm not the best writer in the world but I have to submit a one page double spaced artist statement along with some slides of a documentary I shot during my stay in Iraq. Please Please help me edit this. I welcome all comments!!! Thank you in advance for any help.

Postcards from Baghdad

I began planning the documentary of my deployment to Iraq with the objective of capturing the genre of war while establishing a timeless equality linking this controversial conflict with the many of our past. Research of artists such as Sylvia Plachy, Keith Carter and other talented photographers led me to the Holga. I felt the monochromatic nature of black and white film combined with the dreamy, surrealistic quality of this camera was truly the best medium to choose.
Most of my tour of duty in Iraq seemed dreadful, constantly relishing in thoughts of home along with my continuous struggle adapting to Army life. Much older than the typical enlistee I found myself increasingly short with fellow soldiers and agitated with the absence of respect from my superiors. My project gave reason to my hopeless situation becoming a driving force when ordered to do some of the more asinine duties required of an enlisted man.
During my time in Baghdad I converted a blood and *** covered room to double as my sleeping quarters and darkroom. On peaceful evenings when mortars and gunfire were at a distance, I worked developing film and printing postcards to send family and friends. I would try to photograph as often as possible in order to meet the goals of my project. Due to increased stress, fear and anxiety my project objective became second in importance to the therapeutic value of the documentary process itself.
Since my redeployment home I have been working to edit and improve my project. Although I used traditional photographic printing methods in Baghdad, I found that the extreme conditions of Iraq have had an adverse effect on my negatives and that I’m able to achieve a higher quality print, using digital methods. My goal now is to expand the outreach of my project inviting viewers to become a part of my COMBAT ZONE. My profound hope is that this project will not contribute to the barrage of imagery aiding to desensitize viewers but instead evoke greater empathy and compassion towards fellow soldiers and the Iraqi people.
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MountainHiker
Postcards from Baghdad

I began planning the documentary of my deployment to Iraq with the objective of capturing the genre of war while establishing a timeless quality linking this controversial conflict with many of our past. [not sure about this first sentence.] Researching artists such as Sylvia Plachy, Keith Carter and other talented photographers led me to the Holga. I felt the monochromatic nature of black and white film combined with the dreamy, surrealistic quality of this camera was truly the best medium[ to choose…delete last couple words]

Constantly thinking of home along with my continuous struggle adapting to army life , I found most of my tour of duty in Iraq was dreadful. Being much older than the typical enlistee I found myself increasingly short with fellow soldiers and agitated with the absence of respect from my superiors. My project gave reason and purpose to my hopeless situation becoming a positive driving force when ordered to do some of the more asinine duties required of an enlisted man.

During my time in Baghdad I converted a blood and *** covered room to double as my sleeping quarters and darkroom. On peaceful evenings when mortars and gunfire were at a distance, I worked developing film and printing postcards to send family and friends. I would try to photograph as often as possible in order to meet the goals of my project. Due to increased stress, fear and anxiety, my project objective became second in importance to the therapeutic value of the documentary process itself.

Since my redeployment home I have been working to edit and improve my project. Although I used traditional photographic printing methods in Baghdad, I found that the extreme conditions of Iraq have had an adverse effect on my negatives and that I am able to achieve a higher quality print, using digital methods. My goal now is to expand the reach of my project by inviting viewers to become a part of my COMBAT ZONE. My profound hope is that this project will not contribute to the barrage of imagery aiding to desensitize viewers but instead evoke greater empathy and compassion towards fellow soldiers and Iraqi people.

I made a few subtle changes here and there. I will request other moderators to view and comment.

MountainHiker
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Well written, though I made a few corrections and stylistic suggestions.

I'm curious to see your photos! I like inspiring photography (though I'm not very good at it myself). Have you got a project website?

Postcards from Baghdad

I began planning the documentary of my deployment to Iraq with the objective of capturing a different scene of war. I established a timeless equality linking this controversial conflict with the many of our past. Research of artists such as Sylvia Plachy, Keith Carter and other talented photographers led me to the Holga. I felt the monochromatic nature of black and white film combined with the dreamy, surrealistic quality of this camera was truly the best medium to choose.
Most of my tour of duty in Iraq seemed dreadful: I was constantly relishing thoughts of home while struggling to adapt to Army life. Much older than the typical enlistee, I found myself increasingly short with fellow soldiers and frustrated by the lack of respect from my superiors. My project gave reason to my hopeless situation, becoming a driving force when ordered to do some of the more asinine duties required of an enlisted man.
During my time in Baghdad I converted a blood and faeces covered room to double as my sleeping quarters and darkroom. On peaceful evenings when mortars and gunfire were just a distant rumble, I worked developing film and printing postcards to send to family and friends. I would try to photograph as often as possible, in order to meet the goals of my project. Due to increased stress, fear, and anxiety, my project objective became second in importance to the therapeutic value of the documentary process itself.
Since arriving back home I have been working to edit and improve my project. Although I used traditional photographic printing methods in Baghdad, I found that the extreme conditions of Iraq had an adverse effect on my negatives. I have been able to achieve a higher quality print using digital methods.
My goal now is to extend the reach of my project by inviting viewers to become a part of my ‘combat zone’. My profound hope is that this project will not contribute to the barrage of imagery that desensitizes viewers, but will instead evoke greater empathy and compassion towards fellow soldiers and the Iraqi people.
Thank you so much for the help. When you say not sure about the first sentence, do you mean I should try to write it differently or just get rid of it? Just want to thank you again for taking the time to look it over and helping out a former D english student.
Matthewg thanks for taking the time to look over my statement. I don't have a project website I'm afraid I'm as good with a computer as I am with english. I hope to get better at both in the future. I have posted a few at a this website www.toycamera.com but it was a while back and I'm not sure if they are still there or not. I post under fotogeek so a search for Iraq and fotogeek may produce something if not its still a good site to view some great photographs. I could email you some stuff if interested. Well thanks again for the help. See ya
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Hi fotogeek,

Your version
I began planning the documentary of my deployment to Iraq with the objective of capturing the genre of war while establishing a timeless equality linking this controversial conflict with the many of our past.


My version
I began planning the documentary of my deployment to Iraq with the objective of capturing the genre of war while establishing a timeless quality linking this controversial conflict with many of our past.


(only change I think is "equality" vs. "quality")

I think Matthewg might have misinterpreted your first sentence or two.

I found your first sentence too "artsy" for war. War is ugly, war is messy, war is bloody. I am not sure you want to describe war with words like "genre" and "timeless quality". I don't know what pictures you have taken, but it would seem to me that war is more direct. It's in your face. It's not poetic or artistic. It's brute force with ugly consequences. There may be moments of poetry, happiness, or other "polite" adjectives, but overall war is very direct. I would try to use that same direct approach in describing my photography.

I began my documentary with the aim of showing a different side to the conflict, a side where (describe.....). (then add your sentence about linking this conflict with past conflicts....I guess to help you better, I would probably need to better understand your photography.)

It's hard to comment without seeing your photos. But when I think of war, I think of very direct communication. It's direct in the command structure. It's direct in the consquences.

Does that help?

MountainHiker
Thanks again for taking even more time with this, I greatly appreciate everything. I agree with the comments about war, I don't mean the piece to come off artsy, I just want the reader to understand what my goal was, to capture the everyday life of war and the only good word that came to mind was genre. The second part of the first sentece I'm trying to link this war with others in equailty both good and bad. If it helps my images are all black and white with soft focus, I puposely left out tv's, satellite dishs, radio equipment etc. If you would like me to email some shots please let me know Email Removed. Thank you so much for your help.
fotogeek,

I am having difficulty understanding your use of the word "equality". I thought it was a typo and you meant "quality". But perhaps I am mistaken.

Once you have played with your text, try posting it again.

MountainHiker
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