Today is a very exciting day for duckrabbit for two reasons. The first is that this is our 1000th blog post. The second is so big I wet my bed last night. VII may now have Ed Kashi, Magnum may have Christopher Anderson, but duckrabbit has just signed none other than Martin Nachtwey!

Martin Nachtwey has been responsible for some of the most iconic and memorable images in the world.  His deeply saturated, ringflash lit images of war, death and destruction have made him more famous than Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

We have an incredible warts and all interview with Martin below.  He has been unbelievably  generous in donating an exclusive, just shot, and totally one off print which we are auctioning here on ebay. ALL profits from the auction of this print will go to MSF, aka Doctors Without Borders. So come on, don’t be tight, please have a bid.

Of course Martin needs no introduction. Here is his new picture, direct from the battlefields of Surrey, and an exclusive interview. Martin has also promised us he’ll be sharing his wisdom on the blog from time to time.

(C) Martin Nachtwey 2010



Your style of photography has caused a lot of controversy, even offense. Why do you think that is?


Well, there is a school of thought that imagines war and death should only be shot in black and white.  That’s a subversion. The world is not black and white, it is in glorious technicolour. And blood really shines when you light it well.

My images of the English at War, eating ice creams and stabbing each other on the beach would not have made me famous had I shot them in mono. Many people found it offensive that I would shoot a macro shot of a dying man, artfully lit and over saturated.  I think that’s nothing to what goes on today. I’ve even heard of photographers digging up dead babies to get a picture, and then shooting it in black and white. That’s offensive to me. What’s wrong with colour?


You’re known for always being dressed perfectly, even in the middle of a war zone. How do you manage that?


I have a few interns who do my washing and ironing. They travel with me everywhere, even when I’m shopping in Knowle West.
I also make sure I have a few spare wigs in case one goes up in flames. Plus I carry a few spare interns after I lost one in Lebanon. Most unfortunate. I had to pay someone to iron my slacks.


Can you tell me what you’re working on at the minute?


I’m in New Zealand at the minute photographing middle class victims of PMT (pre menstrual tension). It’s a difficult subject to cover. I’m having to adapt my usual approach because the subjects get really annoyed with me sneaking up behind them and booshing them with the ringflash. To be honest they seem to get annoyed with everything.


How are you adapting your approach?


I wait until they’re asleep, it’s the only safe way.


Do you have any advice for a photographer starting out? You know the hardcore types who are not too scared to be caught reading duckrabbit in case it harms their chances of slavery interning with VII, or going clubbing with Dan Chung?


I always say to young photographers, you’re screwed. They don’t like it, but there it is. If you really must insist on becoming a photographer like myself you need to carve a niche. Incubate your otherness. Detach yourself, and shoot like no-ones watching. Because they won’t be, not at your pictures. And iron your gingham shirts. And get a good agent. And be kind to small animals.


I’ve heard that your agency, Methuselah X, would fold if you took out the money they owe you. Is that true?


Yes. They like me there now.


What picture are you most proud of?


My picture of Saddam Hussein drinking tea. I really like how I cropped it to just include the top of his head.

  • I hope you are using that plastic underblanket I gave you to help with the incontinence.

  • Interesting interview- could do with a few more of his images so we could get a better feel for what his work is about- GRANT

  • Freeman Zygote

    Go EASY on the Catsup! Help!

  • great stuff!

    I would highly recommend a follow up interview with Ansel Testino – his work is truely out of this world!

  • I thought he was dead? Or is that Mario Adams?
    Not to worry…we’ve got Henri Liebowitz coming up soon….he’s decided now is the decisive moment, which it always is of course. Plus he’s skint.

    Please feel free to suggest other famous photographers you’d like to see here.

  • Lovely interview. But I’m confused as all hell.

    Martin Nachtwey: a name nowhere to be found on google. Try it.

    Think I get it…
    Ringflash: Martin Schoeller. Easy.
    War Photog: James Nachtwey, obviously.
    Fake interview on a hybrid ringflash-wielding war photographer?

    I just found the blog so I’m all sorts of confused. Either this is a regular thing around here, or it’s a ruse to ebay prints. Either way, fucking genius!
    Nice print too.

  • Ok – I’m an idiot. Needed some coffee and followup on comments.

  • I’d like to see an interview with Louie J, the world-famous 9-year-old celebrity photographer, international workshop presenter, and maker of top-rated online behind-the-scenes videos.

    I’m particularly interested to know how he set up his lavishly-equipped studio considering that he’s not old enough to sign contracts, obtain leases, get insurance, or apply for credit cards.

duckrabbit is a production company formed by radio producer/journalist Benjamin Chesterton and photographer David White.

We specialize in digital storytelling.

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