Confronting photos from the frontline in Afghanistan

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  • These images captured by an Australian photographer in Afghanistan give rare insight into life on frontline
  • One image, taken by Gary Ramage, shows medics desperately fighting to save the life of a wounded marine
  • In another, a small girl looks on as a soldier takes aim at a suspected Taliban fighter in Helmand Province
  • Others show medics hosing down a medical helicopter after it has been used to transport a wounded soldier 

By Media Drum

Published: 06:31 EDT, 11 October 2017 | Updated: 08:08 EDT, 11 October 2017

These stirring images captured in war-torn Afghanistan give a rare insight into life on the frontline.

One image, taken by Australian photographer Gary Ramage, shows medics desperately fighting to save the life of a wounded marine as he makes his way to hospital via helicopter.

In another, a small girl can be seen looking on as a soldier takes aim at a suspected Taliban fighter in Helmand Province.

A little girl in a red dress is seen hanging around while as marine takes aim at a suspected Taliban fighter in Helmand Province
A little girl in a red dress is seen hanging around while as marine takes aim at a suspected Taliban fighter in Helmand Province

A little girl in a red dress is seen hanging around while as marine takes aim at a suspected Taliban fighter in Helmand Province

A flight medic and loadmaster are pictured attempting to save a marine's life while travelling at 160km/h, 30 metres off the ground
A flight medic and loadmaster are pictured attempting to save a marine's life while travelling at 160km/h, 30 metres off the ground

A flight medic and loadmaster are pictured attempting to save a marine's life while travelling at 160km/h, 30 metres off the ground

Further photos show medics hosing down a medical helicopter after it has been used to transport a wounded soldier.

'I am a combat photographer who has seen too much death,' Ramage writes in his book, The Shot.

'The first time was too much for me, and yet here I am, back in my comfort zone, where I will try my hardest and never be satisfied with what I have done.

'I am hard enough to endure this, yet also too soft. I can get through by reminding myself of the simple rule I live by: in wars, where nothing seems to matter, I can take pictures in which every person counts.'

Another snap shows a group of marines are pictured attempting to get some rest in a compound in Helmand Province
Another snap shows a group of marines are pictured attempting to get some rest in a compound in Helmand Province

Another snap shows a group of marines are pictured attempting to get some rest in a compound in Helmand Province

This soldier in Afghanistan takes comfort with a dog as he gets some rest in between combat in another snap taken by the military photographer 
This soldier in Afghanistan takes comfort with a dog as he gets some rest in between combat in another snap taken by the military photographer 

This soldier in Afghanistan takes comfort with a dog as he gets some rest in between combat in another snap taken by the military photographer 

Ramage's book is an unflinching account of the trials and tribulations of a military photographer in the thick of the fighting, chronicling his time in conflict zones across the world.

Ramage has seen mass graves in Kosovo, famine in Somalia and horrific injuries in Afghanistan, where he says he saw three young men he was stationed with die in the space of three days.

But he said that, as difficult as it sometimes is for him to take a certain photo, he feels he has a duty to document what other people aren't there to see.

'In the end, we're (combat photographers) telling stories,' he says. 

Flight crew clean down a helicopter after transporting a casualty. The stirring pictures come from a new book by Australian photographer Gary Ramage, The Shot
Flight crew clean down a helicopter after transporting a casualty. The stirring pictures come from a new book by Australian photographer Gary Ramage, The Shot

Flight crew clean down a helicopter after transporting a casualty. The stirring pictures come from a new book by Australian photographer Gary Ramage, The Shot

A group of marines are pictured carrying a wounded colleague to safety under direction from the flight medic (pictured left)
A group of marines are pictured carrying a wounded colleague to safety under direction from the flight medic (pictured left)

A group of marines are pictured carrying a wounded colleague to safety under direction from the flight medic (pictured left)

'We can enlighten, educate, titillate, entertain and outrage. But if we don't tell a story, no one looks at the picture or reads the words. We use all of our skills, talent, access and experience to make you stop and look.

'And if I do my job right, you'll get the flavour of where I've been, and what I've seen, but endure none of the turmoil I endured to make that picture.

'As all photographers know, with great power comes great responsibility.' 

The Shot by Gary Ramage is published by HarperCollins, and is available on Kindle now and in paperback from September 7, here.

The base commander's radio signaller, Private Josh Hetherington from Delta Company, Uruzgan Province, Afghanisatan
The base commander's radio signaller, Private Josh Hetherington from Delta Company, Uruzgan Province, Afghanisatan

The base commander's radio signaller, Private Josh Hetherington from Delta Company, Uruzgan Province, Afghanisatan

The images were taken from the forthcoming book, The Shot, by Australian military photographer Gary Ramage
The images were taken from the forthcoming book, The Shot, by Australian military photographer Gary Ramage

The images were taken from the forthcoming book, The Shot, by Australian military photographer Gary Ramage

 

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Larry White
By Larry White 11/10/2017 08:08:00