It’s common for Westporters to see Tyler Hicks’ photo credit in the New York Times. The Staples graduate — and Pulitzer Prize winner — travels the globe, shooting searing, thought-provoking, even action-compelling images in every hot spot from Iraq to New Orleans.
Now he’s on the other side of the view finder.
The Times’ “Lens” blog — which combines the best photos and videos with intriguing back stories — has focused on Hicks’ most recent work in Afghanistan. Headlined “Into the Maw at Marja,” it’s a harrowing look at the ground and air war in that vicious land.
The story begins:
“Using one another as pillows, like a family huddled together for warmth in a house without heat, most of the Marines were catching a little sleep before their mission was to begin. But one sat wide awake at the edge of their huddle.
“Tyler Hicks caught this quiet moment.
“Another Marine gazed at a snapshot of himself and his wife. The picture’s tattered edge conveyed how well traveled it was. And how often it was so lovingly examined.
“Mr. Hicks was there.
“Along with members of Company K, Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, Mr. Hicks, a staff photographer for The Times, was preparing to go into battle.
I have to carry cameras, lenses, a laptop, satellite transmitter, chargers, batteries and cables. I bring duplicates of some chargers in case one shorts out because if I can’t charge, then I can’t file my pictures. A sleeping bag, enough clothes to stay relatively warm, three days of food and water. I also wear body armor, a helmet, protective goggles and some first aid gear — pressure bandages and tourniquets, mostly. Things begin to get heavy.
It’s harrowing stuff. Click here to read more — and to view some never-before-seen photos of a war Westporters don’t often think about.
But one that Afghans, soldiers — and Tyler Hicks — live every day.