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Those Faking Combat Photographers in the Boer War - 95 Fake Combat Photos - INTRO

Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Fake 8 Fake 9 Fake 10
Museum Curator's Note - Our expert researcher for this article is the first Honourary Curator Emeritus, of the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum, Canadian historian, television producer, and cinematographer/director/editor John Goldi csc. (He was awarded the "CSC," Canada's highest award for a director of cinematography, "for outstanding achievement in the art of cinematography" by the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.)

It is the biggest exposé of fake war photography in history.

The research was made possible by John Goldi's unique skill-set, combining his professional backgrounds as:
- a longtime credentialed historian,
- a longtime award-winning visual artist as, both, a top-ranked Canadian Director of Cinematography - a CSC -
and an accomplished film and television documentary program editor (winning some 136 international awards)
- a curator of a Museum researching, acquiring, and vetting some 6,500 antique pictorial and hardware historical items, most over 100 years old.

John Goldi csc pursued university studies leading to an Hon. B.A. in Modern History, at the University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, and a B.Ed., and an M.A. in History, at Queen's University, Kingston, ON.

He has won over 136 international film and television awards at major American Film & Television Festivals (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, State College, Houston) for his educational film and TV documentary work. All programs were completed in partnership with producer Joan Goldi.

Go to Boer War Doc Cameraman

To make his four-hour long television special on the Boer War - which won an astonishing four Gold Medals at Houston Worldfest, the world's biggest film and television festival (Best Program, Best TV Series, Best TV Writing, Best On-Camera Host) - he and his wife spent two months filming Boer War battlefields in South Africa, driving 11,000 kms, and lugging his heavy camera, climbing many kopjes, while following the footsteps of the British, Boer, and Canadian contingents.

Canada's First Ever Historic Plaques on the African Continent

But he also discovered that no Canadian Government signage of any kind existed, on any historic locations where thousands of Canadians had fought in Canada's first ever military expedition overseas, and some 300 had died, and remain in South Africa. And this, shamefully, after the 100th Anniversary commemoration of the event had come and gone...

He further discovered, and brought to light, for the first time, two major buildings used by the Royal Canadian Regiment in South Africa in 1899-1900, and numerous fabulous inscriptions on stones scratched by members of the RCR in Belmont. None of these discoveries were previously marked, posted, or mentioned in the literature, or known to exist before, even by Canada's top historical experts.

He hand-delivered a huge documented report of his research, supported by a four hour video documentary, to:

- the offices of the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Hon. Sheila Copps,

- to the offices of the Historic Sites & Monuments Board of Canada, and

- to the offices of Parks Canada, all in Ottawa, Ontario, demanding an end to "100 Years of Neglect."

As a result of his research, her successor, the Hon. Stéphane Dion, wrote him to announce that "I have recently designated Canada and the South African War an event of national historic significance."

And consequently he would order that Canada set up its first ever Canadian Historic Sites and Monuments plaques on the African continent.

Stéphane and John Goldi have another tie. In 1962, as a freshman at the University of Toronto, he went - at the urging of Paul Fox - to hear Léon Dion, Stéphane's dad, and a renowned Quebec academic, and Canadian political scientist, speak to a small campus audience.

(Léon died in 1997; Paul Fox, one of Canada's most renowned political scientists and academics, died in Oct. 2013)

From the Minister of Canadian Heritage - 2003

" ..... warmest congratulations on the success of your Canadian television series.

"The episodes won the hearts of Canadians from coast-to-coast, and the numerous prestigious awards that you received were deserving of two such innovative and talented Canadians.

"Your dedication to ensuring that the people of Canada have access to their stories and talent is to be commended, and the Department of Canadian Heritage is proud to have participated in funding an initiative that will continue to be accessible to Canadians through schools, libraries, and public institutions.

"You are a source of pride to your country and your accomplishments will serve as inspiration to your peers and all Canadians."
- Hon. Sheila Copps - Minister of Canadian Heritage

Ms Copps is referring to an amazing feat for a Canadian outdoor heritage TV series, never equaled by anyone - 79 "international" awards for 17 entirely "Canada-specific" programs (including 29 Gold and Silver Medals for 12 shows) in only 18 months, at leading American film and television festivals.

In an ultra- rare achievement, in three top US international competitions, Joan Goldi and John Goldi csc, won "double Golds," with three different shows, in three different festivals, coming in Gold and Silver, in competition with each other, and dozens of other productions from around the world.

(Joan Goldi, Producer, and John Goldi csc (Goldi Productions Ltd.) actually won 88 international awards in all, in the 1997-99 period.)

Internet Publications: John Goldi, Canadian historian
Webmaster for the Biggest Complex of Canadian Heritage promotion web sites in the world
& the biggest and most lavishly illustrated educational internet Museum in the world
- John Goldi csc, succeeded in getting the Minister of Canadian Heritage to declare "Canada and the South African War an event of national historic significance" (2005), so preparing the way to getting Boer War Dates placed on Canada's National War Memorial in Ottawa, on Nov 11, 2014
- " - exposing "the greatest fraud in Canadian art history"
- "" - biggest and most lavishly illustrated internet museum in the world
- "First Peoples of Canada" - First Nations, Inuit, & Métis Heritage promotion web site
- "" - Developed as a Canadian heritage promotion web site
- "Coming Back" - Developed as an Outdoor Safety promotion web site
- "" - Developed as showcase for Canadian heritage art
- "Ipperwash: A Canadian Tragedy" - Developed as a Canadian human rights violation web site
Consigner for International Art Exhibitions
- Consigner of original museum works for other museum shows and tours to exhibitions in Canada & the US
Publicized the "Fab Five" of Canadian Artist
- Published the works of the men he considers Canada's top five heritage artists
Publicized Unsung Top Canadian Artists
- Published the index of Great Canadian Artists you should know about, but probably don't...
Selected Curator's Choice of Canadian Memorabilia
- Collected and publicized 266 of Canada's finest historical memorabilia items
Historic Portraiture Exhibition
- Mounted the biggest exposition of original historical portraiture ever undertaken by anyone
Fabric Fakes Exposed
- Developed the commemorative fabrics fakes detector
Fake Krieghoff Painting Exposed
- Developed the Cornelius Krieghoff fakes detector
Fake Canadian Fine Art Sculptures & Statues Exposed
- Developed a fakes detector for historical sculptures, busts, & statues
Fake Military Bugles Exposed
- Developed a 19th century British military bugle fakes detector
Certified World's First Genuine Combat Photo
- Uncovered, publicized, and certified, the world's very first genuine combat photograph, the man who took it, and the camera he used, at the Battle of Paardeberg, Feb 18, 1900
Fake Canadian Combat Photo Exposed
- Exposed Canada's most famous combat photo (Sunnyside/Paardeberg 1900) as a fake
Fake Elizabeth Collard Pottery Authentication Exposed
- Exposed antiquarian Elizabeth Collard's 1840s J Heath Canada ceramic evaluation as totally false
Fake Combat Photography Exposed
- Published biggest exposé of fake 19th & early 20th century combat photography (84 photos) in history
Discovered Unknown Historic Locations in South Africa
- Found & publicized previously unmarked Canadian historic buildings & inscriptions in South Africa
Developed a Scientific Classification System for Rock Memorabilia
- Proposed the first international academic nomenclature for historic stone relics
Research Prompted Official Canadian Boer War Recognition
- Proposal & research resulted in the Boer War being declared "an event of national Canadian historic significance" by former Heritage Minister Stéphane Dion
Developed a China Souvenir Ware Detector
- Developed a template for dating Canadian late 19th & early 20th century china souvenir ware
Fake Fine Art, Archival Photos and Prints Detector
Developed a "fakes detector" for differentiating original from repro works of art and archival pictures
Police Racist Murder Exposed
- Research responsible for Ontario's SIU restarting Ipperwash investigation into killing of Dudley George
Canada's Worst Publishing Disaster Exposed
Exposed over 43 gross pictorial errors in the worst disaster in Canadian book publishing history
Canadian Military Rape Epidemic Exposed
- Research suggested that Captain Michele Mendes committed suicide because she had been raped
"You are a source of pride to your country and your accomplishments will serve as inspiration to your peers and all Canadians." - Hon. Sheila Copps - Minister of Canadian Heritage

And it was to be... but not the way we had intended... We wuz robbed...!!!
"Ho for the Klondike" - His 3 international Gold (and 1 Silver) medal-winning TV program was copied in its entirety in every detail, duplicated, and extended into an Alliance Atlantis "History Television" series by executives Norm Bolen, Sydney Suissa, and Barbara Williams, all of whom had seen our original show, and all of whom, shamelessly ended up taking prominent screen credits for themselves, but without giving any parallel attribution of any kind to its original creators and copyright owners, Joan & John Goldi, or offering royalties or asking for a licensing agreement.
"Life and Times of..." - Both series title & program template he created, and submitted to CBC executives in person and on paper, were appropriated and used without credit, in toto, by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) to launch its signature series "Life & Times" in 1995. CBC executives Don Richardson and Jerry McIntosh shamelessly put their names prominently in the screen credits, but not those of the original copyright owners of the program template, Joan & John Goldi, or pay them licensing or acquisitions royalties.
"Great Canadian Parks" - The 1 hour TV Program Template he created in 1995 for "Bruce/Fathom Five," one of five television pilots commissioned by Trina McQueen, was selected in toto by her and John Pannikar, and used as the model for all subsequent programs for The Discovery Channel's signature series "Great Canadian Parks," shamelessly taking prominent screen credits for themselves but giving none for the original creators of the concept and template they used to conform their programs to.
"The Museum Called Canada" - Wrote detailed proposal, in May 2003, to Random House suggesting an innovative Canadian memorabilia-centred pictorial history book, based on our thousands of Canadian memorabilia photos on our internationally-praised, and lavishly pictorial-based, internet Canada "Museum."

Random House people then just copied our proposal template in every detail, and published it in 2004 without credit, as "A Museum Called Canada," claiming their people came up the idea to put between book covers what is nothing, if not simply a thinly disguised robbery of our "Canadian War Museum," - the combination of the three words in the title are obviously and totally shameless appropriations - and its 100 pages of "Wow," to which we had alerted them in writing.

Random House, which blatantly stole our intellectual property, published without compensating, thanking, or attributing any of it to the originator and creator of the template that was the basis for its book, and without which it could never have been created or published at all.

Caron Fitzpatrick Kernan Sevigny Gerda
Celebrities Associated with the Finest Desk in Canadian History (1834-2013)
From photo front, clockwise: photo 1899 Ontarian WJ Diffey CAMC, toby jugs 1916 (Lloyd George, Gen. Haig by Carruthers-Gould Wilkinson), plaster bust c 1897 Laurier (by Philippe Hébert), parian bust 1863 Princess Alexandra (by Mary Thorneycroft), plaster statues 1886 John A Macdonald, Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, John A Macdonald (all Philippe Hébert), plaster bust 1929 Laurier (Laliberté); toby jug 1916, Lord Kitchener (Carruthers-Gould Wilkinson); plaster bust c 1896 Tecumseh (Hamilton MacCarthy); parian bust 1900 Lord Roberts (WC Lawton R&L). Elsewhere: English concertina 1920 (Wheatstone); fiddle of 1896 Laurier MP Charles Heyd (Georg & August Klemme 1761); woodblock engraving 1862 Quebec (RP Leitch); acrylic on board c 1980 "Moonlight Raiders" (Carl J Smith).
Ok, Take me to Gerda...

Note: Goldi Productions Ltd.
takes no responsibility whatsoever, for any of the information published in any of the educational links we provide here for the use of our readers. The research and opinions found there are all "fair comment" opinions, and are entirely and only the responsibility of the author.

John Goldi csc
Honorary Curator Emeritus

Effective January 1, 2013 John Goldi will start his new appointment as the first Honourary Curator Emeritus of the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum. He has long been the Museum's Director of Research and Collections. His new post will be unsalaried.

This singular honour will be bestowed only on qualified individuals who have devoted long years of dedicated service to the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum, and who have made an outstanding contribution to curating its collections, to historical research, and to public education around the world.

We note, with gratitude, John Goldi's many years of intense research, and single minded scholarly determination, which are entirely responsible for the Museum having a collection of 4,415 antique memorabilia items (in addition to 1,200 books), all of which he authenticated, curated, and acquired for the museum.

The collection of antiques includes furniture and paintings, photos, autographs, documents, uniforms, weapons, equipment, and tools, as well as historical items of glass, ceramic, parian, earthenware, plaster, fabric, leather, metal, wood, paper, ivory, bone, and stone.

John Goldi will pursue his research, curating, and educational investigations and publications, for the Museum, but will focus more intensely on specialized topic areas, as he continues his work as the world's first (since 1999) multi-media columnist and investigative journalist.












































Left historian John Goldi works behind the desk which has previously belonged to the Hon. Réné Edouard Caron, Mayor of Quebec (1834-1836), then MPP, and Court Justice, and Lt. Governor of Quebec (1873-1876). He had it built in the 1830s.

His son who played around the desk while a boy, became Sir Adolphe Caron, and Minister of Militia under John A Macdonald, and sent the troops west to fight Riel in 1885.

At Réné's death, in 1876, when Quebec honoured him with its biggest ever funeral, the desk went to his son-in-law, Sir Charles Fitzpatrick who would go on to become Solicitor-General and Justice Minister (1896-1906) under Sir Wilfrid Laurier, and who appointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (1906-1918).

He too, like his father-in- law 45 years before, became Lt. Governor of Quebec (1918-1923.)

On his death, in 1942, the desk went to his grand-daughter Corinne Kernan, who married Pierre Sevigny a famous war hero. He had the desk when he became Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, and a Deputy Minister of Defence under John Diefenbaker in the late 1950s.

He became famous for the Gerda Munsinger Affair in 1966 when, as a Defence Minister, he used to court a German spy on top of this desk.

His outraged wife sold the desk the same year to John Russell, Canada's top antiques authority. On his death in 2004, it was acquired by John Goldi for the Museum.

It continues to be associated with eminent Canadians who have contributed greatly to Canadian public life while working behind it over the past 180 years.

Go to Honorary Curator Emeritus

The Gold Standard - Think about it as you look at what are claimed to be Boer War - or any 19th and early 20th century combat photos...

Canadian banker - yep, an amateur soldier volunteer, serving in Canada's first ever war overseas - Lt. James Cooper Mason DSO (1875-1923), who took the world's very first certifiable candid combat photograph, got only ONE snapshot, and in doing so, had his pith helmet and badge pierced with bullets even though he only stuck up his head for several SECONDS, to take his photo on the front lines of the attack at the Battle of Paardeberg, Feb. 18, 1900. Right the camera with which he achieved his landmark status.

Quick Primer of Telltale Signs of Faked 19th and Early 20th Century Combat Photos

Rifles & Combatants in Disarray - Note an artist's rendition, of a real battle scenario, on Majuba Hill in 1881, and.exactly what so-called combat photographers were trying to get on film - and ended up faking instead. It was far safer and easier.

Nine men! And each one in a different body position, as they would be in the heat of a genuine combat situation.

Nine rifles! And each one angled in an entirely different direction as they would be in the heat of a genuine wild battle.

For centuries artists had come closer and closer to depicting genuine looking combat scenarios.

So during the Boer War newspapers sent correspondents and artists to the battle front to sketch genuine combat scenes. They took portable cameras - just recently invented - as souvenir aids.

But the artists or photographers did not go up front with the fighting troops; they were celebrities and stayed in the back, where the generals were directing the battle.

Combat Photographers at the Rear

General Buller, to the right of the pointed finger, standing far behind the front lines and viewing the progress of the Battle of Colenso on Dec. 15, 1899.

The two finger-pointers are very likely two celebrity journalists who in those days routinely traveled everywhere in the relative safety of the commanding general's staff.

At the left might very well be famed correspondent René Bull - other photos of him with Buller exist - fiddling with his camera, and showing where all Boer War artists and cameramen preferred to do their photography, safely out of harm's way among staff officers watching the murder and mayhem far away.

Bull, Ernest Prater, and Reinhold Thiele used their cameras to help them capture detail so they could sketch their "action" pictures for the major publications.

None of them came close to risking their lives to take anything like a real action or combat photo, like Canadian civilian volunteer soldier Capt. James Cooper Mason, who just two months later, and in a different theatre of war, further west, was right in the front lines where the dying was being done and popped up to take the first genuine combat photo in world history.

Five Binos - Probably the most binos ever in a Boer War photo, tells you how far away - miles - is the opportunity to get a real combat photo

Movie Fakes - Film cameras - used for the first time in the Spanish-American War only a few months before - were also tried in the Boer War.

Here we see the film cameraman also trying to film combat back from where the guns and the generals were - miles behind the fighting line.

So it is no surprise that movie film of combat was non-existent. Film cameras were hugely cumbersome, took a long time to set up and dismantle and offered large inviting targets to shoot at.

Film cameraman stayed back. In fact WKL Dickson was often the last man to pack up, as the army moved on without him, left behind to figure out, during the night, where the army went by following the smell of the dead animals that marked its trail..

So, all Boer War combat still and movie photographers - completely the reverse of their modern day counterparts, who often race ahead of an advancing army to get the best shots - stayed safely far behind the front lines where the killing and dying was being done.

The only action film of so-called combat during the Boer War was staged in park and farmland outside New York and in rural England. And some in South Africa.

A Giant Step Backwards in Combat Pictorials

Genuine combat depiction took a huge hit with the invention of the camera when it should have taken a huge jump forward, because it could capture a live battle scene almost instantly. Trouble was, the courage of photographers needed to operate it in the front lines - where the dying was being done - was missing for decades...

The popular press was still in its infancy, so viewing audiences back home were hugely ignorant of combat realities and truth in photos.

Media barons and photographers thought they could fake it and fool the home town crowd without putting photographers' lives at risk. And for decades, they succeeded, with photographers spending more time tarting up a combat scene instead of trying to get to the location of an actual one in progress.

Here is a typical Boer War colour photo that was being passed off as a genuine battle scene, including: three dead horses, and three dead bodies, two covered over, complete with boots - toes down - protruding, and one far right draped over his horse. But if Boer fire was actually this close and deadly all the men would be cowering, not standing, with the photographer and his cumbersome rig between them and the enemy riflemen. Besides, it was probably photographed in England outside Aldershot...

The modern public, would not accept such a hokey scenario, anymore than it would accept "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq in 2003...

International Fakery - Combat fakery was international. Here is a German postcard from 1906 dealing with a supposed combat scenario of German troopers seemingly directly engaging the enemy (black African freedom fighters under Jacob Morenga) in German South-West Africa (later Namibia.) The poem describes the scene.

The poem makes clear the men are heroes, surrounded and in the midst of a firestorm with the dastardly "Black wild band." Jacob Morenga, dubbed the "Black Napoleon" by the Germans, inflicted deadly casualties on his colonial oppressors in some 50 battles, before being killed by a combined German and British force in 1907.








Were this photo what it claimed to be, no photographer would be in this position, and end up with such a wonderfully composed shot. And no trooper - except in the movies - would possibly try to shoot something with his rifle from the back of a galloping horse... especially a target that's high up on the hill and obviously mostly protected by rocks... It's pure show business...

Hook, Line & Stinker - But at home, at the time, the ignorant and gullible public bought it - hook, line, and stinker - just like in our day, the American public bought the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And for exactly the same reason. The ruling establishment - tribal, corporate, political, and media - used outlandish propaganda to keep the public onside to further the economic goals of their establishment cronies. With one huge difference.

Human Progress - Who said there is no human progress? In 1900 the ruling British elites, from Lords and Generals on down, swallowing their own propaganda, sent their own sons and daughters to die in Africa. Within only a few months three British generals died in action and many officer sons of establishment elites. The top British general lost his only son in battle. The Canadian Minister of Militia, who orchestrated the war for Canada, lost his only son in battle.

Patrol Ride (rough trans)

In the African wilderness
A patrol wearily wends its way
To try to locate the enemy
Surrounded by danger
May God protect the brave duo
Then suddenly all hell breaks loose
A wild horde of Blacks surrounds the scouts
A retreat to warn the enemy is urgent
A wild ride with the warning ensues
With the enemy close on their heels
Through blood and gore they persevere.

"Let Other Dumb Bastards Die for Their Country" - In a huge contrast, in the decade-long white European Christian anti-Muslim race wars of the early 21st century, no sons and daughters of elite or establishment warmongers - Blair or Jack Straw from the UK; or Bush, Clinton, Gore, Albright, Rubin, or Blitzer, from the US; or Harper, Mulroney, Martin, Asper, Schwartz, Reisman, or Ignatieff from Canada - were sent to lay their lives on the line for their country. So much have leading political, corporate, and society people of so-called principle degraded in our day...

The death toll among civilians and front line soldiers in the racist anti-Muslim wars of our day, was multiple times those of the Boer War, but no Allied general gave his life, no member of the elites, and even the couple of colonels who died were killed in chopper accidents... Over 100,000 enemy civilian Muslim women, children, babies and men died at the cost of only a few thousand low level CWILLKILL grunts, almost all privates, corporals or sergeants. The Canadian, British, French, and American Establishments have the race war formula down perfectly. Oh, we forgot, while they greedily stuffed trillions of dollars in war contracts into their pockets in the process. Which is, of course, totally, what it was all about in the first place.


Gawking - When secondary actors are standing around smoking during a supposed firefight.

One leisurely smokes on the right; behind him two are standing stock still gazing at the photographer; behind them one leans on the wall with his legs crossed...

All the while the supposedly wild Philippinos are charging madly out front...


Uniform volleys - A fake volley against an imaginary enemy in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, where all the rifles are firing together at the command of the photographer.

This type of photo is by far the most common faked supposed combat photo.

Uniform volleys, were common at close quarters in Napoleonic times, when muskets were only capable of firing single bullets and were wildly inaccurate.

With the highly accurate rifles available in the Boer War, volleys were absent from real battlefield by World War I. Though they are beloved by movie directors and others interested in creating fake scenarios like stereo view photographers and Buffalo Bill Wild West shows.

Cheese, everybody - A dead give-away for a fake is when there are multiple exposures - we have found at least four of this scene - with the camera locked into place, and everyone except the the chief actor, who is busy loading and reloading, is frozen into stark immobility during a lengthy supposed firefight.

Darkroom Fakery - when badges in the same combat photo change from publication in one country to another over a 100 years...

High and dry - Another give-away is always when the photographer is exposed to enemy fire, and perched high above the sheltering rocks in a firefight.

And the compromising volley again. "Hurry up Joe, and take your damn picture."

And lackadaisical fringe actors the photographer has completely overlooked in a supposed firefight. Like Bill at the fire, smoking leisurely and scraping the inedible food back into the cooking pot...

The corpse "gripping" the rocks... ... then adjusting his helmet, and both hands between different exposures.
Too many dead British bodies... ... that all move...
Ultra rare photo of Genuine British bodies, taken after Spion Kop by Boers. There are no published photos - none - of British Boer War dead taken by British photographers, though they had over 20,000 to pick from... So ALL British Boer War photos featuring British "body shots" are fake. Genuine dead Boers - British Boer War photos of dead Boers were published to honour British arms. But these were not featured on stereo views or for home consumption, just in war publications. Underscoring again, how totally fake are ALL the "British dead" in so many stereo views.
Wrong Highlander hats and costumes from Malabar... .Real Highlander helmets and uniforms (Magersfontein Dec. 1899)
Fake British Highlanders lounging in New York Real British soldiers lounging in South Africa
Bad costume parade of prisoners in an upper New York state landscape. Genuine British prisoners marching in South Africa
Not the New York state Malabar guys again....? Exploded WWI corpses in pristine condition...
These photos, all passed off as British soldiers (the ones on the right are genuine) supposedly taken in South Africa during the Boer War, shows how the mainstream media by controlling information can - and routinely do - make night look like day, and pass off falsehood as truth - the truth they want you to believe. In our day the top US politicians invented, out of thin air, "weapons of mass destruction," in Iraq, just so they could have an excuse to make trillions of dollars from a war no one else in the world wanted. And the gullible and notoriously "dumb" US public from Colin Powell on down, bought it, "hook, line, and stinker." But hey, it works, Bush and Cheney's friends will end up some 6 trillion dollars richer, just by climbing over the dead bodies of over 100,000 Muslim women, children, babies, and men, they burnt and pulverized in the process to instant riches.
Grrreat... and a brave exposed "combat" photographer until... see the camera locked down and never moving in a supposed firefight.
Hold the charge you guys... ... while I change lenses...
Hold your places, everybody... while I move the camera in closer... ... and get Sam to do that great death fall of his...
Stereo view Camera - It goes without saying that anything shot with a stereo view camera could never produce a genuine combat photo.

The photographer with this rig, on top of a wall or out in the open, would be shot down long before he could set up his cumbersome camera.

The brave photographer, shot in the back during a charge on the Boers.  

Darkroom Magic - Perfectly positioned shell bursts...

Further betrayed by a total disconnect between the foreground activity and the supposed background explosions...

Obviously staged: wonderfully perfect composition in a very tight format

No self-respecting Boers would ever find themselves bunched up in a firing line like this. Van Nes just dreamed up this scenario with a fake wounded volunteer and a Black kid in the background watching the photography theatrics. Not an enemy Brit within miles and miles...

Fake wounded Boer and badly staged in South Africa... Badly staged in New York state...
Hey, hold it everybody... ... till I add another body in the middle and a bino man...
So, is it a fake body posed at Belmont....? Or Modder River...? Or, in fact, neither one...? And he's alive...
Idiots posing on the skyline to make easy targets for Boer snipers...? One aiming back to frag an officer...? Or shooting each other in the back...? Or just eager to please the photographer, who's a poor director of a faked action picture?
Just outright lying by publishers... who obviously copy captions, but chose to leave out a critical phrase... and NOT a British wagon at all... They know it's from a fake battle, but want to con the unwashed hordes at home... it's all about an American wagon blowing up...
Make up your mind; is it the Worcesters...? Or the Gloucesters...?
Inaction, instead of "in action..." Leisurely walking, with backs to the enemy... & cameraman at the rear...
In a faked tent hospital in downtown London... on the Thames River... And a blind rip-off in a studio interior in New York... on the Hudson...
42 Giant Great Canadian Heritage Howlers - Totally Fake Great Canadian Pictorials & Experts
"Wow! Did I ever get payed well for this gig...! It was a gas... lol..... jana"
(Ottawa high society photog Jana Chytilova)
Clearly Jana spends more time on doing personal make-overs than researching militaria history.

Totally Fake Military Experts - In 1998 Canada's top Boer War historian used a completely faked photo of what has, for over 100 years, been considered as Canada's most celebrated combat photograph, featuring supposed Canadians, sporting supposed Canadian helmet badges, on the cover of Canada's definitive book on the Boer War.

Go to Those Faking Canadians

We exposed it as a total fake in all respects.

You may well ask, how can serious historians be taken in by such an obvious multi-level fake?

The answer is simple:

The sleepy experts at the Canadian Archives did it; the sleepy experts at the Canadian War Museum experts did it.

Oh, No! Not Again! - When a supplementary Boer War picture book was issued in 2003, with all its photos picked or vetted by the Canadian War Museum, thanks to our exposé of dozens of totally fallacious pictures and captions, it became notorious as the worst publishing disaster in Canadian history.

It featured a minimum of 42 - count em - that's 42 utterly false picture and caption combinations that totally destroyed the book as having any credible academic validity of any kind on any level. How can that be?

Two women "militaria experts" had been picked to do the job...

Every woman we've ever met - and we've met lots - say they never watch military shows on TV. Or buy, or read, military books. Or collect militaria. Wives routinely say, "The beer gut guy does that, not me... I collect doilies and dolls." Nothing new here; everyone knows that already.

Yet the two lead people put in charge of the Heritage Howlers produced by James Lorimer were two women, Jana Chytilova, a female Ottawa high society photographer and Lori McLellan, the picture editor from Lorimers, who collaborated on the photos and captions. The results are devastatingly self-evident: these gals were way in over their heads on every level, starting with basic common sense... And their supervisors at Lorimers and the Canadian War Museum who made its experts and collections available to them, incompetent beyond belief.

When they didn't know something - which was more often, than not - why they just made it up... Desecrating, in the process, the work of a fine Canadian historian.

It is, bar none, the worst case of publishing incompetence in Canadian history. And it was, of course, entirely predictable from the start...

The War Museum's male experts - go to any militaria show; you won't find a single woman who is not the "wife of military nut" - presumably, were off in their suits doing more important things like meetings, and lunches. You know, what Government bureaucrats - including Senators - do best... Bill their expense accounts.

If there are male experts at the Canadian War Museum, beyond lunches and bureaucrapese, they were AWOL on this landmark Canadian heritage project, lazily shuffling off the responsibility - "Let the girls do it" - to two people who were clearly unsuitable and totally lacking on any number of levels.

They all collaborated to produce classical bureaucrap... And squandered thousands of tax payer dollars to create a shameful monument to civil service sloth that will last for the Ages.

OK, Show me the Bureaucrap - 42 Giant Heritage Howlers
Boer War Fake #1 - A very typical photo of what was claimed to be a "combat" photograph from the Boer War, entitled the "Hampshire Yeomanry in Action" from Major-General JEB Seeley's autobiography.

In fact we believe it's a typo - it should have read "Hamp Yeomanry Inaction."

It's the best "action" photo he could come up with. And Seeley was certainly no slouch in the courage department.

Unlike the BlackBerry Generals of our day, who command from the rear, he was always, like Victorian officers were, on the front lines, putting his life at risk.

In World War I he would become a Major-General in command of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. He was Mentioned in Dispatches five times for bravery, and was so close to the Front Line action he was gassed.

Still, his Boer War picture is not good enough to pass muster as a combat photo.

Note how the men's heads are all firmly posed above the skyline, ideal targets for any Boer sniper a km or two away - so clearly there are none.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure How Canadian generals lead their guys and gals in 2009, from the rear...

A huge departure from General Seeley's day and that of his fellow officers, hundreds of whom died leading their men from the front.

This BlackBerry was uncovered in the Canadian Archives when General Hillier, Canada's top general, was given his walking papers by the Conservative Government.

General Hillier is famous as the first of Canada's most Americanised generals, and who astonished Canadians by famously bragging that the job of the Canadian Forces is "to be able to kill people" referring specifically to those "detestable scumbags" in Afghanistan, his way of referring to his Muslim enemies there, whose homeland this Christian general was invading. Language no British Victorian officer would ever use.

And luckily for posterity, it preserves one of the last orders that the good general wired his troops in the dangerous and dusty front lines in Kandahar, from his air conditioned offices on the banks of the Rideau in Ottawa.

It shows how war has changed from General Seeley's day, when he was "up front" with his men, sharing the danger equally with the common soldier. In fact, in the opening months of the Boer War no fewer than three courageous British generals died in front line action personally leading their men.

The BlackBerry is the modern generals' secret weapon to ensure that they will all live to enjoy a healthy and wealthy retirement and comfortable old age, for themselves, their wives, and their children... oh, and their mistresses and boyfriends...

Go to Boys at War
Command and Control, The Field Marshall's Baton in Every Canadian Pack
Orig. BlackBerry - Size - 6 x 9 cm
Found - in every Canadian private's belt pouch

Now do you know why, of all Canada's 157 war fatalities in Afghanistan, only one officer
of the rank of Major or above, was killed in combat there?

Note, how not a single rifle is up, because clearly, the men have nothing within range they can see to shoot at. Even Seeley needs a huge telescope to try to see if there are any Boers within miles of where the men are.

But do note, and remember, that the photographer is properly down below the skyline, and safely behind the men "on the firing line."

He's where every real combat photographer in a dangerous battle zone would be, not in front of the shooters, or above a protective wall from which the men are supposedly firing at attacking forces. He doesn't want to court almost certain death...

Which is exactly why no commercial photographer ever made a genuine combat photo during the 19th century.

And when the first real combat photo was shot, it was taken by a soldier, an officer, with equal "front line" courage like General Seeley's.

Seeley's book is also instructive about how people viewed war before World War I. He titled it "Adventure." It was the age of "Thrilling Stories of the War."

War was seen more like individual patriotic Boy Scouts on outings to do gentlemanly combat, than men mindlessly harnessed to do mass killing with awful instruments of extermination.

Biggest Combat Fake of All Time - The most famous fake combat photo in the world is, of course, Robert Capa's infamous Death of a Loyalist from 1936, when he got his actor killed while standing still getting acting instructions as Bob orchestrated some fake "combat action" photos he could sell for big bucks to the magazine trade.
Go to Bob Capa, You Fake...

The whole sordid story is here:

Since war photography began with Fenton, during the Crimean War, photographers have faked combat photos to fool the public into believing these were supposed to be from the front lines, where shot, shell, and bullets fly, and men die. But not, of course, photographers, whom no one was paying enough to expose themselves to danger. For the first 50 years war photography had been done by civilian contract employees who were paid and backed by photo and book marketeers, and engaged to follow armies to the war zone. They exchanged the safety of the studio for the safety of the army camp.

Go to Fenton You Fake...

In fact, staging great fake combat photos was also born with Fenton, and pursued by all his famous descendants in the art of war photography.

Hurry Up & Wait - Shouldn't it have been called "the camera in camp?" This is the kind of unwieldy studio camera that many commercial photographers - used to make "war photographs" and numerous "combat action" fakes. This is what they looked like, as they were - supposedly - in the midst of the front lines doing combat photography.

It also shows why soldiers, willing to pose in camp, were even more keen to stage, "battle scenarios" for photographers when the fighting - and the Boers - were far away.

(In fact this is exactly the reason "war photographers" in the Spanish-American War (1898) and the Boer War, gave for producing not a single combat photo from the front line at all - though the latter became the most photographed war in history...

They said the camera technology was too cumbersome and unsuitable to allow it to be done. The action moved too quickly away from them while they were preparing to shoot. In fact some hoped to be able to get action shots by using new telephoto lenses to get closer to the "front." We suspect it was to allow the photographers to stay further back from the danger, as they had been doing for some 50 years.)

Note how the men stand still, and wait patiently while the photographer scrambles to set up his shot. You can be sure of one thing; they wouldn't be hanging about to pose for pictures if there were any Boers about, taking potshots...

Go to a Real Combat Camera

Below, far behind the front the hugely cumbersome movie camera of WKL Dickson, taking the earliest movies of men at war. Still photographers went no closer...

Dickson's autobiography makes interesting reading and tells you a lot about the problem of getting action shots.

Far from accompanying the lead elements of the army on the march, he was often behind even the rear guard with his photographic wagon. Busy with all his gear, his film, and his chemicals he was always playing "catch up" with the army whose action he was supposed to be filming.

Often following the army at night he had no trouble finding where it went. He simply followed the stench of dead animals that marked the route it took.

The only real "action" pictures Dickson ever got was the British army retreating after Spion Kop, which resulted because the army came back to him and his camera.

Oh, and did we mention, Boer War action movies were faked in England using actors charging up hills, and in New York by the Edison company...?

Until the 1890s part of the problem with getting real combat photos was the huge size of the cameras that were available. They simply could not be set up on a fast moving front line battle, even if a photographer wanted to expose himself to the danger.

Standing tall, fiddling with his camera and its emulsion-covered glass plates, while the other men were lying down, or hiding behind rocks or cover, the foolhardy cameraman would have been the first to be shot.

Then, in the 1890s, Kodak produced small handheld "folding pocket Kodaks" which used paper film, and were affordable for common people.

And so candid photography was born, with people going wild photographing everything in sight.

Thousands of pocket Kodaks went to war in South Africa in 1899, in the packs of officers. The Boer War became the most photographed war in history.

A Picture to Die For... But no real combat photos were ever taken, images of men fighting for their lives, in the front lines, where the dying was being done.

The ancient fear of commercial photographers, of being shot while exposing themselves to sniper danger on the front lines, just to take a picture, prevailed. And it did not change in the Boer War.

Of thousands of photos we have seen of the Boer War, we have seen only one real, certifiable, combat photo, and, tellingly, it was taken by a soldier not a commercial photographer.

But fakes, made by commercial photographers, abound.

The editors of the popular press, flooded with tens of thousands of camp shots, marching men and horses, were desperate to give readers real combat photos.

And the ever crafty photographers were determined to provide them - but on their own terms... Hmmmh...

Which, of course, like Bob Capa in 1936, was to fake it for the camera. I mean, who would ever know...?

The obvious Boer War fakes were deliberately intended to deceive the public, as they were clearly captioned as being genuine combat or action pictures when, in fact, none were.

Featured below, one of the most famous "battle" photos from the war, showing a Tommy giving water to a dying soldier, while his dead comrades lie about him.

But the credibility for this photo is completely shot because we have discovered TWO copies of this stereoview, taken only moments apart.

Not a good move if you want to fake a successful combat photo as explained below.

We publish here, for the first time anywhere, incontrovertible proof that these Boer War battle photos were faked.

Bob Capa's phony war photo was also similarly exposed as a fake because his contact sheet - all the mini photos from the rolls of his exposures - was found.

They show he was getting men - he claimed soldiers in battle; they were really acting for him - to charge the same way, in the same spot repeatedly.

While Capa with his camera was hunkered safely down a gully...

Now if you were a sniper and saw this repeating activity, on a nearby hillside, what would you do?

The chances were good that Bob Capa would get his photo of a man being shot up close, and nicely composed, and in focus.

Let's just do it a few more times...

This "exposed photographer" - like the two examples we feature on the right - alone allows you to pick out "faked" combat photos.

Boer snipers were legendary, able to pick off anyone standing up over a mile away. So no one in their right mind did it, if they even suspected a Boer was only a mile or two away...

Let alone a photographer, on the firing line...

In fact three of Canada's most celebrated Boer War casualties were "head shots," when officers briefly chose to pop up their heads to use their binoculars during battles (Arnold, Borden, Burch).

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure
#2 Model A Kodak Folding Pocket Camera
Lt. JC Mason, DSO RCR, 1899
Orig. camera - Size - 23 cm
Found - Cambridge, ON

The portable and affordable pocket Kodak that revolutionized the taking of candid photos especially in war.

Go to James' Camera

Suspect a bad fake immediately if the cameraman and his rig stand up tall above soldiers who are lying down all around him.

Left the Canadian wounded after the Battle of Faber's Put, with the shadow of the "photo fiend" taking the picture.

Now that the Boers are long gone, the photographers come out...

The small portable camera could now be whipped out in a moment to snap a picture.

Go to James' Real Combat Photo

So it would be a soldier, Canadian Lt. James Cooper Mason DSO, not a commercial photographer who defied the convention of 70 years and used the camera right to snap the world's first genuine combat photo, and quite predictably, getting his helmet and badge shot through in the brief seconds it took to take his iconic photograph.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure A fabulous memento of what passed for the nineteenth century television, the stereo viewer and the stereo view it carried.

It was invented in 1838 by Sir Charles Wheatstone, the same British professor who invented the concertina.

It was based on the principle of human vision, which sees depth because two eyes, slightly offset, see the same picture from different angles so the brain combines them into a 3 dimensional view.

The camera therefore used two lenses, slightly apart to take two nearly identical pictures, letting you see any view in three dimensions when placed in a viewer.

The photos look totally identical, but if you look extremely close-up, you can see there is a tiny shift to the side between the two views. It's enough to give the illusion that you are seeing "depth."

The operator holds the viewer with the handle and places the stereoview in the clips on the rack which is moveable, in and out to allow the viewer to adjust it for his/her eyes.

The wooden partition between the two eye ports is to ensure that each eye only sees the picture on its side, or the 3 D effect would be lost.

On the day of rest, or when people came visiting, the stereoviewer was hauled out to show the latest views of Paris, Rome, Indians out west, or British soldiers fighting the Boers in the war zone.

Stereo Viewer c 1880
Orig. stereo viewer - Image Size - 23 cm
Found - Burlington, ON

"Oh, goodie! A ViewMaster!" - Valerie Pringle

It is patently not a 1950s ViewMaster, which the unfortunately irrepressible Canadian Antiques Roadshow Host, Valerie Pringle, called it, as she demonstrated an antique Stereoscope Viewer above to her audience, most of whom knew better.

But then it's only one of many gaffes which have made Canadian antique collectors wince with embarrassment since this host started her job saying that she was never interested in antiques before someone offered her a paid gig... Yeah, well it's easy to tell...

Since then she's proved over and over she meant what she said - this time not being able to tell the difference between a genuine wooden antique from 1850 and a plastic kitsch item from the 1950s...

PS - She did it the same week her lawyer and publicist arranged to have her infested with the Order of Canada.

Today television - once hailed, by its pioneer communicators, like Edward R Murrow, to be the hopeful medium for educating the masses - has become infested with perpetually proselytising, propped up puppets, and anchored mostly with babbling "babes" to attract male viewers. It has degenerated completely into a propaganda tool for the rich owners of the medium. Few channels even bother to pay lip-service to education anymore.

The Massage is the Message - The stereoviews show how, over a century ago, the rich and the super-rich owners of the press, planted jingoistic falsehoods into popular culture and entertainment, in order to massage the masses to their way of thinking - make them glad to pay for, and die, if need be, for a war against the Boers. (Or, "plus ça change" against the Muslims, in the 21st century...)

The press barons didn't care about the message being accurate, as these hopelessly phony photos and captions make crystal clear, but that the popular mind is massaged into the "Right" way of thinking.

It's exactly the same in the 21st century, where the Canadian calumnists in the media - the press, radio, and television - went way "over the top" in promoting a war against the Muslims in Afghanistan, even though the vast majority of Canadians consistently opposed doing so.

But calumnists like Christie Blatchford (l) Rosie DiManno (r), and Margaret Wente, were "beholden" to their employers - who openly promoted the war - and eagerly wrote jingoistic rants - OK, some was from previous distortions in their souls - to safeguard their jobs, expense accounts, and pensions, worth millions to them. Their calumns are every bit as based in truth as are the following "combat" stereoviews from 1900.

Practice Makes Perfect - In the end, from constant practice, they no longer regard themselves as propagandists because their constant jingoism corrodes their soul. They become what they throw up in their calumns. Raging, wrong-headed, Right wing, Ranters, whom posterity will rank high in the annals of all those who debased truth in journalism to airing private vindictive passions - their own, and their owners'...

Like the guys who published and captioned the phony action pictures from the Boer War.

And think of this picture, of a stereoview camera, on a tripod, right which took every photo on this page, and ask, was there really a hail of Boer bullets buzzing around the photographer and his rig when it was set up to take all the "combat" pictures below.

ebay hucksters are, of course, the most prominent promoters of these old fake pictures as "real," to stimulate sales. Every week these images go up for sale, often accompanied by purple prose about bodies, fighting, and pathos.

ebay sellers are notorious, around the world, for tarting up listings so they can get top dollar from gullible buyers, who, once caught, have no way to recoup their losses. (Note: the No Returns Accepted cautionary.)

These old stereoviews are just another ebay example of things hyped up to be something they are clearly not, so they can catch a live one...

capt_harry_flashman AKA wilbos_daddy and war-department and joel8281 on ebay is an old hand at this... His many handles are all attempts to escape his creepy ebay reputation.

Go to fake bugle

"A very touching scene," "a mortally wounded friend." Please, spare us...

The ebay hustler says he'd like to think it wasn't a fake, staged after the battle...

Sorry, but this was not even staged "after the battle."

This was reenacted "instead" of a battle, as we have clearly demonstrated. By no fewer than six very healthy actors with nothing better to do on that day.

One of a large series of fake combat images staged by Boer War photographers on order for the commercial trade, to profit from war hysteria back home.

As everyone knows, ebay hucksters, are, of course, the bane of this online auction service, where people all over the world are suckered into buying stuff they're told is "real" when it is often fake, phony, or not as described.

Followed by "No Returns Accepted."

The History of War Photography - A Perspective, by Pat Hodgson "Early War Photographs"

BBC photo researcher Pat Hodgson sleuthed out the best Victorian war photographs up to 1900, and published some 90 of the very best from conflicts around the world.

She failed to publish a single combat photograph, of men in the front line engaged in actual fighting that wasn't staged.

The cover speaks for the book - Boer War soldiers at the battle of Colenso, watching from a safe distance, as war happens to someone else a couple of miles away. This was typical of Boer War photography. Though there were more cameras there than in any previous war, the photographers wanted to keep their cameras, ahem, safe from harm... So Pat published nothing that would qualify as a combat photograph from that war, or any other.

In fact Hodgson stops her book in 1900 with both British and American war photographers complaining that combat photography was just not possible and no one could do it. It was just too dangerous and the camera technology not up to the task.

She further confesses that she had to stretch her book beyond the Boer War, to 1904, to put in a picture of a dying Tibetian - by a suitably anonymous photographer - to find a photo that is closer to the real action of front line fighting, and is more akin to the photojournalist combat action photos that became more common decades later.

In fact this anonymously shot Tibetian dying photo is not a combat picture either. You could photograph a dying soldier any number of hours - even days - after the combat has passed him by.

She says this photo has much more in common with the photos of the 1930s, like Capa's famous Death of a Loyalist, than any of the other photos in the book. She wasn't aware that Capa's photo was not, at all, what he claimed it to be either. Her book ends, sadly, with these two examples of what are fake combat photographs. Neither can pass the smell test for genuine "soldiers in action" combat photographs.

She does not publish Lt. James Cooper Mason's "Firing Line at Paardeberg" photo right. She may not have known of its existence, and so the landmark status we have proven it holds in the evolving art of war photography.

Pity. It would have been the only genuine combat photograph in her entire book.

Oddly enough she does publish the photograph which we have identified as a multi-level fake of the supposed "Canadians" climbing a kopje, by Capt. Holson RFA, where the helmets sport the obviously phony Canadian cap badge.

That photo right is also credited to Reinhold Thiele who was using a large plate camera with Lord Methuen, in the area the Canadians were stationed.

Go to Fake Canadian Photo

They Said It Couldn't Be Done

Reinhold Thiele, used an 8” x 10” camera - some say 10" x 12" - that was fitted with a recently invented Dallmeyer telephoto lens. He figured he would get combat shots through a powerful telephoto lens, instead of going up by himself to where the action was.

The Royal Engineers also sent out a tele-photographer who was reputed to be able to take a clear picture up to two miles away. Without, need we add, exposing himself to personal danger.

Everyone wanted pictures of the combat up front, but were not "dying to," preferring to shoot their images from well back...

Many of the photos that were published were still heavily touched up.

Worst of all, no amount of touching up could hide the fact there were no combat photos being taken.










The painters, like Remington, were still doing the combat pictures that war photographers complained they couldn't take because of the "long grass."

On the eve of the Boer War, says Pat Hodgson, repeating an often heard canard,

“It was still not possible to take action shots, as James Burton found out when photographing the Battle of San Juan (Cuba.)"

She quotes an American war photographer during the Spanish-American War, who "found himself" in the last place he ever wanted to be, in the firing line of a real battle. And confessed he wasn't up to what it took.

“Almost before I realized what had happened I found myself, for the first time in my life, under fire, right up in front, on the firing line of the 7th Regiment….. I found it impossible to make actual “battle scenes,” for many reasons – the distance at which the fighting is conducted, the area which is covered, but chiefly the long grass and thickly wooded country.”

Getting stranded in the firing line, sent him into an obvious panic, for he had so glued his body to the ground, for safety, that he was complaining of grass that was only six inches long. Not the best position to try to take a combat photo from...

War Action Canada - 1885

These two photographs from the Battle of Batoche, during the Riel Rebellion of 1885, show that the camera was capable of capturing guns going of, and stopping the motion sufficiently to make an exposure of "action."

The lower picture shows men ready to shoot. Trouble is the last photo, for certain, was taken a long way from the enemy and the front line. You got a picture because the photographer knew he was safe to stand up and compose his image without fear of getting shot.

It makes for a poor combat photo. And clearly it is not.

Go to Why This is Not a Combat Photo

The technology was there; just the will to use it in the firing line was not.

Until the son of a heroic officer, who was severely wounded at this fight, went off to serve his Queen and Country, fifteen years later...

During the Boer War, a year later, another photographer who used a glass plate camera excused his lack of shots of combat:

“Future photographing of war scenes will be done with cameras quite different from those I use in the campaign.”

Others found faking a lot more convincing.

Motion pictures were used for the first time by W. K-L Dickson in the Boer War. His movie colleagues had their critics. A filmed sequence of action of the Battle of Colenso was roundly panned by the British Journal of Photography. “We happen to know these were taken on Muswell Hill” on Hampstead Heath (England.) So faking combat scenes - and hiding it - was a way of life for war photographers of all kinds.

So war photographers were basically trying to avoid doing what was obvious to get combat photographs - go up front where the shooting is done on the firing line and take your chances like the foot soldiers who were putting their lives on the line for Queen and Country. Instead they sought long telephoto lenses, made fake photographs, and blamed the technology for the fact that in spite of the high pay they were getting they were not coming up with any real combat photographs.

Even Pat Hodgson, like other modern historians, states baldly, that in 1898, "it was still not possible to take action shots."

Balderdash! Kodak had sold its small Brownie Box cameras starting in 1888, ten years before the wars of which she quotes complaining photographers.

There are lots of action shots of troops marching, walking, of artillery caissons rolling along, and of artillery guns going off. These were a long way behind the lines, of course. But the cameras did freeze motion.

Action shots were possible, as a Canadian South African Constabulary officer proved.

Go to Action Photos of Capt. Poussette

Truth be told, the technology proved perfectly fine to get wagons and horses in motion, men diving while swimming, or running while playing tennis, a long way behind the front of the firing line. It was just men in real combat action, at the battle front, who were missing...

Plainly, the complaining, of long grass, too many bushes, the enemy too far away, the battle lines too spread out, the poor technology, etc., was bogus, like many of the photos war photographers made instead.

Clearly they were simply too scared to go up to where the dying was done. And who wouldn't be? Still, these were men who had a problem with honesty. Which allowed them to make so many fake photos of things that weren't what they appeared to be, just so they could make a buck...

So Bob Capa had many worthy predecessors in staging fake photos of men in action.

Which explains why we are able to publish seven sets of totally identical photos with wildly varying captions as to who is pictured and the supposed location. Since none were really of an actual battle, but faked during "down time," the discrepancy about "who," "where," "what," and "when" easily crept into the captions.

So it's very clear that anyone with courage, and a little initiative, might actually achieve what nobody else was able or inclined to try. How about a real combat photo?

It was the elusive photo that all the famous war photographers of the past had failed to get.

Go to The Famous War Photographers

Enter Lt. James Cooper Mason of the Royal Canadian Regiment, about to join Lord Roberts' fabled March to Pretoria, and a date with destiny, as a soldier, and a photographer, at the bloody battle of Paardeberg.

Go to Canadian banker James Mason