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Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera

Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera

by Stacy Pearsall

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A soldier's job is to engage the enemy; Stacy Pearsall's job is to document the action. As a combat photographer, she carries a gun, but her real weapon is her camera. Shooter is Pearsall's unflinching account of her life behind enemy lines as told through photographs and essays that reveal the realities of war. Pearsall was situated just north of Baghdad in the


A soldier's job is to engage the enemy; Stacy Pearsall's job is to document the action. As a combat photographer, she carries a gun, but her real weapon is her camera. Shooter is Pearsall's unflinching account of her life behind enemy lines as told through photographs and essays that reveal the realities of war. Pearsall was situated just north of Baghdad in the Diyala Province, a place known as Deadly Diyala, where the Battle for Baqubah ensued. She encountered close-quarter combat, recovered the body of a mortally wounded soldier, and captured soldiers' final moments with her camera, enduring all the hardships of war with the soldiers.In this photographic book, Pearsall sheds light on what life during war is really like—both in the middle of the action and at rest. Detailed intimate essays about her relationships with soldiers, death, and combat accompany her striking photographs. She shares her poignant memories of the most dramatic and compelling moments in battle with brutal honesty through colorful stories and images.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Stacy Pearsall's superb combination of fine photography and descriptive writing offers the reader a meaningful, visceral insight into the American combat experience in Iraq. . . . Her work gives the reader a sense of being there with descriptive passages that add a human dimension not often encountered in books of this kind. . . . An outstanding example of the best in photojournalism." —Hal Buell, former photography director at the Associated Press, and author of Moments: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographs and Uncommon Valor, Common Virtue"Stacy Pearsall's photos of the Iraq War showcase, in brilliant portraiture, the brutal and beneficial realities of battle. I'm in awe of both her fearlessness to enter hot zones with a camera in tow and her amazing ability to compose a shot and tell the story, while operating in the thick of battle." —Doug Giles, author of Raising Righteous & Rowdy Girls "Stacy Pearsall's account of her days as a military photog, assigned to American combat units operating in Iraq, is riveting not only in terms of the visuals, but also in her written accounts of the harrowing, street to street, doorway to doorway patrols that constitute the day to day grind of the troops on the ground. She brings to her reporting not only the skilled eye of a photojournalist, but also the emotional immediacy of being a soldier herself. The mix of those two elements makes Shooter a compelling document not just in its detail and completeness, but also its heart grabbing power. She is not just an observer, she is also a participant, and that brings this book to the highest of levels in the annals of combat journalism." —Joe McNally, National Geographic photographer, author of Faces of Ground Zero, The Moment It Clicks, and The Hot Shoe Diaries "The ancient Greek philosopher Aeschylus once said, 'In war, truth is the first casualty.' Although this statement was made four to five hundred years before the birth of Christ, its significance is still relevant to this day. Photojournalists are the purveyors of truth. They document fact and record history. Without them we are blind to the events that shape our world and our existence. U.S. Air Force combat photographer Stacy Pearsall takes us on that truth-seeking journey in the book Shooter. Often, we see but a single image in our newspapers and magazines that can only give us a brief glimpse into a news situation. Shooter, and Pearsall, takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour and gives us a true sense of what it is like for our service men and women who are placed in harm's way.The powerful images put a face, not only on our troops, but also on the civilians who are involuntarily brought into the fray. The images do not glorify but rather document the reality of war….through both critical and intimate moments. After seeing the photographs, the viewer will feel like they've just ridden shotgun with our troops abroad."—Jim Colton, Photography Editor, Sports Illustrated, Former Director of Photography, Newsweek Magazine. "The first time I saw Stacy L. Pearsall's photography I had a very hard time holding back the tears. She's one of the most impressive photographic story tellers I've ever met. She's an ego-less teacher, a humble warrior and a true credit both to our country and the profession we share. As a professional photographer I've literally seen hundreds of thousands of photographs. I can't recall a single one that moves me more than those I've seen come from Stacy. This book is full of life-changing images. This book doesn't celebrate war—it celebrates the human spirit, courage, and bravery that is required of the young men and women who risk everything to protect their country. There's a reason that Stacy was named Combat Photographer of the Year—twice. She's simply got the eye of an empathetic angel and the heart of the strongest lion. Buy this book - proudly display it on your coffee table and celebrate the amazing images shared here by an American hero."—Scott Bourne, award-winning photographer

Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.70(d)

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Meet the Author

Stacy Pearsall enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 17, and she spent the fist four years as a U-2 spy plan intelligence film processor at the US Strategic Command and then the European Command. She entered Combat Camera Squadron in January 2002. Four tours later her outstanding portfolio of combat images earned her top billing from the National Press Photographers Association (Photographer of the Year in 2003 and 2007). Her work has been published in a variety of media, including: Time Magazine, Newsweek, New York Times, CNN, BBC, LA Times, USA Today, Soldier of Fortune, PBS’ “Operation Home Coming,” and GQ Magazine’s “This is Our War.” A collection of her combat photographs went on a nationwide tour in the spring of 2009 and the money raised from that exhibition was donated to the nationally acclaimed non-profit organization, Wounded Warrior Project. She has graced the covers of PINK magazine and Harvard Business Review. PBS and The Air Force Band honored Pearsall as the Air Force Veteran of the Year; the same year, her hometown of Charleston, S.C., presented her with the American Hero Award. After being wounded in action (by an IED) in Baqubah, Iraq, she was medically retired from service. She began advocacy work through programs such as Wounded Warrior Program and Real Warriors, and she is featured in nationwide public service announcements for Veterans Affairs and Real Warriors that are viewed by millions of Americans every day. She is now the Owner/Director of the Charleston Center for Photography (www.CCforP.org). Her facility offers photography classes and workshops, youth art programs, photo galleries, photography services, and more. She is also a founding member of legionphoto.com, a group of combat-photographer veterans. She continues to travel the world on assignment.

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