Tim Hetherington: Photojournalist, Giant

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About Michael Kamber

Michael Kamber is a photojournalist who has covered wars throughout the world. He has been nominated for three Pulitzer Prizes, twice for photography and once for writing.


  1. Michael, this piece was so well written. I found myself being transported to the events and now I feel like I’ve lost a friend too. Great job and sorry for your loss.

  2. Holy shit. I mean…holy shit.

    Having known many photojournalists, some of them who have been in war zones, the one thing I know is you could not have done anything to stop him. That is who they are and what they do. And they only stop when/if they want to.

    I’m sorry for your loss, but thank you for writing this. It was truly incredible.

  3. Carla Smith says:


    Thank-you. I read and watched Restrepo, and watched “Sleeping Soldiers”, which, as a Mom, continues to haunt me today. It felt strangely personal and familiar, though I am personally ‘unrelated’ to war. Tim was onto something and when you get that close to the contradictions of war I guess it is often literally and eventually all-consuming. I think those of us watching from the sidelines vastly underestimate the real costs of war to not only family and friends but to what might have been. The loss of your friend is a loss for the world. Thank-you for letting us into your memories.

  4. Regine Alexandre says:


    This is such a wonderful piece and tribute! Thank you for sharing these pieces of life and difficult experiences.

    I am deeply sorry for your loss.

    Pls be safe!


  5. Wonderful tribute Michael. Beautifully written. Hope our paths cross again sometime in the future. Stay safe.

  6. David Wise says:

    My condolences to his family and friends. God rest his soul.

  7. Lisa Hickey says:

    A truly amazing tribute. Michael Kamber, and now, through him, Tim Hetherington, changed me. They made me realize that instead of trying to ignore the realities of war, you can bear witness to the truth about it in a way that is meaningful.

    Beautiful, haunting, poignant and meaningful.

  8. I agree 100% with you LIsa. I couldn’t have articulated better words to attribute to the piece.

    I know for me, it’s a very personal look into the part of photojournalism I really don’t think about on a regular basis. We see the images but we don’t always see the people behind them or their own stories.

    I was not aware of Tim’s work until his death was reported but the first time I saw his image, I was captivated by a pair of soulful and passionate eyes. It’s clear that same soufulness and passion reads in his work through and through. As it does in your own piece Micheal. Thank you for giving us “civilians” such an intimate portrait into not just the inhumanity of war, but the humanity of the journalists that put themselves in physical and mental danger for the knowledge of truth in war.

  9. Leslee Schwartz says:

    A haunting and meaningful as your photos are, so to is this tribute. Everytime I hear of a journalist in peril, I say a silent prayer that it is not you. I can feel your pain and sorrow, thanks for sharing it and your insights with the rest of us! Be safe!

  10. Michael, What a wonderful article. You were so lucky to have been his friend for so long.
    We all have the similar thoughts. There’s not a soldier –or me, a military wife married to an active duty deployed Army surgeon, who hasn’t thought of a how it was “supposed” to turn out. There would have been intel, there would have been a medic, tourniquets, radios, air support, a medevac, and at the end of it, my husband would have been at an FST waiting to save his life. That’s how it runs in my mind –and other soldiers I have spoken to. And that’s what just makes us so very sad. With the soldiers, he might have been safe. But life doesn’t work out the way we think it will. So I’ve been focusing on the fact that he was a brother to many, that we shared some laughs and good talks and heartfelt wishes. It’s also good to know he found the love of a wonderful woman and was able to love Idil back. Tim’s life was blessed and complete. And so are we for having known him. Best, Kanani (PR Team, Restrepo)

  11. beautiful piece mike, thanks…

  12. thank you for sharing this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as to why tim was and had to be where he was… thank you for sharing what was going on in his mind… I hadn’t seen him in a while. and thank you for sharing these lovely photos.

    I’ve struggled with my own ghosts around tim, they’re here, in case they help bring some closure


    and a lovely picture of his rackous laugh

  13. Kamber, this was such a touching tribute to Tim. Men like you and Tim are often misconstrued as the enemy by soldiers and families. I’ve made that mistake myself as a younger soldier. You both are heroes and patriots in helping everyone visualize and feel the humanistic truths about war and revealing also its terror and destructive capabilities on ones soul. I wish I had the chance to meet Tim. My heart goes out to his loved ones. Keep fighting the good fight, Mike.

  14. Brown Moses says:

    This video has Dr Tameem, a doctor who worked at an aid station on the Dafniyah front talking about his encounter with Tim Hetherington after he had been mortally wounded

  15. Hey. I tried to follow Tim’s story while I was in Libya and I had a lot of luck. I met the doctor who drove him back while he was dying. I learned why he died. It was a stupid reason. Lack of a chest needle. He should have had one in an IO kit.



  1. [...] have to stop thinking of yourself as a photographer” David White posted this on May 4th, 2011 “We live in a post-photographic world. If you are interested in photography, then you are interest… Spread the [...]

  2. [...] May 2011)Interviews – Sebastian Junger (Globe and Mail: May 2011)Articles – Michael Kamber: Tim Hetherington: Photojournalist, Giant (goodmenproject.com: May 2011)Interviews and Talks - Chris Hondros’ 2006 ICP visiting artist talk [...]

  3. [...] top physical shape—like Tim Hetherington (see Times war photographer Michael Kamber’s tribute to Hetherington, which ran here at GMPM last week), who was killed by shrapnel from a mortar in Libya last [...]

  4. [...] impulse which brought down the Presidency during Watergate and just killed photo-journalist Timothy Hetherington, who did more than any Army press conference to show Americans the truth of what has been happening [...]

  5. [...] impulse which brought down the Presidency during Watergate and just killed photo-journalist Timothy Hetherington, who did more than any Army press conference to show Americans the truth of what has been happening [...]

  6. [...] impulse which brought down the Presidency during Watergate and just killed photo-journalist Timothy Hetherington, who did more than any Army press conference to show Americans the truth of what has been happening [...]

  7. [...] are just bad in a consistent way that women are not.  I tried to the stories of  Julio Medina and Michael Kamber but that only seemed to convince them so [...]

  8. [...] even beyond the numbers, how about the human cost of these wars? I personally went from cheering the amazing courage of the guys dropping into a Parkistan [...]

  9. [...] ran a story by Michael Kamber, the Pulitzer Prize nominated author and photojournalist, about his best f… after Tim was killed on assignment Libya. The penis map still gets more views than the story about [...]

  10. [...] My most vivid memory of Michael was the day that Tim Hetherington was killed after taking a boat to get into Libya to attempt to shoot the conflict there well before Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown. The first day there was nothing but raw emotion, but by the second day I suggested that Michael and I work together on a piece that would allow him to capture what it was that he admired so much about Tim. Michael, the GMP team, and I pulled together one of the pieces in our history of which I am most proud: “Tim Hetherington: Photojournalist, Giant.” [...]

  11. [...] Next Page:  “He knew he was gonna die.“ [...]

  12. [...] Michael reported many horrific stories and shot pictures that captured the intense physical and emotional pain of the combatants. But it was the death of his best friend, Tim Hetherington, which hit him the hardest, and therefore me too. [...]

  13. [...] story in Buzzfeed also reflects upon the death of their friend Tim Hetherington who was killed on assignment in Libya: My anxiety definitely went through the roof when my dad [...]

  14. [...] Tim Heatherington: Photojournalist, Giant - Photojournalist Michael Kamber’s tribute to his friend and colleague who died on assignment in Libya. [...]

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