tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg August 31, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
♪ >> from our studios in new york city, this is "charlie rose." charlie: sally mann is one of america's preeminent photographers. for three decades, she has captured images that are haunting and romantic all at once. her 1990 two series called "immediate family" made her ,amous and spanned 10 years featuring children on their home virginia farm. these photos outraged some for their composition as well as nudity. sally writes about that and her life in a new book called "hold still," a memoir with
photographs. i spoke with sally mann in a rare and candid conversation in new york. charlie: when did this love affair with photography begin? sally: pretty early relay. 17. charlie: did your dad give you your first camera? sally: he did. he had taken it around the world in 1939. 1937. he handed it to me with virtually no explanation. this is how you load the film. this is the weston light meter. you remember that. i just started taking pictures. it was an instant love affair. charlie: what was it? sally: i was just ecstatic. negativef looking at a , the fixers dripping down your arms when you hold it up to the light, it's magic. it is still magic. charlie: it is that more than
taking the picture? sally: yeah, maybe. you take the picture, and you so fervently play that you have the 1/10 of a second you hope you got, and so many times you don't. you get the 1/10 of a second on either side of the one you hoped you got. really, it is when you've seen the negative when the moment happens. there is nothing like the moment . it's almost sexual in its intensity. you are just ecstatic. charlie: do you see it instantly? sally: yeah, yeah. even in negative form, which is, of course, reversed, you can tell right away. it has the felicitous proportions and the right feel to it. you just know it. sally: you like black-and-white? sally: i do. charlie: why? sally: it's harder. that's not why i like it. it's harder, but it also makes you get right to the essence of
what you are taking a picture of . you are not distracted by the color. color is just an entirely different process and way of thinking. charlie: the interesting thing is, you live on a farm, which is full of color. it's green grass and blue skies and forests and everything. sally: yeah, it's funny though. the way my mind works, i see everything in black and white, and i see you right now in a little eight by 10 rectangle. [laughter] charlie: god help me. sally: you start blocking out things, and that's an important part of taking a picture, the ability to isolate what you are concentrating on. sometimes when i'm reading a be reading a book, and it will be describing a scene. , will see the scene in my mind sort of an eidetic division, but
i will see it as a black and white photograph. i will say, the sky should be a little dark there. i am inh am in -- faulkner, and i'm saying, the river should be dark, but the trees -- i think visually all the time. charlie: back to putney. sally: ok. [laughter] sometimeshat i heard about photography, you used to like the darker because you and your boyfriend used to be able to get together -- [laughter] sally: get together and sort of a euphemism. charlie: you took your first intimate photograph there. sally: i did. of course, immediately got in trouble for it. i got in trouble for every at putney. i was on minx. i was a bad girl. the pictures got me in trouble. for once, i was innocent. it was a completely innocent
picture, but it involves nudity. charlie: you wanted to go back to where you came from. charlie:you wanted to go back to virginia. just for the briefest time, and the whole time i was miserable. embrace of the mountains and the kindness of the people, the whole sweetness of the land. vermont just didn't do it for me. charlie: the older i get, the more i appreciate kindness. sally: no kidding. isn't it funny that the south, known for so many unkind acts, on violence -- violence and prejudice, can have within its boundaries the sweetest, kindest people? charlie: did you go back to the place where your father was a general practitioner? your husband is a lawyer? sally:sally: yeah, but he was a
blacksmith for the first 10 years of our marriage. charlie: immediate family came in 1990, thereabouts. sally: i think the book came out in 1992. in 1984. the pictures it's probably closer to 1985. charlie: how do you measure getting better? sally: i think it's a visceral thing. charlie: you can see the difference in sally mann 2015 compared to sally mann circa 2000? sally: yeah. again, i don't know that it's an itellectual process, although may ask myself intellectual questions. i think the difference is, i used to be taking pictures to save things. the impulse was either to take pictures to save something or to try and see what something would look like when it's photographed
. it was kind of an aesthetic exercise. now it's a lot more important for me to actually say something, as opposed to save something. i'm working from an intellectual construct, and i'm trying to use photographs in service to a concept. i didn't start out that way. i didn't start printing the family pictures to talk. i was just taking pictures as kids were around, and gradually, they construct was built around that. charlie: that is what "immediate family" was about. sally: they were documentary in origin. they grew less so. charlie: they grew to become what? ally: they grew to have narrative around them, and aesthetic, intellectual narrative, metaphorical locations. they got much more complicated. charlie: do you know what you are doing? sally: no. i think i have begun to make a
theitment to using commonplace to somehow make images that were resonant and revelatory and universally aesthetic in a lyrical way. what could be more commonplace than children, rugrats? charlie: your own children at a cabin. sally: yeah. charlie: what were you seeing, and what were you telling us? sally: on the one hand, it is all the themes of being young, playing, jumping in the water. on the other hand, people read into themes of loneliness, quiet sexuality. people read unbelievable things into it. that is what was so shocking the. i knew that they were not without undertones. i knew that they were not simple snapshots, but some of the ways
they were interpreted were shocking to me. charlie: you knew there would be controversy. sally: i didn't, but i found out soon enough. i say i was blindsided, and i was. charlie: by all the things people said and what they accused you of, photographing naked children. sally: yeah, there was that. charlie: on the other hand, people consider them brilliant and beautiful. it marked you as a photographer. people said, a great photographer has just appeared. that was the beginning of sally mann's public reputation. sally: yeah, that's true. charlie: i'm amazed at the things you did. you clearly were conscious of making sure they talked to psychologists. notwere concerned about showing photographs that they didn't like. charlie: right -- sally: right. charlie: i gave them editorial
control. sally: editorial discernment. that is the concern some people had. how could they know? they were visually sophisticated kids, and they knew what we were doing. we talked about the pictures. charlie: what was the conversation? sally: do you like this? what do you think this picture says? does this picture say something about you you are not comfortable with? charlie: what did your husband larry say? sally: the same. charlie: this is a close family. this is what these photographs have told us. this is a family with no secrets between them. sally: i would imagine there are a few secrets, but we are close family, especially now. charlie: they understoodcharlie: . sally: they appreciated. i think they understood it.
that's the argument i made. i'm sure child psychologist will take issue with cap. charlie: after "immediate family," sally moved on. she has been exporting themes of place come history, and mortality. i asked her where she finds her inspiration. sally: the way it works for me, i don't make a decision about what i want to do next. it kind of comes to me. it sort of this hidden lever you keep to the side, and then it calls to you. while i was taking the family pictures, i have this desire to take landscapes. i know this sounds hokey, but it was true. i would have my camera setup, and i would rotate the camera away from the pictures. i'm thinking eight by 10. i would find these beautiful glass of themilky camera. i was seduced by landscapes.
i was conspicuously available for seduction just because of the fact that the kids were leaving home right about that time. charlie: you were available for seduction. what an amazing phrase. i am available for seduction. if any landscape wants me, here i am. [laughter] sally: there you go. they did. but it's part of your love for the south. you write about that in this memoir. sally: yes. in full pros. charlie: and then there is gigi. you write about her. sally: very important to me. charlie: in what way? book, i write in the was raised as a feral child. it was the whole 1950's thing. it was very handoff. i don't know what your childhood was like. charlie: much like yours. sally: i would be gone all day
long, and no one would even look for me. you probably know this better than i do at this point. charlie: you did the landscapes and south, the battlefields, emmett till. emmett till was linked in with the deep south pictures. then the battlefields. i don't know. i'm sure you've got it on a piece of paper somewhere. remains" wast 2003. it was your "greyhound." was it about dying? was it about understanding death and what it means? sally: it started out as a documentary impulse. she died, and i couldn't bear to leave her. i had her skinned, and then i took the body and buried it. it ended up decomposing in this
constellation of little bones. it went from there. it was an auto leapt to make, but i began asking the question about the landscape in which she was buried. charlie: you get engaged by something like that, and boy, you go on a rampage. sally: i'm a little terrier-like. terrier-like.much because of eva, you're dead greyhound, you get interested in other dead bounties -- bodies. what is your camera telling us? sally: i don't know. charlie: you just wrote a memoir about it. sally: i'm the dancer pavlovich who did that wonderful dance, and when she was done, the interview said, what was that about, and she said, if i could've said it in words, i wouldn't have danced it for you. charlie: that's the reason i dance. sally: your camera is your story, not your book. the book is a part of you
thinking about all of this. finding some meaning in it, other than just doing it. charlie: usually it's enough to take the picture and put them on the walls and assume you are a good enough artist. your meaning is playing. to have to somehow make the translation from visual art to written words, it was quite interesting. it's a whole different way of , to be able to talk about your work. it's not so easy it turned out. charlie: are you musing on death and mortality and what happens in "what remains"? that is what you titled it. sally: you do ask that question. it's like laurie anderson saying, i feel like a library burned down when i lost my
father. you do. it is sort of a proustian notion of what finally is memory about and what does remain, how to preserve the moment? can you? is there such a thing as an afterlife, so to speak? charlie: antietam was in that, "what remains." the largest number of casualties ever in american war on one day. you end, because you go back to the living. you went back to the close-ups of your children. to say there's hope and a future. sally: exactly. the vitality and the fearlessness of those faces. that is what i love about those pictures of the children -- the faces. charlie: you are going from death to life. sally: the negative to the affirmative. yeah.
charlie: and then in 2009, there is "proud flesh." sally: it may be one of my favorite bodies of work and one of the toughest. charlie: because it is painful for you? sally: it is a difficult -- any time you make a picture of a vulnerable subject and larry is vulnerable. he has got muscular dystrophy. so whole parts of his body have lost all their muscle. his upper left arm is no, his bicep is no bigger than my wrist. he has no muscle. charlie: that is what muscular dystrophy does to you. and you wanted to do this as hard as it is. sally: it is harder for him, though. it was hard for me, but it is harder for him. when you have a subject who is willing to put themselves out like that, and completely unashamed and completely willing to be in a picture that comes at the expense of his vanity.
charlie: and fragility. sally: vulnerability, all of that. all photographs are -- that's the risk always. no matter how public a figure you are. you are always at the mercy of the photographer. we hold all the cards and the power. charlie: so, therefore, can we see trust in him? sally: i should say. he does trust me. and that's what -- there are pictures i have taken that made me just ache for him. and i would say, are you sure you want me to show these pictures? he's like, yeah. in a certain sense, that measure of discomfort is worth it to him for the sake of what we like to think of as a piece of art. charlie: what was his response to them?
when was the realization that you were an artist? you were not just a photographer. not that photography can't just be art, but it is more than taking pictures. sally: i was going bifurcated between writing and photography. i loved both of them. i wanted to be a poet, but how do you earn a living as a poet? hard to do. charlie: so -- sally: i guess early on. i did not think of it quite that way. i went around wearing a rakish beret and all that stuff. i wanted to be an artist. i wanted to look like an artist. the left bank of lexington. yeah, i mean, i wanted to be an artist but i was not entirely sure i could pull it off. ♪ charlie: and you have not gone and reached out to every new technology that comes down the pike. have you? sally: i'm borrowing a little from the digital. i knew this was coming. yeah. i can't ignore it.
charlie: because it gives you power. sally: i can do more things. charlie: you can tell your story better. sally: yeah, i can get what i want better. i'm not sure i'm going to give up film or print. i love it. charlie: it's your liquid. sally: that and bourbon. [laughter] charlie: i knew that was the reason i love you so much. silver and bourbon. that could be the next memoir. sally: that is a good title. don't you dare steal it from me. charlie: why did you title this "hold still"? sally: well, i pulled it out of the text. there is one point where i am describing the feeling of taking a picture. hold still. it is italicized because it is that important. but someone said it should be titled "hold still, sally mann," because i am so hummingbird-ish. charlie: you are tough.
you are tough. you are tough, tough on yourself and tough on your art, demanding a lot of yourself. you live in a cocoon of family, but you attack the world. sally: i am painfully insecure. i have this self-doubt that masquerades as vanity. other people see my career as one successpiled onto another. i see myself as reeling from botch to botch, failure to failure. charlie: where have you failed in your life? sally: don't ask. charlie: i'm asking. sally: i don't know. i never think it is good enough. i look back.
i'm obsessively reshooting things, trying for perfection. in piety and perfection. those are the goals. charlie: would you recognize perfection if you saw it? sally: there are a few pictures that i would say are perfect. perfect. i would not change a thing. charlie: what do they contain? sally: mmm. that's sort of, that ineffable, something je ne sais quois. what a copout, right? charlie: but i have asked opera stars in a long career, are there moments onstage where you knew you had nailed it? what was hardest about this book? was it the memories, or was it
getting it right? sally: that was the hardest, the getting it right. why should a book take five years? 8, 10-hour about days. other people have said this to you. charlie: hardest thing they've ever done in their life, to write. i remember robert frank was talking about living in an acrossnt, a courtyard the de kooning. used to say, he would see de kooning trying to put painting on canvas, and he would say, as a photographer, all he had to do was hold the viewfinder to his face and find the decisive moment. when you are a writer or a painter, it is so much more difficult. that is why it took five years. i had to conjure the whole thing up from scratch.
photography is all about choices, but writing is about choices, too. you also have to create the choices. they are not out there in the world for you. charlie: what questions have you not answer through photography for yourself? what do you feel you haven't done? sally: i am working on this project. i touch on it a little bit in the book, and i devote it to gigi. it's a testimonial to gigi and her importance to me. i'm working on pictures of black men. it's bigger than that though. i'm working on the legacy of slavery in the south, which i think is one of the most under discussed and profound phenomenon, and in the whole united states, but particularly in the south. i am particularly focusing on the nature of what kept the slaves alive, what kept their hope alive, and focusing a
little bit on the net turner rebellion. charlie: how will you do this? sally: you would think i would have an answer to this, but i don't quite know yet. i'm photography -- photographing the swamps and rivers in the neighborhood of nat turner's rebellion. that is where he was going, the dismal swamp, which offered refuge to particularly intrepid or desperate slaves. they wouldn't track them into the dismal swamp. charlie: fear of alligators. sally: fear of everything. that place is awful. they've discovered these villages, towns and the dismal swamp. it's fascinating. the whole question of how slavery has affected the south, which is a large topic. have lookedause you at history so much, and because you have looked at death and decay so much, do you feel any
rushing mortality and to finish so many things? sally: do i ever! all i have to do is look in the mirror. i don't have to look at death and decay. charlie: what do you see when you look in the mirror? sally: i'm shocked every time i do. i don't waste any time. i don't waste time. i work all the time. . never leave home i stay home do not what is ahead. charlie: thank you for this. sally: thank you.
charlie: russell james is here. he's an australian-born fashion photographer. many said he has the best job in the world. he's been the main photographer for "victoria's secret." his new book focuses on the female form. it is called "angels. i am pleased to have russell james on this program. how did you come to photography? i am probably next dental photographer. .uriosity i had a very diverse background. i left school early. i trained dogs. i was a police officer for five
years. i did many different things. what that all amounted to, i had a fascination for the world. i started traveling. eventually back in the year of 1989, i was with a photographer, assisting him, just as a means of income, and i became fascinated with the process. i saw an image whisked out of the paper. we are talking about a time when photography was still a miss. it was a singular moment that grabbed me. charlie: regardless of what the camera might be, separate good from best. subjective. it is who you ask. one picture in front of 20 different people, you might get 20 different opinions. one is not necessarily better than the other. it's in the eye of the beholder. there are very specific aspects for me.
art to it insolute the balance of the photograph. for me, lighting, the connection come if there is a person involved. the connection to the camera -- is it real? and the balance. what digital has done is equalize the playing field. everybody can get in entry level with the camera. charlie: how did you come to this? angels, beautiful women photographed in a beautiful way. russell: it wasn't that i plan to do a book on this john are. going back to the 2000's when i , my passion was divided. i had, as i said, landscape to
portrait of someone who i've seen but never known them. they all compelled me in the same way. photography, there is a special thing about it. it's an empty canvas. if you are shooting photographs for a male viewer of a certain kind, you can take the photo like this. woman andtograph of a not offend her but have her partner in the photograph, and have what you do not offensive to them, but instead as a partnership -- charlie: how do you create that? russell: there is a time when the subject is nervous, but i'm not. the worst thing you can do at that moment is take your camera back and take this full-bodied picture. i tend to go in starting very close. there's something amazing about doing that. once i find the calm this of the
person, and they start to look at the camera, and they're interested i'm -- charlie: you are connecting with the camera. russell: they get to communicate with you. charlie: they go through the lens to you. russell: there's this technical object, but the conversation has to be the level -- the tone has to be on the level. the opposite of helpful are things like "sexy," "stunning." what is helpful is talking before we start shooting, talking about anything, lunch, food, kids, life, politics. startension drops, you taking photographs. charlie: does beauty means something different to you now because you thought about it and photographed it and try to reflect it? russell: yes. beauty has changed as i have matured and developed. i spent a lot of time in places
like haiti and taking portraits of people down there. i certainly say this with complete honesty that when i am photographing a person, an elder or member of the seminal tribe, there is a beauty about the photograph. and it's the strangest thing but it's so powerful and engaging. i get lost in that moment. uprlie: what also comes objectifying are women. this is all about creating women as objects. charlie: it is a challenging balance that we do. from an art perspective, working with brands like victoria's secret, the good thing is i am shooting women for women. value can be measured on how women receive it. i've got dollars.
-- daughters. so i'm very conscious of the objectification of women and it's a balancing act. at the end of the day, one part of my career, i'm taking photographs of nude people and at the same time, i have to think, how do i balance that? i do a lot of work with young women, i don't photograph them nude but we let them come to the industry and let them see it's not about objectification. we made a big transformation in the last 15 to 20 years, probably in the last 10 even more. charlie: we will take a look at some of your work. this is new york city in 2013. russell: there is no nudity and that is the irony. some of it is a sense and a feel.
and it's just amazing to have the moment we can calm the room enough to look at the camera and not do anything. just let her eyes and her body speak. charlie: this is lily aldridge. what should i notice about this? other than the overall photograph? her hair is not sort of perfect lady -- russell: i photograph lily very much. she's about as rounded a person as you can get. she's a remarkable mother, a remarkable spokesperson. she is philanthropic in her nature and is an absolutely gorgeous woman. she walks in with appeared genes, and a t-shirt. charlie: tell me about this photograph. russell: taken in the northwest of australia, it was with an elder. it was -- literally, some things are self-explanatory. i looked at the eyes and body and said, i can literally see the 50,000 years of your culture and your eyes. there wasn't a lot of explanation to it. it's an art project where i would collaborate with indigenous cultures. i did it because there are so
many issues where indigenous cultures have been marginalized and for many groups i met, there have been extraordinary suffering going on. but this tribe is the seminal tribe of florida. they have one of the greatest success stories. we are working on something we called seminal spirit. what i hope to show is a positive side to what is often a negative. this tribe has kept the culture and has adapted as good as or better than anyone in the modern day. charlie: what are you looking for in this photograph? you're looking into his eyes. russell: it is somewhat an absolute mentor. i got to travel with him to haiti and other places. when people like resident clinton and richard branson said don't be ashamed about socially conscious -- people see you can't mix philanthropic endeavor with commercial activity. they completely flipped it, and said yes, you can. i am seeing a mentor and a space. who sits on which side of the
fence? it's a person who i believe is engaged in the world. charlie: are you talking to him or is he simply posing and you waiting for the moment that you want? russell: we were talking about the citadel, a little-known story in the north of haiti. that was the conversation we were having. so i had just interviewed the president on that subject and asked if i could take some photographs. i did. i guess the closest thing for me is that it was just his personality that i was looking for. who he actually is. that photograph is very recent. charlie: where is the biggest passion for you? someone said to take a month and go where ever you want. russell: that would be sophie's choice for me. and i would go to the roots that have driven me. it is around indigenous culture
charlie: lynsey addario is here. she's a pulitzer prize-winning photographer and is credited with the way we view conflict zones. for 15 years, she has documented human rights issues and the plight of women. in 2011, she was kidnapped with three colleagues in libya while covering the civil war. the experience inspired her to write her first memoir. it's called "it's what i do. lynseyeased to have addario back at the table. tell me about writing a memoir. lynsey: it was an interesting process. after we were released from captivity, i was approached by several literary agents, and my first priority was to do a photo book.
i had never done a book of my photographs. i really wanted to focus on that. i was meeting with aperture. we had all of my photos out on the table. that to e-mail colleagues had been killed in libya. ofdenly, i was sort overwhelmed by all of what had gone on in libya. it all just sort of hit me in that moment. i said, i don't want to spend the next year looking at photos of the next decade. i wanted to write. i was meeting with literary agents and it just seemed right. charlie: >> take me to the moment where you are lying face down any soldiers say, shoot them. lynsey: we had been covering the front line. it was shifting quickly. there were four of us. at that moment, it was silent. it is always the initial moments
of the kidnapping that are most aggressive. they pulled everyone out of the car. i put my head in my lap and was trying to figure out what to do. it was a moment where i thought, i can make it go away. i eventually crawled to the right, where my colleagues had jumped out. started running across the street. in that moment, the rebels we had been covering started shooting at kadhafi's troops. we were caught in a wall of bullets. we made a run for it. we went to a cement building. had to get protection. when we got around the building, there were four of kadhafi's troops. they told us to lie on our stomachs. we knew what that meant. when you are asked to lie face down, it means you will be executed. they put their guts to us.
i remember looking up into the gun barrel and thinking, please. there was nothing else i could say. i looked to my right. we each were doing the same thing. please do not shoot us. it was a moment of begging. finally, the commander decided, you cannot shoot them, they are american. they tied us up and carried us off and placed us in vehicles. we had to sit there for hours on end while bullets and artillery landed around us. charlie: why did they do that? looks to scare us and play games with us. -- lynsey: to scare us and play
games with us. when you are a captive, a lot of it is about instilling people with fear. charlie: moments like this forced you to ask the obvious question, why do you risk your life? lynsey: every time i have been confronted with death, i ask myself, why am i here? why do i are so much about this particular story that i am going to give my life? i don't see there is an answer, certainly not in that moment. nothing seems to justify being there. but it is an answer. i believe this work has to be done. i have the tools to go to these places and tell the stories and bring it home for the reader in a way that is accessible. charlie: does it get easier? lynsey: yes, the more one covers war, the easier it is to go back. it gets harder when you start pulling away from covering war. it is harder to go back. it is almost like, there were moments when i was covering iraq for example. i was there in 2003-2004.
i felt much more comfortable in iraq than at home. i would go home and say, nobody cares there's a war going on. i didn't feel like i fit in. i felt most comfortable in iraq with fellow journalists and iraqis. charlie: what do you look for when you are there? lynsey: situations present themselves. i'm leery of photographing the same scene the audience or reader has seen many times before. i don't want to be in a situation, take photos, and viewers turn the page without asking the question, what is going on? i'm looking for quite moments in war. intimate moments.
moments that are unique. moments where people let their guard down. charlie: take a look at some photographs. let's look at the first. kabul, 2000. women showing their faces at the hospital. lynsey: i first went to afghanistan under taliban rule. i was living in india. i had a roommate who said he had gone there. he said, you should photograph women. i thought, why not? as one does when they are 26. i went in. i lined up access through a small landline organization. i knew as a woman i would have access to women in a way men would not. it was a play the taliban could not or would not go. photography was illegal at the time. the television prohibited it people from photographing any
living being. women's hospitals seem like a good place to do that and photograph the medical situation for women. charlie: does gender make a difference in war zones for photography? lynsey: i don't to get does on the front line. i think it does when i am covering stories that have to do with women. in islam, the genders are segregated. i am often put with the women and i have great access to them. i am able to photograph them in a way my male colleagues cannot. next photo. lynsey: we drove in there on the day kandahar fell. there was a big new york times convoy, almost a dozen people. i was absolutely terrified to
get out of the car. i was sitting with a new york times photographer. we pulled in in front of the governor's mansion. we pulled up. i remember looking out the window. there were all these bearded man with kalashnikovs and rockets on their backs. just looking at us. it was not common to see a woman with her face uncovered in kandahar. i said, i'm terrified. she jumped out of the car and started shooting. i said, i will pretend like i am not scared. i walked up to these guys. a lot of them have lost a limb to land lines. they were sitting around with flowers. they had carnations. it was a very funny scene. charlie: northern iraq, 2003. lynsey: this is the first time i had been in attack.
i had been to northern iraq in late february. the u.s. started sending cruise missiles into northern iraq. this was right around that area. a group of journalists went in a convoy and were waiting on a road where the village is. the villages were emptying out. we were interviewing people as they would come out. all the locals were saying to us, get out of here, it is not safe. we said, we will leave. but journalists linger and want to get reporting. we were getting final interviews and photos. i got this feeling in the pit of my stomach. i ran to our car, shut the door. a massive explosion went off 20 yards behind us. it had been a car bomb.
charlie: next slide is iraq, 2003 as well. lynsey: the white sheets are filled with remains of body's. there was a mass grave south of baghdad. it was several weeks after saddam hussein was deposed. the initial scene was this incredible landscape of the earth dug out. people walking around, pulling plastic bags out of the ground and looking at the remnants and trying to identify relatives through a bag of bones and clothing. it was the most unbelievably tragic scene. i walked into one of the rooms. here was a man, weeping. charlie: you were embedded with
dexter? lynsey: we had done a lot together. we spent a lot of time together in iraq and afghanistan. in 2009, he called me up, no, it was 2008. he said i have a great story. my husband was sitting there. he said, i'm going to line up access. they assigned me to work with him. he spent a lot of time lining up access. the night before, the commander in the tribal area gave us permission to come.
he said, do not bring a woman. no matter what you do, do not bring a woman. dexter and i look at each other and say, we are not separating. the translator was tormented. he said, you cannot bring a woman? what are we going to do? we said, we are not going to separate. he said, we can say you are his wife and he cannot leave his wife alone. i was wearing, you could not see an ounce of my skin. we went to meet the commander. dexter and the translator asked for permission to bring his wife in. i get led in. there are 15-20 sitting in the small room with weapons. a woman walks in.
they look, like, what is a woman doing here? i'm tripping over myself. dexter says, this is my wife. i said, my wife has a camera. you mind? i take out the massive camera and start shooting. charlie: you won a pulitzer prize for that? "the new york times" won a joint pulitzer for international reporting. my pictures were part of that. charlie: what is the satisfaction for you? lynsey: giving people a new perspective on war and what happens to civilians. charlie: is it getting more dangerous? lynsey: i think so. isil does not have guidelines. charlie: they behead
journalists. lynsey: we are seeing as a dollar sign, a way for them to make money. journalism has always been respected. in 2004, i was kidnapped outside of fallujah by a group affiliated with al qaeda. we convinced them we were journalists and there to do the honest job of telling the story of the war. they let us go. that's the volumes. charlie: this book is called, "this is what i do." thank you. charlielynsey: thank you so muc. ♪