Readers and picture editors view the pictures of conflict in safety and comfort. But for the soldiers fighting the wars, and the civilians caught up in them, conflict is anything but safe and comfortable. We are witness to their stories and tragedies thanks to people who willingly put themselves into the same lines of fire as the protagonists - photographers. Covering conflict has always been dangerous, and many famous photojournalists have given their lives doing it. Robert Capa, Larry Burrows - the list is awful and endless. But lately several incidents have made it seem like the dangers have increased. Land mines have seriously wounded photographers in the past few years. Two photographers for the New York Times, Lynsey Addario and Tyler Hicks, were taken prisoner with their writing colleagues for several days in Libya, and were beaten and abused. Other photographers have gone missing as well, such as Khaled al-Hariri, Roberto Schmidt, Joe Raedle, and Altaf Qadri. All are safe now. The same cannot be said for Sabah al-Bazee, who was killed in in an attack on a government building in Tikrit, Iraq. The Big Picture relies on the willingness of these photographers and others to place themselves in harm's way for our benefit, and I'd like to thank them here for that. Knowing too well that there are others like them, I've assembled a few photographs of recent work (where possible) by the above-mentioned photographers. -- Lane Turner Libya,Egypt,Syria.
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