Staying In Focus In Iraq; The Photography Of Staff Sgt. Josh Kinser Page 2

Kinser tries to shoot photos every time he goes out on presence patrols (combat patrols), but duty trumps art. He shot more often on his first tour in Iraq when he was a gunner and kept his Nikon D2H in the turret and had time to snap shots as "we were flying down the road." He would use his 70-300mm lens and have the camera on Shutter Priority at around 1/1200 sec to stop the action. For our class, Kinser wasn't able to purchase the soft/gold reflector and diffuser that I wanted all of the students to use so he managed to make his own homemade version. He used a space blanket for a reflector and the dust from a helicopter landing for diffusion. The one item that I had recommended that did get to him in Iraq was a Lensbaby and the day it arrived he went crazy with it, shooting everything he could find. I loved seeing those first shots from the Lensbaby. Kinser's infatuation with photography is contagious and fired the imagination of the students back home.

His frequent patrols sometimes delayed his submissions, but more often blown generators brought down the Internet. He is lucky enough to have a laptop with Photoshop CS on it to do his editing, and I wonder how his cameras and laptop deal with the countless sandstorms he has had to endure.

Staff Sgt. Josh Kinser has been lucky enough to hold onto his passion for photography against all odds in a very inhospitable environment. Encountering him in my class at both humbles me and prompts me to persevere when things get tough.