Richard Mosse (born 1980, Kilkenny, Ireland) is an Irish conceptual documentary photographer. He is best known for his photographs of the war in the Eastern Congo using colour infrared film intended to create a new perspective on conflict.
For his infrared photographs he used a large format camera and the now-discontinued Kodak Aerochrome film. Aerochrome is a false-color infrared film originally intended for aerial vegetation surveys and for military reconnaissance, such as to identify camouflaged targets. It registers a spectrum of infrared light invisible to the human eye, rendering the green landscape and soldiers’ uniforms in vivid hues of lavender, crimson and hot pink.
Critic Sean O’Hagan, writing in The Guardian, said “His images from there often seem to skirt the real and the fictional, simply though their heightened and unreal colours. He has made the familiar seem strange and the real seem heightened to the point of absurdity. This is war reportage – but not as we know it.”
Willy Staley, writing in the New York Times Magazine, said “Mosse highlights the eastern Congo’s natural bounty while acknowledging both the medium’s origins and, he points out, the West’s tendency to see in the Congo only darkness and insanity.”