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RIP Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros

Just yesterday I became familiar with the work of photojournalist Tim Hetherington when Life magazine’s Tumblr linked to a gallery of photos from his recent book, Infidel. Now today he’s dead.

According to various reports, Hetherington — who, along with Sebastian Junger earned an Oscar nomination for “Restrepo,” a 2010 documentary about a year spent on assignment for Vanity Fair in Afghanistan — was killed today by mortar fire while covering the conflict in Libya. Two of his fellow journalists were also reported to be seriously wounded. You can view slideshows of his work at Life.com and GQ.com.

UPDATE: Getty Images photojournalist Chris Hondros was also killed today in the incident. In a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune, he discussed the dangers of being a war photographer.

3. Photojournalists who cover dangerous situations make a lot of split-second decisions that can make a difference between life and death. Are there any subtle cues that make you think, “I gotta go” or is it more obvious than that?

The instinct about what is and isn’t safe is indeed subtle, and it’s difficult to convey in words sometimes how it affects your work. But after many years of conflict work one does get a honed sense of when a situation is too dangerous. There were many instances when I pulled out of a situation because some subtle cues tipped me off. Or, in the case of a fist-sized rock skimming past my temple during one of the rock fusillades not so subtle — I called it a day after that.

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