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Submitted on
August 16, 2011
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515 KB


95 (who?)
InsurgenT by MRBee30 InsurgenT by MRBee30
The problem is that you cannot prove yourself against someone who is much weaker than yourself. They are in a lose/lose situation. If you are strong and fighting the weak, then if you kill your opponent then you are a scoundrel... if you let him kill you, then you are an idiot. So here is a dilemma which others have suffered before us, and for which as far as I can see there is simply no escape. Because No matter how many troops we have in place or how long they stay, we cannot impose a parliamentary democracy there any more than the insurgents can impose a theocracy.

التعاطف للحرب على الارهاب.

(c) 2011 Property of, Will Merzlak.
Photograph taken and edited by Me.
5010x3336 Version available only by request.
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The immediate thing I look at with this pic is the faces--as intended (based on your quote) this gives an inhuman look of dominance with the soldier, while the insurgent is very human with a look of ferocity.

As far as vision goes, were it not for your quotes, the scope of this picture would be severely unrealized. To me, it brings the duality between the mentality of the American soldier and the Insurgent abruptly (and viscerally) to the forefront of the viewers vision.

As for originality, in all my years serving in the military, I rarely see few if any pictures (staged or real) of direct, up-close-and-personal contact with enemy fighters and our soldiers. The the impending emotion captured in this is something that is not found very often. If there is any complaint I would have as far as originality, the concept of the duality and conflict between "us and them" is fairly typical, but the way you executed that in this picture is wonderfully unique.

Technique--need I really point out the obvious? The clarity, the movement captured, RIGHT before the moment of a brutal ambush. The technique is flawless.

As I mentioned before, the impact of this photo along with your quote is awe-inspiring. The execution is absolutely flawless. Bravo, Merzlak.
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Harvey1234 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011
Oh my, your work is some thing that i have not seen in a long time. You have a wonderful eye staging a photo. Bravo sir, i look forward to seeing more.
droxy Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
good thing that's your friend there!
Soullessdestiny Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011
I love the point of view that you did this from and pulling from the critique you received I do have to agree that your technique is flawless. I was impressed with the level of moment you captured so clearly, did you add the background or was that just the way it was that day? Either way this is another amazing photo.
Brandee-Ssj-Doll Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I think *ReXspec summed it up very well. You have a gift Will. You can illustrate through photography what you're thinking and feeling. In itself that may not sound unique, but you're the only one that has caught my eye. Again, well done.
RobotsWithCookies Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow.... just wow. This is amazing.
Revlis777 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Student Photographer
Why is the pistol empty?
At first I thought it was in the middle of being fired but there's no flame coming out of the barrel and no bullet shell in the air.
MRBee30 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011
Ah it's difficult to see but the 9mm cartridge shell is flying out of the reciever. It's in the air near his neck/mouth. The barrel flash was so quick that it was impossible to capture with 1/250th of a second shutter speed.
Revlis777 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011  Student Photographer
Oh ok. Its hard to see it.
At first I was thinking "He wouldn't make a mistake like that." lol
RevelationsNinja Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Word of advice here bro, be careful what you post and say online. It can do anything from getting you/loved ones in trouble, to misleading your brethren into thinking you're joining the military for subversive reasons... which would be baaaad. In my case, I initially thought you could be an insurgent sympathizer with ties and was going to resist leaving you some choice words out of consideration for OpSec regarding my friends/family.
And in response to your philosophy below the picture, just wait till you walk or roll up on that first pressure plate activated 500lb explosive hidden in the sand and your friend is turned into red mist or your armored vehicle is torn in half. Rockets are launched at the place you sleep at 4am. You'll see dust kick up at your feet and hear snaps over your head, then never find the ones who just tried to kill you where you stand. Why? Because you're trying to convince the locals that they can stand up for themselves. You'll see a much more level playing field, and possibly even feel at a disadvantage.
That said, this is a well made picture of what looks like a shaven version of any of my coworkers capping an immaculately clean "regular army" cat who's never left the wire. Nice color scheme btw.
ReXspec Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2011  Student Writer
Merzlak is Infantry, as am I. I served my twelve months in Afghanistan with Charlie Company, 1-503rd, 173rd ABCT. I served in the Tangi Valley, Wardak Province.

I normally never go out of my way to explain or justify another man's service to his country, but to belittle a man's service, no matter how seemingly miniscule or "regular army" you perceive him to be, I cannot abide it.

Soldiers don't insult other soldiers service. Whether you are the lowest-running, POG shit-bag, or the hardest Ranger Bat motherfucker, there is a comraderie and mutual respect, but also a healthy rivalry between units that keep them on top of their game.

Having said that, I won't tell you how I only have been in two firefights--a nineteen year-old saw gunner raining death and destruction on the bastards that are in WAY OVER THEIR HEADS for ever sheltering the fuckers that dared attack our soil. I won't tell you how it was impossible to drive through the Tangi Valley because of the sheer amount of IED's that were placed along the roads--resulting in foot marches that would go up to 20 clicks or more on a daily basis. I won't tell you how our company alone found more then a hundred IED's in the first six months of being deployed--more then the rest of the Battalion combined. I won't tell you how only ONE (by the grace of God, and the competancy of my brothers-in-arms) found us, and how horrifying it was to see a comrade go up in smoke, or having a man, whom I was friends with for years with in the civilian world, get killed within the first week of being deployed the same time I was.

Every soldier, in one way or another, has experienced some sort of suck, dude. Personally, it infuriates me how you belittle him just because Merzlak can put into words of what is definately true.

And even if your assumptions are true, not everyone can be deployed--not everyone can be the hardass, that "war weary vet" that you obviously perceive yourself to be.

For my part, I'm inclined to agree with Merzlak. These are desperate, stubborn motherfuckers who don't fight fair--and have to play dirty to even come close to evening the odds.
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