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Scenes from the Other Crimean War

These photos from the Crimean War of 1853-1856 bear little resemblance to the ones coming out of the beleaguered region today.

During the Crimean War of 1853-1856, wartime reporting was in its infancy and photojournalism was an even newer concept. British photographer Roger Fenton spent less than four months in Crimea during the war and took over 350 photographs, which he developed in his mobile, horse-drawn darkroom. While war photography today frequently is characterized by graphic violence, photo technology of the 19th century required for an exposure of several seconds, so Fenton's subjects ended up mostly consisting of landscapes and portraits, which looking at them today, produce a jarringly cool and quieting effect--sort of like experiencing 19th century warfare through the lens of a Wes Anderson film.

Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress


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