Jon Levy: A huge talent devoted to telling stories of conflicts

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The Independent Online

I know this has been said so many times about so many people, but Tim was genuinely a very special photographer. He was always interested in telling stories, whether using film, photography or any other means at his disposal, and often from the front lines, whether in Liberia, Afghanistan or Libya.

His approach was different: he wanted to set himself apart from the photography pack by working in different ways, and he was drawn towards the harder stories, wars and conflicts.

His work followed a trajectory from a heartfelt story on a school for the blind in Sierra Leone, to the overthrow of Charles Taylor as he rode in with the rebel Lurd faction into Freetown, Libera. In Afghanistan he won widespread acclaim for his World Press Award-winning photographs of US servicemen; his work on the American unit on a remote outpost in the Korengal Valley was distributed as the film Restrepo and the book Infidel.

As recently as March he embarked on covering the latest news in Libya to make a film. Beyond doubt, Tim set new standards in photojournalism, always questioning its core values of bringing change and the best ways to communicate ideas and ask questions of his audience. I can't say at this time the impact of his loss. It is just a few months since we were hosting his last exhibition, at the Host gallery in London.

Jon Levy is founder of Foto8, Tim Hetherington's publisher, and the Host gallery

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