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Shooting the Shadows: The Combat Photography of Stacy Pearsall

September - December 2010
Capers Hall Lobby
On view in Capers 4th Floor

Stacy Pearsall, Feelin’ Blue, 2007, photograph, 12 x 18 in, Collection of The Citadel School of Humanities and Social Sciences.  After being pinned down by enemy fire on a small dirt road in Burhriz, Iraq, a soldier sits quietly on a cot at his combat outpost and smokes a cigarette. This soldier and his squad were passing out rice and bottled water to the remaining starving locals when they came under heavy enemy fire. One block separated the enemy from his squad as a fierce street fight ensued.

“Combat is chaos, but the camera kept me separated from reality long enough to do the job at hand.  First I’d figure out where the light was coming from and then shift my point of view to the shadow side to convey the emotion and drama of the situation.  I was always on the shadow side.”
– Stacy Pearsall

A decorated aerial combat photographer and two-time winner of the Military Photographer of the Year award, Retired Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy Pearsall captures the stories of conflict in her unforgettable images. 

In addition to numerous awards including Air Force Veteran of the Year, Pearsall has received wide public exposure for her work, including an interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show and publication in Newsweek, New York Times, and CNN. During three tours in Iraq, she earned the Bronze Star Medal and Commendation with Valor for heroic actions under fire.

Medically retired due to combat wounds, Pearsall is the owner and director of the Charleston Center for Photography.  She has recently published Shooter: Combat from Behind the Lens (Lyons, 2012), a book of her most striking and dramatic war photographs as well as the brutally honest stories behind their creation.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Charleston Center for Photography, The Citadel’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and The Citadel Foundation and is curated by Instructor Tiffany Silverman.