The Stunning Talent of US Army Photographers: 39 Great Photographs


It has been said that the US Army provides among the best training for photographers in the world. Certainly their public collections of photographs display an impressive and consistent quality. Given that several famous photographers cut their teeth in the military (David Douglas Duncan, Edward Steichen) it's perhaps not surprising that some fine pedigree persists. We thought we would collect some of these impressive images to show off what US Army photographers can do.

Oct. 21, 2010 — Sgt. Larry J. Isbell, representing the National Guard, watches his firing lane for targets during the M-4 Range Qualification event during the Department of the Army's 10th annual Best Warrior Competition held on Fort Lee, Va., Oct. 21, 2010. (photo by Spc. Venessa Hernandez)
Field artillerymen of Battery A, 2-218th Field Artillery, 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Oregon Army National Guard, fire a 105mm shell from a Howitzer at Yakima Training Grounds, Wash., during the units annual training Aug. 9.

An Army Soldier celebrates during the 110th playing of the Army-Navy football game at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pa., Dec. 12, 2009. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

Staff Sgt. Aaron Butler, U.S. Army Reserve Command, performs a uniform inspection during the Mystery Event at the Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition at Fort Lee, Va. on Friday, Oct. 2, 2009. (Timothy L. Hale/Army Reserve Public Affairs)
Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., flies over southern Afghanistan, in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter in Apr. 29, 2010. Army photo by D. Myles Cullen (released)

President George W. Bush stands on stage with U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno, commander, Mulitnational Force Iraq, after Bush addressed U.S. military and diplomatic personnel at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory in Baghdad, Dec. 14, 2008. ÊWhite House photo by Eric Draper

Lieutenant Col. Gregory VanHeukelom with the 110th Fighter Wing is pictured outside a tent chapel being used for religious services at the Alpena Combat Readiness Center.

Army Staff Sgt. Buddy, an explosive detection and attack dog, stands tall to sniff a suspicious scent as Army Sgt. Tyler Barriere, military working dog handler, 163rd MP Det., based out of Fort Campbell, Ky., and attached to STB, 2nd BCT, 4th Inf. Div., looks on during a search demonstration at Camp Echo, Jan. 7. Barriere calls Ithaca, N.Y., home and has been with Buddy for more than a year.

Soldiers from A Company, 101st Division Special Troop Battalion air assault into a village inside Jowlzak valley, Parwan province, Afghanistan. Afghan National Police searched the village while Soldiers provided security and conducted key-leader engagements.

All the following images are from the US Army Photographers Flickr Account.

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography started as a child with a Kodak Instamatic and pushed him into building this fantastic place all these years later, and you can get to know him better here.
Rob's Gear
Camera: Nikon D810
Lenses: Nikkor 14-24 f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8

I completely agree that most of the are mediocre at best. The first image is mine and I don’t think most of the others can match it in interestingness, light, composure and quality. We have some amazing military photographers with stunning images. If you need a reference point for great military images, check out the military photographer of the year competition website:

Here you will find images from the best photographers in the military. Please do us some justice next time. Thank you for using my image.

Contrary to what you say Venessa, I do find all of the photos very interesting. “Stunning Images” are not always the most “interesting” beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. It seems your own work blinds you to what others see in the content of the other photos. Then, you add a link, which shows no images at all, but leads to information about how to submit work for the title. Even clicking on the link for last years winner, just shows a BIO and photo of the winner, but not examples of his work.

Personally though our equipment and material back in the 50’s was quite limited compared to todays. Your work, IF the first image is actually yours, is no more impressive to me than that of Combat Photographs in the Korean War. Should hope that some progress had been made, with the equipment you were able to use….

These are amazing, powerful images that show the men who are paying for our freedom. Shame on anyone who says the images are good DESPITE the subject matter.

Personally like 2, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20, 25 better than the first image. Photo #1 is evidently a posed image, much easier to capture than many of the others. To me it looks as it it was shot on a gunnery range. Posed photos give us time to capture what we want. Exposure focus, etc should be perfect. Because conditions are ideal, they should be judged more harshly than the Journalistic images. The later are taken under greater pressure. Most of the time the photographer has to make a snap judgement, use whatever settings are in the camera or make fast changes and conditions are far from ideal. Good photos under such conditions, show great photographers.

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