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This page was created on October 4, 2007 before the Jake Courage site was launched. When the site was launched it linked to the page on the wiki.
Jake Courage (2503-2552) was a ground-breaking British war photographer.
In 2552 he famously took pictures of the Second Battle of New Mombasa, and captured the last known shot of hero of humanity: Master Chief. This was also the last photo he ever took, as he was killed in that same battle by a grenade. He left behind a son, John Courage and a wife, Mary Courage.
Life and career
Courage’s career began in 2527 as a photo journalist at The Reach, where he was well known for his shocking and uncompromising style of photography. Many of his photos won awards – including the most famous - ‘Killing Time’ which won him the John Pilger prize in 2530.
He remained at The Reach for five years until a disagreement with his editor. Although the details remain ambiguous, it is believed that Courage wanted to print a series of pictures from a deadly Grunt attack. His editor refused on the grounds that they were too graphic, and so Jake Courage left the paper and staged his own exhibition. The photos won him critical acclaim and set him up as a well-respected war photographer.
From 2532 onwards he continued to expose the truth behind war with harrowing pictures of some of the world’s bloodiest battles. It was during this time that he earned the trust and respect of the UNSC regiment, including war hero Master Chief – to whom he became a loyal companion.
The photos covering the Second Battle of New Mombasa 2552 are undoubtedly his most famous. His unlimited access to the UNSC regiment resulted in a series of photographs that enabled the world to see the heroic acts of the soldiers in battle – including Master Chief. In a quote from Jake Courage taken during the battle he said, ‘I’ve got to know these soldiers’ lives intimately. One man, I consider my friend… he is the human face of war. He is Spartan 117, and he is Master Chief’.
His collection of photography from the battle, entitled ‘Shooting a Hero’ is currently on a tour of Britain.
Traditionally, war photographs use an inbuilt retina camera or helmet-cam, however Courage preferred more traditional methods that enabled him to have more control over his landscape. He mainly used a Dynamo 507 3D with ultra 4Res lens and quadric digital transfer. The 900 nanoseconds transfer rate enabled photos to be transferred back to base instantly. His equipment was always coated in a substance made from titanium and cockroach shell that enabled it to withstand the radiation.
Courage’s photos have always been the subject of some controversy, suffering under the argument that war photography can desensitise the public to scenes of violence and death. However, Courage always argued the power of the image can make more noise and have a greater impact than a gun can ever have.
In October 2552, before heading to the Second Battle of New Mombasa, he was quoted as saying ‘I hate blood and I hate violence. So what possessed me to choose to be a war photographer? Because I’m drawn to heroes. I’m drawn to the selfless act of someone putting their own life on the line for the sake of humanity. Because amongst the horror and the madness, I like to think I can show that some good can come out of something so horrific.’
- The John Pilger prize for ‘Killing Time’ in 2530.
- The International War Photography prize for ‘Screams in Space’ in 2529 and ‘Dead on Arrival’ in 2538.
- The MoH lifetime achievement award for ‘Flies on flesh’ in 2534
- Gold Medal in the WPP awards in 2543