Re-thinking Photographers

How do we categorise photographers? I think one possible classification is professionals, amateur and non-photographers. The term “amateur” is not intended to do a disservice to anyone falling into that category. There are, in my opinion, as many outstanding amateur photographers and there are poor professional photographers.

This classification is relevant because, I feel, non-photographers hold a number of misconceptions regarding not only professional photographers but photography and photographers in general, perceptions that apply largely to both amateurs and professionals.

The first thing that is overlooked is the ability to “see” an image. Ansel Adams and David Bailey both allude to the ability to “see” an image accordingly:

Photography – like painting, is all about seeing. You have to keep looking until you see.” – David Bailey

You don’t take a good photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams

Photographers have an eye for an image, this is to a lesser or greater extent inherent and it is, perhaps, what draws people to practice photography in the first place. This ability to see an image becomes refined with experience and can be enhanced with training. Picking up a camera and using it to capture images might be photography in the most literal definition, but confers nothing about the quality of the images.

By definition, professional photographers earn revenue by taking photographs. So on this basis, arguably, anyone who can pick up a camera, use it to record an image and then sell that image can be classed as a “professional” photographer. Whether the images they produce meet the criteria needed for people to class the images as being of a professional standard is another question.

Furthermore, I feel non-photographers confuse the ability to recognise circumstances which will produce a good photograph when captured, with technology. Lay people appear greatly mistaken in assuming that it’s the equipment that produces the photographs, the better and more up to date the equipment, the better the photographs will be.

In my opinion, photography is not about equipment, it’s about light. The equipment is, to some extent, just a tool with which to record images. The photography is in “seeing” the light, understanding it, analysing it and having the technical knowledge to be able to use the equipment in order to accurately record the light.

An interesting point, though, is there such a thing as a “non-photographer” given the ubiquitous nature of the camera with many being built into mobile telephones and seemingly recording the minutiae of life?

On Reflection … Week Three, Module One

Post a single line of text or an image which could act as a creative catalyst for a piece of photographic work. That was this week’s brief … …

From this starting point, students naturally formed into pairs or groups of three based on how well they felt pieces of text posted by fellow students resonated with them and responding accordingly with comments of their own.

I find ad hoc projects easier to come up with. I always have and it’s been the same when I’ve been involved with developing business names in my capacity as a business consultant. It’s a sort of “tip off the tongue” thing – try and think of something and it’s almost impossible: you know you know it, but it’s “on the tip of your tongue” … …

So, I was very surprised when I had a “lightbulb” moment almost immediately after reading the brief.

“Seasons of mists and mellow fruitfulness” – the first line of “To Autumn” by John Keats.

That was my personal starting point.

Fellow students Jo and Kevin posted the following respectively:

“If you have fairy blood, even in the tiniest degree, you must live close to Fairy Land, and eat a little fairy food, or else you will always be hungry.”

three%20fish11

Kevin Darling-Finan, date unknown. Fish – Bradford Abbas, Dorset

From these three initial contributions, Jo, Kevin and myself found ourselves drawn to the common theme of autumn, but viewed with three different sub-themes in mind: fairy folklore, autumnal harvests and autumnal recipes.

Having formed our team of three and established a theme for our micro project, we embarked upon identifying a viable method of presenting our work.

Should the work be presented as three separate themed photographs with appropriate dialogue? Or, a triptych, again with accompanied by relevant commentary?

Kevin suggested that the ideal vehicle to carry our idea would be an autumn themed magazine. This concept met with eager enthusiasm from both Jo and myself and was immediately adopted.

Within 24 hours we had formed a team, agreed themes and sub-themes, identified a method of presenting our output. Within 36 hours we had an initial layout for our eight-page publication.

By Wednesday afternoon all three team members had taken their sub-theme based images and prepared relevant accompanying articles. Jo did an amazing job of using her Photoshop skills to bring the magazine together – thank you Jo.

The following images are taken from our magazine … …

hello-autumn-cover-2

Front Cover

hello-autumn-recipes

Autumnal Recipes

hello-autumn-combined-2

A page clearly combining all three sub-themes: Jo’s fairy folklore, Kevin’s foraging & autumn harvest, and autumn recipes

 

We are all very proud of our magazine.

Working collaboratively with Jo and Kevin has been a pleasure. I would very happily form a team of three and work with them both again in a heartbeat. I sincerely hope that we can find more opportunities to collaborate again in the future.

Several other teams were formed in addition to ours and each presented their own project.

“A place for broken things” was a presentation of three triptychs, each triptych having been produced by one team member using an image of their own and two images provided by their colleagues. Working to a restricted palette, the three triptychs varied in style, maintaining the individuality of the photographers, but clearly conveyed the message of the project’s theme. It was noted that the team felt constrained by time and the question was asked as to whether the team felt this was due to them being located in three separate time zones. Notwithstanding this perceived constraint, the team worked cohesively in order to produce a powerful piece of photographic work.

In another presentation, the human form and its interaction with nature were explored. Monochromatic headshots, taken using hard directional light, subtly blended with images of plants having established uses as natural remedies. I personally found that presenting black and white images gave them significant impact, I did wonder, however, how much impact the images would have had had they been presented in colour. Thought provoking, this presentation achieved its aim in forcing me to contemplate the interactions between humans and the environment. It also made me question why humans see themselves as being detached from nature when, in reality, they are just another member of the animal kingdom.

So, in summary, the output from our micro-project clearly demonstrates that remote working is an effective method for like-minded individuals to combine their knowledge, skills and experience on collaborative projects.

This has been a thoroughly enjoyable activity and an amazing week. I have taken an enormous amount of enjoyment from this project and from being part of this team as have my colleagues and friends Jo and Kevin.

 

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/autumn 

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1311202-if-you-have-fairy-blood-even-in-the-tiniest-degree 

On Reflection … Week Two, Module One

Time has been a particular constraint this week, but purely from a logistical point of view.

Having introduced the subject of time, I found the following statement by the artist and photographer David Hockney to be very thought provoking: “Still pictures can be seen in a different way. You bring time to it (the picture), moving pictures bring time to you” (David Hockney, “Hockney on Photography”, Sky Arts)

Moving on … …

The task in hand has been to consider how interdisciplinary practice is already present in my photographic practice, how I might expand my practice through greater use of other disciplines, media and critical contexts.

The aim of photography in general is to purposefully create compositions that carry a clear message, are visually impressive and influential.

In real terms, the purpose of food photography is to produce images which portray the food’s intrinsic characteristics in order to stimulate, in the viewer, the sensation of hunger and a corresponding desire to consume the food they see.

In order to capture the true essence of the subject, it is essential that the photographer has an in-depth knowledge of the subject. To gain a sufficient knowledge of the subject requires the photographer to look beyond the subject and the photographic process and draw upon areas which lie outside photography.

There is a body of technical knowledge that underpins all photography irrespective of genre or subject. Each specific type of photography, however, draws upon a range of knowledge which derives from a variety of different disciplines. In relation to food photography, skills derived from a knowledge and experience of the culinary arts and design are allied to photographic knowledge.

Distilling this idea, the knowledge and experience that derive from these two areas of knowledge enable the intrinsic characteristics of the subject to successfully make the conversion from three-dimensional reality into a two-dimensional image.

In summary then … …

It has been enlightening to see the extent to which the different genres of photography draw upon other disciplines. Even within a relatively small group of students the range of interdisciplinary knowledge which is drawn upon is diverse and interesting.

Looking at other areas of knowledge that I draw upon in the practice of food photography has prompted me to look at my images, and most pertinently the process of making images, from perspectives other than my own as the photographer.

I think there is considerable scope for the quality of images to be improved if photographers consider the viewpoint of other professionals, in interdisciplinary terms, when making their images. Looking at a subject from differing viewpoints rather than exclusively through the viewfinder may allow the original photographic intention to be challenged and, consequently, improved upon.

Studying interdisciplinary subjects and contexts has not only given me a greater appreciation of the way in which images may be produced but also in the way that they may be consumed: in terms of how an image is used, the photographer’s intention at the time of the taking an image may not match the reality of how the image is finally used and by whom. To what extent is a photograph’s classification dependent upon the photographer’s intention, and to what extent is it dependent upon the end use of the image?

All-in-all an interesting and revelatory week.

Other Disciplines and Contexts

My interest is food photography and so that forms the basis from which I have looked at this topic.

Putting things into context first.

The aim of photography in general is to purposefully create compositions that have a clear message and that are visually impressive and influential.

How effectively a message is conveyed is dependent upon a combination of strong composition and skilful photographic technique.

There is a number of fundamental skills that are essential to all genres of photography, irrespective of subject and type of equipment being used. These are, for example, composition and lighting.

There are, however, types of specialist knowledge which are unique to some types of photography which derive a series of skills which are seemingly unimportant, sometimes understated, quite often overlooked and which sit quietly in the background. These skills are referred to as interdisciplinary skills which draw upon knowledge and experience gained through the study of non-photographic subjects.

In addition to photographic knowledge and technique, two disciplines underpin the practice of food photography: the culinary arts and design.

Such knowledge and skills are essential in order to produce images which are not only compelling but which also withstand the translation of a tangible three-dimensional entity into a two-dimensional image.

garlic-olive-oil-and-tomatoes

Morris, 2016. Still-life with Garlic, Olive Oil and Tomatoes

The culinary arts are defined as “the art of the preparation, cooking and presentation of food” and draw upon such bodies of knowledge as food science, and diet and nutrition.

Food science is: “the application of basic sciences and engineering to the study of physical, chemical and biochemical nature of foods and the principles of food processing” (Food Science).

In real terms, the purpose of food photography is to produce images which portray the food’s intrinsic characteristics in order to stimulate, in the viewer, the sensation of hunger and a corresponding desire to consume the food they see.

Preparing, cooking and presenting food in a way which portrays it in the most appealing manner requires, for example, a knowledge of the way in which the food’s molecular structure will respond to the cooking process.

Whilst food science provides knowledge of how ingredients react during cooking, sensory evaluation, the scientific discipline that analyses and measures human responses to the composition of food and drink, is concerned with such qualities as appearance, texture, odour and temperature and the way that these characteristics interplay with the senses of sight, touch and smell.

In culinary terms, the following qualities and corresponding senses are important:

Appearance – sight: shape, size, colour and surface texture; food needs to look appealing; temperature (yes – you can see temperature, trust me!)

Texture – touch

Temperature – touch

Odour – smell: volatile aromas released from food; odour and taste work together to produce flavour

Taste: bitter, sweet, salt, sour, umami

Sound – hearing: sounds of food being prepared, cooked, served and eaten influence preferences.

Practically, the culinary arts provide food photographers with a base of knowledge which is essential in order to accurately identify and then portray the physical characteristics of food in an appealing and influential manner through the use of a two-dimensional medium.

Additionally, food photographers require such knowledge in order to communicate successfully with other professionals such as chefs, food stylists, art directors and editors on collaborative projects.

caramel-brownie-with-rapsberries

Morris, 2016. Chocolate Brownie with Raspberries and Cream

The art of design is a systematic approach to the construction of compelling images.

The system provides a number of principles and elements which can be studied and then applied in order to produce images which convey a clear message.

Having knowledge and understanding of the principles and elements of design allows compositional decisions which improve the way that photographs both look and read to be made.

It’s practical application in relation to food photography is for food styling, complimenting and supporting the knowledge of food presentation arising from the study of the culinary arts.

sushi

Morris, 2016. Sushi

Two important but often unasked questions related to the making of photographic images are: “who will view my images?” and “how will my images be used?”

There are a number of categories into which a photograph can fall, still life and photojournalism being two examples.

The boundaries between these different genres can be quite grey and undefined and as a result it is possible to place a photograph into more than one category.

But what determines how we class a photograph?

Is it the intent of the photographer at the time of taking the photograph? Or, is it the end use to which the photograph is put that determines its photographic classification?

Why is this important? Well, it’s important because it determines when a photograph stops being a fine art or still life image existing purely to bring visual pleasure and instead becomes an educational tool.

This has an important interdisciplinary aspect because, perhaps arguably, at some point a collection of photographs illustrating a cookbook stops being a body of photographic work and instead become a significant contribution to the furtherance of culinary knowledge.

In conclusion, then, some knowledge is common to all forms of photography, irrespective of classification.

The subject plays a major role in determining into which category a photograph is placed.

In order to capture the true essence of the subject, it is essential that the photographer has an in-depth knowledge of the subject. To gain a sufficient knowledge of the subject requires the photographer to look beyond the subject and the photographic process and draw upon areas which lie outside photography.

In relation to food photography, the culinary arts and design are allied to photographic knowledge.

The knowledge and experience that derive from these areas enable the intrinsic characteristics of the subject to successfully make the conversion from three-dimensional reality into a two-dimensional image.

Photography and …

Whilst the subject of my discussion today, food and art, may not constitute a discipline, I feel it does constitute a critical context for my personal practice.

Food is essential to existence and the act of eating engages so many senses: sight, taste, smell, touch and hearing.

It is therefore unsurprising that food has been a prevalent subject for artists since early man began to record his environment in the form of cave paintings.

The following image shows an Egyptian stela depicting, in the upper right section, an altar laden with food offerings.

egyptian-stela

Limestone Stela of Penbuy (19th Century: c. 1292 – 1187 BC)

As man’s ability to portray the world around him became more sophisticated the images he produced became not only more refined but also more definite in terms of the subject being illustrated, in effect becoming less of an environmental depiction and more subject specific. The following image shows a Roman wall painting featuring eggs, thrushes, napkins and vessels – an early example of a still life.

still_life_with_eggs_birds_and_bronze_dishes_pompeii

Roman Wall Painting with Thrushes and Eggs, House of Julia Felix, Pompeii

(Early 1st Century A. D.)

Still life as a genre gained much popularity during the Renaissance. Subsequently, both still life and the food in art movements spread through Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries before ultimately becoming an early global phenomenon. Rembrandt’s “Carcass of Beef” (1657) is a fine example of the kitchen and marketplace type work of which was particularly prevalent amongst Dutch artists.

carcass-of-beef

Rembrandt, 1657. Carcass of Beef

Samuel John Peploe’s “Still Life with Melon” (c. 1920) is a slightly more contemporary example of food and art working in harmony.

still-life-with-melon

Samuel John Peploe, c. 1920. Still-life with Melon

Food has shown great longevity as a popular subject for artist’s and I feel this is due to a number of reasons which include: visual viewing pleasure, a display of status, and a form of documenting life.

I think, therefore, that it was inevitable that food photography would ultimately develop as a genre in its own right.

 

Image 1 http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=177351&partId=1&searchText=egyptian+food&page=1

Image 2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_ancient_Rome#/media/File:Still_life_with_eggs,_birds_and_bronze_dishes,_Pompeii.jpg

Image 3

http://www.rembrandtpainting.net/complete_catalogue/landscape/ox.htm

Image 4

https://www.nationalgalleries.org/collection/artists-a-z/p/artist/samuel-john-peploe/object/still-life-with-melon-gma-1951

 

‘Other Than’ Photography

 

640px-Still_Life_with_Turkey_Pie_1627_Pieter_Claesz

Claesz, 1627. Still-life with Turkey Pie

Photographically, my interests are wide ranging but I am especially passionate about both food photography and still life.

Still Life with Turkey Pie” by the Dutch painter Pieter Claesz (1597 – 1661) is an example of the kind of art which inspired my interest in food photography.

Claesz’s work is renowned for the use of subtle colours and relatively simple compositions in order to produce atmospheric paintings in which beautifully soft light plays gently on the subject to create a richness whilst capturing the solidity of the object.

I find the painting of the window reflection in the glass especially beautiful.

The Photographer Sergei Sogokon is particularly proficient in producing images which look like painterly masterpieces. It’s a level of work to which I aspire.

http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/detail.php?ID=142087

http://www.rps.org/member/gallery/sergei-sogokon/Light-Painting-Still-Life

On Reflection … Week One, Module One

So, the first week of studies for my MA in photography is at an end.

It’s been a week with some challenges … …

Trying to identify one image as being a representative of the “global image” was not an easy undertaking and it raised questions as to whether we are desensitised and oversaturated because of the sheer volume of images that are now produced.

It’s been a week with some surprises … …

A theme emerged when I and my fellow MA students wrestled with the concept of the “global image”. There are some amazing photographers capturing images of wonderful things. Moreover, mobile telephones with built in cameras allow everyone to be a “photographer”, as the en vogue phrase informs us, and every kind of celebration and event is recorded: birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries, today’s choice of espresso from a well-known coffeehouse posted to social media … everything. So, I found it strange that so many images that were chosen to represent “global imagery” were images either portraying tragic events or highlighting a darker side of humanity.

What does this say about the way we see the world? Perhaps we are desensitised and it takes an image that we find shocking to jolt us from the routine, lift up our heads and see what is really going on in the wider world.

So, what do I take away from my first week of studies?

Well, I think that images that can be thought of as being representative of the “global image” can fall into one of three categories.

Firstly, images deliberately created by a large corporation or institute with the specific aim of fulfilling a particular corporate strategy. Images which lack aesthetic appeal but which are instantly recognisable, arguably, the kind of images used by corporate giants such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds in the advertising campaigns.

Secondly, the kind of image that arises from people’s desire to document, in a visual form, the world around them. Certainly there is a common interest in the human condition which is not bound by but instead accommodates cultural diversity – whilst the subject may change from region to region the wish to record our lives and our environment remains constant. This common interest has been referred to as “universalism”. Barthes in his 1973 book ‘Mythologies’ argued that such a universal requirement is no more than “ambiguous myth” but, undeniably, there exists a wish, observable repeatedly on a global scale, to capture specific types of images.

Finally, perhaps a “global image” could be defined as the kind of image that shocks us, that stops us from “focusing” on the mundane routine of life and forces us to take stock of events unfolding in other areas of the world.

The Global Image & My Photography

What is meant by “global image”?

One possible view is that the term “global image” refers to the kind of images that arise universally throughout the world wherever people take photographs with a camera, images where the subject is different but the purpose for taking the photograph is held in common.

For an entity to have uptake on a global scale it must have universal appeal. It must fulfil a need that transcends geographical and cultural barriers.

Global imagery arises from people’s desire to document, in a visual form, the world around them. There is a common interest in the human condition which is not bound by but instead accommodates cultural diversity – whilst the subject may change from region to region the wish to record our lives and our environment remains constant. This common interest has been referred to as “universalism”. Barthes in his 1973 book ‘Mythologies’ argued that such a universal requirement is no more than “ambiguous myth” but, undeniably, there exists a wish, observable repeatedly on a global scale, to capture specific types of images. This wish is being fulfilled by photographers on both professional and non-professional levels.

When viewed retrospectively, early photography was a cumbersome process but the benefits that it offered in comparison to any form of visual representation that preceded it were that it was fast and it was cheap. Factors which gave photography huge popular appeal from the outset.

Simple photographic images taken using mobile telephones and basic digital cameras can now be made and shared across the world in seconds. Fundamentally though, today’s digital imaging owes its rise in popularity, its rise in becoming ubiquitous, to the same reasons that made early photography so popular.

The first image I wish to share is a portrait of my daughter, Caitlin.

downpour-lying-down-watching-the-rain-copy-2

Morris, 2010. Caitlin

This image is a representative example of people’s desire to document those with whom they share their lives – a need as valid and as widespread today as in the early days of photography.

From its inception, people found that sitting for an early photograph, even with its long exposure time, was still a faster process than undertaking multiple sittings for a portrait. A photographer with a camera could produce more images per unit of time than could an artist with brush and paint, and so, because of the economics of supply and demand, with speed came a price affordable by most people and, with this, came accessibility.

Today, accessibility is delivered through a new form of technology: built in cameras mean that anyone with a mobile telephone can find a portrait opportunity wherever and whenever they encounter people, social media provides almost limitless opportunities for the resultant images to be shared.

The second image I wish to share is a documentary type photograph.

samphire

Morris, 2016. Samphire

This second image is a still life of some marsh samphire – an edible species of plant whose growth is unique to the British Isles. It is an example of the kind of image that captures a subject that is unique to a particular geographical location and allows it to be viewed by people in other regions of the world.

In the 19th century, few people were able to go out and see the world. If the people couldn’t go to the world, photography brought the world to the people and with their “eyes opened”, the people began to want to explore the wider world in which they lived through the medium of photography.

Today people still rely upon photography as a means to explore the natural world or remain informed about events in distant places.

In conclusion then, photography has found widespread use since its formative days in the 19th century.

Parallels can be drawn between the widespread use of photography in its early stages and in the modern digital age. These parallels arise due to the common driving factors of speed, affordability and accessibility.

Irrespective of geographical location, humans have a commonly held desire to document themselves and their lives. Consequently, the new technologies – photography in the 19th century and digital imaging in contemporary times – have been globally embraced as a form of visual communication.

In short, since its inception, photographic technology has provided arguably the most accessible and readily used means of satisfying the human need to visually record our time on Earth.

The Challenges of Global Photography

How do photography’s close ties with global corporations and institutions affect the kinds of images that are seen and/or how they are made?

Do you think the global nature of photography diversifies the kind of photography that is seen, or homogenises it?

Do you think that there is indeed such a concept of ‘universalism’, given the diversity of cultures? How does photography ‘impose’ such ideas?

Global corporations and institutions choose specific types of images in order to fulfil a particular type of corporate strategy. In 1989 the Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani was involved in a controversial advertising campaign for Benetton Group, Vittoria Rava – Benetton’s Advertising manager commented: “We believe our advertising needs to shock – otherwise people will not remember it.” (Graham as cited in Ramamurthy, A., 2015, p. 285).

Global imagery arises from people’s desire to document, in a visual form, the world around them. There is a common interest in the human condition which is not bound by but instead accommodates cultural diversity – whilst the subject may change from region to region the wish to record our lives and our environment remains constant. This common interest has been referred to as “universalism”. Barthes in his 1973 book ‘Mythologies’ argued that such a universal requirement is no more than “ambiguous myth” but, undeniably, there exists a wish, observable repeatedly on a global scale, to capture specific types of images. This wish is being fulfilled by photographers on both professional and non-professional levels.

Billions of images are now exchanged in an hour. This could lead us to ask if we are desensitised to events around us through overexposure as a result of the sheer volume of images that are generated? It could be argued that the sheer volume of images has a homogenising effect on the various types of photography resulting in grey areas where one type of photography has undefined boundaries with another, indeed, as Price suggests: “documentary is often associated with other kinds of photography, especially those of war, travel, and photojournalism. There are often no clear lines of demarcation between these genres, nor is it possible to find exclusive descriptions of them (Price 2015, p. 77.

 

Price, Derrick., 2015, “Surveyors and surveyed” in Liz WELLS (ed.) Photography: A Critical Introduction, London: Routledge, p. 77.

Ramamurthy, A., 2015, “Spectacles and illusions” in Liz WELLS (ed.) Photography: A Critical Introduction, London: Routledge, p. 285.

The “Global Image”

I found the task quite challenging. To select one image that to me represents the theme of “the global image” was not an easy undertaking.

This seemed to pose more questions than it created answers.

Firstly, what is a “global image”?

Could it be an image deliberately created by a large corporation or institute with the specific aim of fulfilling a particular corporate strategy? Images which lack aesthetic appeal but which are instantly recognisable, arguably, the kind of images used by corporate giants such as Coca-Cola and McDonalds in the advertising campaigns.

Alternatively, could it be the kind of image that arises from people’s desire to document, in a visual form, the world around them. Certainly there is a common interest in the human condition which is not bound by but instead accommodates cultural diversity – whilst the subject may change from region to region the wish to record our lives and our environment remains constant. This common interest has been referred to as “universalism”. Barthes in his 1973 book ‘Mythologies’ argued that such a universal requirement is no more than “ambiguous myth” but, undeniably, there exists a wish, observable repeatedly on a global scale, to capture specific types of images.

Perhaps a “global image” could be defined as the kind of image that shocks us, that stops us from “focusing” on the mundane routine of life and forces us to take stock of events unfolding in other areas of the world.

I finally decided on the following image which falls into the latter category.

In 1972, Nick Ut was a photographer working for Associated Press in Vietnam. His photograph of Phan Thị Kim Phúc badly burnt by napalm and fleeing from her smoldering village has become one of the twentieth century’s iconic images.

nick_ut_photo

Nick Ut, 1972. The Terror of War

Does the fact that I found it hard to identify one specific image to represent the “global image” suggest that the sheer volume of images that are now produced has desensitised us? Are we oversaturated with images?

http://blog.leica-camera.com/2012/09/18/nick-ut-the-amazing-saga-and-the-image-that-helped-end-the-vietnam-war/