Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

A photographer explains this shot from his time with the Army in Afghanistan

There is a wonderful portfolio of photographs by Chase Steely in the first edition of the new magazine, the Pass in Review. He is a soldier who just decided to take photographs while deployed to Afghanistan, and he clearly has an eye for it. One limitation of his work, he told the magazine, was that, ...

Chase Steely
Chase Steely
Chase Steely

There is a wonderful portfolio of photographs by Chase Steely in the first edition of the new magazine, the Pass in Review. He is a soldier who just decided to take photographs while deployed to Afghanistan, and he clearly has an eye for it. One limitation of his work, he told the magazine, was that, "I didn't get many action pictures because when stuff was going down I was either on the radio or shooting so I wasn't taking photos."

I asked for a shot Steely considers representative of his work, and he picked the one you see here. He explained: "I like to capture the everyday things, and bring a sense of what it is like to be a soldier on the day to day. I wouldn't know where to begin if I had to pose people and shoot traditional style portraits. I like to just walk along and shoot as if no one knows I'm there."

His work is compiled in a self-published book titled The Longest Year: A Photograph­ic Journey. It is a great visual account of one unit's tour.

There is a wonderful portfolio of photographs by Chase Steely in the first edition of the new magazine, the Pass in Review. He is a soldier who just decided to take photographs while deployed to Afghanistan, and he clearly has an eye for it. One limitation of his work, he told the magazine, was that, "I didn’t get many action pictures because when stuff was going down I was either on the radio or shooting so I wasn’t taking photos."

I asked for a shot Steely considers representative of his work, and he picked the one you see here. He explained: "I like to capture the everyday things, and bring a sense of what it is like to be a soldier on the day to day. I wouldn’t know where to begin if I had to pose people and shoot traditional style portraits. I like to just walk along and shoot as if no one knows I’m there."

His work is compiled in a self-published book titled The Longest Year: A Photograph­ic Journey. It is a great visual account of one unit’s tour.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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