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The picture shows an injured Gunnery Sgt. Jeremiah Purdie reaching out to a stricken friend, who is resting on the ground, with his back against a mud embankment, clutching a wooden stub. The gunnery sergeant is oblivious to his own injury, and even though his head is bandaged, he is rushing forward to his friend. Other soldieries are trying to restrain him or supporting him, as he gazes at his friend, with deep concern, ignoring his own wounds, at the friend who is probably in his dying breath. The background shows other soldiers tending to their wounds, and resting. In the foreground, a couple of soldiers are staring with concern and horror at the fallen soldier. Tents and other equipment of the soldiers are seen in the background, with the trees reduced to ragged and jagged stumps from the heavy artillery fire. In the far background, the forest covered mountains rise and extend to the horizon, showing the enormity that is Vietnam. It is very heartening to see that the Gunnery Sergeant, who is an African American, has developed an intense friendship with his fallen comrade, who is white. One should remember that when this picture of shot in 1966, USA was in the depth of racism, with Blacks fighting for their rights and equality in White America. The picture shows that in war, the color of the skin does not matter, but only friendship and camaraderie (Cosgrove, 2014).
It appears that the picture was taken in daylight using a head shot, with the photographer looking down on the scene. The artist has used a wide-angle lens of 50-100 mm, which allows for close up pictures to be taken, while still capturing the background scenery. Natural lighting with sunlight is used, and Flash does not appear to be used since the background shows the muddy ridge in detail with the brown earth. The dog tag on the Gunnery Sergeant does not show any glimmer or reflection from any flash. In addition, war photographers avoided using Flash, in case the light
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