Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros stands in front of a burning building on April 18 in Misrata, Libya. Hondros was wounded and later died in the besieged city on April 20.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GETTY IMAGES / AFP

A Libyan rebel runs up a burning stairwell during fighting Wednesday. This image is possibly one of the last photos filed by photojournalist Chris Hondros before he was mortally wounded in an explosion.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

A Libyan rebel shoots into a basement, trying to dislodge government loyalist troops during house-to-house fighting Wednesday on Tripoli Street. The image is thought to be among the last filed by Chris Hondros before he was wounded in an explosion that also killed photojournalist Tim Hetherington.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

A rebel rolls a burning tire into a room where troops loyal to Kadafi are holed up.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Rebels discuss tactics as they assault positions of government troops.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Libyan rebels carry a comrade wounded in Wednesday's fighting.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Rebels fire at government loyalists during street fighting Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Rebel forces fire a rocket-propelled grenade at a building holding government loyalist troops.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Chris Hondros won second prize for spot news in the 2005 World Press Photos competition for this image of an Iraqi girl screaming after her parents were killed by U.S. soldiers. They fired on the family's car when, they said, it failed to stop and came toward soldiers, despite warning shots, during a dusk patrol Jan. 18, 2005, in Tal Afar, Iraq. The car held an Iraqi family of seven, of which the mother and father were killed. Their five children in the backseat survived, one with a non-life-threatening injury. The U.S. military is investigating the incident.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Chris Hondros / Getty Images

Photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington works at a rally on March 25, 2011. Tim Hetherington, the co-director of Oscar-nominated war documentary "Restrepo," died in the besieged Libyan town of Misurata on Wednesday, doctors said.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: FINBARR O'REILLY / Reuters

Specialist Misha Pemble Belkin is shown in April 2008 in a scene from the documentary "Restrepo," by Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger. Hetherington was killed Wednesday in Libya.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Outpost Films

Misha Pemble, left, and a fellow soldier enjoy a joke in a scene from "Restrepo."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Outpost Films

Soldier Bobby Wilson smooches Santana Rueda during a lighthearted moment from the documentary.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Outpost Films

Outpost Restrepo in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Outpost Films

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Photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros killed in Libya [Updated]

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Photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros killed in Libya [Updated]

This is an updated post. See below for details.

Photojournalist Tim Hetherington and Getty Images photographer Chris Hondros were killed in Misurata, Libya, on Wednesday, according to a colleague working with them.

The men were on the front lines covering fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Kadafi when an explosion occurred. The blast was believed to have been caused by a mortar round, according to a Los Angeles Times report. The news was first reported by French photographer Andre Liohn, posting on Facebook while apparently at the hospital.

Hondros’ work appeared on the front page of Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times (pdf download). He was recently interviewed about his experiences in Egypt by the Chicago Tribune.

“It was quiet and we were trying to get away and then a mortar landed and we heard explosions,” Spanish photographer Guillermo Cervera told Reuters.

Also wounded in the attack was Michael Brown of the Corbis agency and Guy Martin of the Panos Pictures agency. They were treated for shrapnel wounds.

Hetherington sent a Twitter message Tuesday morning: “In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO.”

Along with co-director Sebatian Junger, Hetherington won the grand jury prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for their documentary, “Restrepo.”  The film chronicled a U.S. Army platoon manning a remote outpost in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley, where several soldiers were killed.

The New York-based Hondros has covered conflicts around the globe, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Kashmir, Liberia and the West Bank since the late 1990s. In 2004, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in spot news photography for his work in Liberia, and in 2006 he won the Robert Capa Gold Medal.

[Updated at 4:16 p.m.]

From Getty Images:

“The fiancée of Chris Hondros, the award-winning Getty Images photographer killed April 20 in an attack by government forces in Misrata, Libya, has announced the formation of The Chris Hondros Fund, which will encourage and assist aspiring photojournalists, aid photojournalists and other journalists in conflict zones and raise awareness of issues surrounding their work.”

More information here.

Hondros’ memorial service that was held this morning in Brooklyn was recorded.

[Updated at 3:40 p.m. An earlier version of this post was published before Hondros died. The headline and text have been changed accordingly.]

Getty Images has confirmed that Hondros has died of his injuries:

Getty Images is deeply saddened to confirm the death of Staff Photographer Chris Hondros who has died of injuries while covering events in Libya on April 20th.  Chris never shied away from the front line having covered the world’s major conflicts throughout his distinguished career and his work in Libya was no exception. We are working to support his family and his fiancee as they receive this difficult news, and are preparing to bring Chris back to his family and friends in the United States.  He will be sorely missed.

Times staff photographer Michael Robinson Chavez, who has worked overseas with Hondros, added:

Chris Hondros was more often than not the smartest photographer in the room. We would have great political debates and discussions about all kinds of topics, more often than not, about the war zone or country we were currently photographing. It is so important to know who the players are in any given crisis and whom you can trust. Chris always knew that and you could always trust in his judgment.

His sense of conviction and belief in a story was absolute and always well founded. I remember how livid he was that so many news organizations and photographers were no longer covering Iraq beginning in 2004. “There were U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians fighting and dying over there, how could we not cover it?” was a common refrain from Chris. And he was right.

I first met him in 2002 covering the Israeli incursions into the West Bank and Gaza. His intellect was only matched by his ability to make amazing photographs, smart photographs, in horrendous situations. Our paths crossed many many times: Iraq, Israel and Palestine on many occasions, the recent revolution in Egypt and the Georgia-Russia war in 2008. We worked closely together on that story. I still feel bad, Chris rented a car and I proceeded to trash it driving over horrible roads in an effort to hook up with a Russian military convoy.

I will miss Chris dearly. He is what I will aspire to be and work as: a smart photographer and journalist. Dedication and intellect are so important in what we do and Chris had both of those in abundance. You are a special messenger, Chris, and your eyes and spirit will be greatly missed.

Times staff photographer Rick Loomis said:

I’ve worked with Chris Hondros in the U.S. and overseas but always in places that no one else really wants to go but the most hard-core of photojournalists.  He was driven to make the most compelling images in some of the world’s most chaotic places. He strove to make a difference, to make people feel what he was seeing. I think back to the images of the small, blood -soaked Iraqi child whose parents were killed by U.S. forces. Those moving images were widely published, forcing people to stop and see the horrors of war up close. That was one of countless situations that he got himself into that make up a moving body of work.

He was smart, had the gift of gab and could frequently be found pontificating on any given subject with authority. His quick wit and wry sense of humor often meant he was the center of attention when around other journalists in a social setting. And if you found yourself standing in his general proximity while on assignment, you knew you were probably in the right spot to make a picture. He and Tim Hetherington were sadly in the wrong spot today – a chance we all take pursuing stories in edgy situations. He died doing what compelled him and I will try to take solace in that fact.

The photojournalism community is in shock today as it has lost one of the greats. Working for a wire service, his images appeared in publications around the world. So though many viewers of his work maybe never knew him personally, they too will experience a loss.

6 Comments

  1. April 20, 2011, 5:12 pm

    Amazing images my friends. Thank you for having the courage to put yourself in harms way, as a way of life, so that I, just a lover of photographic images, could have the pleasure of viewing them and learning from them.

    I'll see you on the other side. Where the weather is always F128 at 250/ISO50, you get to work out of Ansel's, Edward's, and Fred's darkrooms…with them at your sides…all of them at once. Not just them, but ALL of the greats…

    You'll be missed.

    Again, thanks!

    By: Jerry
  2. April 20, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Greatly appreciate the article and the comments by colleagues who knew him. Thank you.

    By: Alex Garcia
  3. April 21, 2011, 7:51 am

    [...] to Framework: The men were on the front lines covering fighting between rebels and forces loyal to [...]

  4. April 21, 2011, 9:37 am

    [...] and photos on Chris and Tim: Chris Hondros, In Memorium (Life Magazine) LA Times Article on Chris and Tim Washington Post Article April 21st, 2011 | Tags: Chris Hondros, Friends | Category: Nova Scotia [...]

  5. April 21, 2011, 4:24 pm

    How many tears must be cried to clean our hearts again for this was happen! God please tell me if I can stop crying – in hope it will be in this life.

    By: dastronaut
  6. May 17, 2011, 11:01 am

    Tim and Chris were special people.!
    We did not always know where Chris was at any given time…he would tell after he came home again..safe and sound. I think this is why we became a bit complacent about his trips to so many volatile areas of the world. We just knew he would always come back to tell us of his experiences.
    This time…we will never hear his voice, see his smile and sip on a cup of coffee while he pontificated on various other topics.
    Chris will be in our hearts forever!!
    Geri Hasapis et al

    By: k.net

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