The photograph Taking cover in grass while under fire from insurgents, Pashmul, Kandahar, Afghanistan is part of the series Afghanistan: The Fighting Season, for which Louie Palu accompanied Canadian, British and American troops into various Afghani regions and villages. He closely followed the activities of Afghan soldiers and the Afghan National Police, took pictures in the middle of battles, and documented injuries and deaths in hospitals. The portrait series Afghanistan: Garmsir Marines reflects Palu’s interest in getting to know the troops, which he perceives as having been critical to his success as a photographer. Through daily interaction, he gained the soldiers’ trust and, most importantly, became invisible with his camera. After months of working with the troops, he asked if he could take certain soldiers’ portraits after they returned from a mission, when they were the most unguarded due to fatigue and, in some cases, emotional trauma. The resulting photographs depict the glazed look of soldiers who have returned from heavy fighting.