A trip to DC allowed to reconnect with Bill Putnam, the former US Army combat cameraman and embedded journalist whose work I have featured many times in this blog. Bill and I first met in Kosovo in 2002 where we were both part of Task Force 2-14, based in Camp Monteith in the northern part of the American sector. Later Bill served in Iraq as both a soldier and a civilian photojournalist and then twice in Afghanistan, first with the 101st Airborne Division in Paktika province and then in Helmand at Camp Leatherneck as the public affairs officer for a unit charged with training Afghan security forces. He currently lives in Washington and is going to school while looking for new photographic opportunities.
For me, Bill’s pictures are so alert to their subjects’ eyes that they read like uncanny straight shots into whatever it is the subjects think most important. What they most want you to know, or what they most need to hide, or both. Below, for example, is a shot Bill took of Afghan National Police recruits in training at Camp Leatherneck.
In DC, we met at a dark, moody bar blasting classic and contemporary punk rock—hell yea–and traded our stories and plotted future projects. Bill told me the backstory of the pictures I’ve published here and brought me up-to-date on his current endeavors. Here’s to you, Bill, and thanks for everything you’ve contributed to Time Now–you’re a true acolyte-of-war, now moving on to other things.