A photojournalist in Ukraine heads toward deadly conflict to humanize war
For the past three weeks, Marcus Yam has been capturing harrowing images of the war in Ukraine, as he pulls long hours in the face of unpredictable and deadly attacks.
Yam, a photojournalist and foreign correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, is covering the conflict in the capital of Kyiv. The biggest challenge for photojournalists in the region, he said, are the military bombardments.
While out in the field, "We were just sitting ducks half the time, waiting for artillery to land around us," he told NPR's Scott Simon.
Heading into war zones "goes against every instinct we have," he said, but that "we as photographers, as photojournalists, try our very, very best to capture human emotion."
The deaths three journalists this week — Fox News cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski; a Ukrainian member of his crew, Oleksandra Kuvshynova; and documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud — are a grim reminder of the dangers of covering conflicts from behind a camera.
Yam, who knew Zakrzewski, described him as a "very kind soul."
"He looked out for all of a lot of people that he considered friends," he said. "Going into Ukraine, he gave me advice on security issues, on evacuation routes and ... resources that were available to him."
Ashley Lisenby and Matthew Schuerman produced and edited the audio version of this story for broadcast.
Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.