Artist Review- David Hume Kennerly

October 3, 2009

By David Hume Kennerly

By David Hume Kennerly

David Hume Kennerly is an extremely influential political photographer who has had quite a career, to say the least.
At the age of 25, Kennerly won a Pulitzer Prize for his collection of photography from the Vietnam War. He has since photographed eight wars and has been a contributing photographer for TIME, LIFE, and Newsweek magazines.

Additionally, Kennerly was Official White House Photographer for the Ford Administration and recently published his work from his time in the White House in his book called “Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford.”

Kennerly’s unique perspective is what has allowed him to have such a successful career. As evident in the photographs included in this blog post, he can capture a simple event or action, but reveal so much more about the subject through techniques such as lighting or point of view.

By David Hume Kennerly

For example, the photograph with the young solider on the armored personnel carrier is very complex. The solider is obviously a young man, but the way his hair blocks his face and his head is down makes him look like a little boy who is upset. This is gripping because it reminds the audience that ordinary young men were over in a foreign land with dangerous weapons and were responsible for defending the United States. Another interesting aspect of this photograph is the large crucifix the young solider is wearing. The juxtaposition of religion and a huge weapon are made more powerful through the posture of the young solider.

By David Hume Kennerly

On his portfolio of the Vietnam War, Kennerly said, “I wanted to show the periphery of war and to depict the people who lived there… They all lived in a place where peace was only a distant rumor.”

David Hume Kennerly is still an active photographer and political photographer and continues to take powerful and influential photographs.

By David Hume Kennerly

By David Hume Kennerly

All photographs on this post by David Hume Kennerly.

Photographs and information from:


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