Being a war photographer requires, first of all, bravery, or at least the ability to stay calm in situations of extreme danger. The other necessary qualities, beyond technical skill, include dedication, energy, ambition, a sense of curiosity and adventure, and, of course, luck. Most photographers make their names, and survive, thanks to a combination of these traits, while a handful possess the kind of soaring talent that makes their work uniquely memorable. Stanley Greene had all of this, as well as a depth of feeling; it imbued everything he did, and is the indefinable thing permeating the pictures he took.Greene died last week, at age sixty-eight, after a long battle with cancer. I met him in Iraq, where we were both covering the wake of the United States military invasion of 2003. In the small international tribe of photographers who regularly cover war, Stanley stood out. A black man in a largely white group, he was tall and handsome, and effected his own piratical sense of style, typically wearing a beret or a bandanna on his head, a hoop in each earlobe, a scarf coiled around his neck, and cool John Lennon shades. He had a wonderfully mellifluous, clear drawl of a voice, and a storyteller’s instinct for timing, humor, and suspense.
Stanley Greene, a War Photographer Who Stayed When Others Left