The end result

For this wallpaper design I found an iconic photo of a US soldier holding the body of a fatally wounded baby. I find this photo extremely powerful, it sums up the monstrosity of war in a single fraction of a second.

Unfortunately I have lost the url of where I found this photo so I cannot reference the photographer. Thanks for the url John.

The photo was taken by Michael Yon, an independent pro-war photographer embedded in Iraq.

The end result

This image has been deleted from the site. The reasoning can be found here.


  • Soldier and baby girl wallpaper (1280 X 1024 pixels)
  • Soldier and baby girl wallpaper (1280 X 800 pixels)
  • Soldier and baby girl wallpaper (1024 X 768 pixels)

For the geeks out there that want to know how I made this wallpaper: I imported the photo into Adobe Illustrator CS3 and used the trace tool to convert the image into vector paths. I then used the pen tool to perfect the paths and draw the soldier’s legs. I filled the paths with a selection of colours. I then copied my vector image into Adobe Photoshop, applied an outer glow to the image, and dropped a recycled paper image layer on top of the vector image layer. I set the recycled paper layer’s color mode to “Overlay” and voila.

10 responses

  1. Looks great, I’m not so sure about the shoes though…

  2. This picture is from Michael Yon’s excellent blog and the picture was one of TIME’s greatest pictures of 2005 if I recall correctly. I might be wrong on the details, but it’s certainly his pic.

    Your title of your background paper is perhaps a bit misleading, as the soldier depicted was not ‘guilty’ of anything other than trying to stop the girl from bleeding to death (her name was ‘Farah’ if I remember right.) She’d be shot by Sunni insurgents, not American soldiers.

    You’d do well to read his blog and perhaps understand a bit more of the real impact this photo has had in the world.

  3. Many thanks for the link John, much appreciated. I have updated the post with the photographer’s details. I have also checked out the website were it reveals that this girl was fatally wounded in a car bomb blast in Mosul, 225 miles north west of Baghdad.

    I have also changed the name of the wallpaper to something more appropriate. The image does paint quite a different picture now so perhaps a different post title would be appropriate. Any suggestions?

  4. It’s a pleasure. Yon’s put a tremendous amount of blood, sweat and tears into bringing things like this to the public eye, so it’s the least I could do to pass it on!

    As for a title, well to be rather plain, “the end result” isn’t half bad! I know it’s meant literally in your article, but it’s not a bad title 😉

  5. I like it John, simple yet powerful. I think I might be using your copyrighting services more often 🙂 Thanks again.

  6. Outstanding mark!

    (Unrelated to this post – but related to one of your older posts about the lens for your canon dslr, what kind of body do you have? I just got a 400D, and i am eyeing the lens you wrote about- thanks!)

  7. Thanks afroM.

    I have the old version of your camera, the 350d and I love it to pieces. Yours has a few new features and a bigger screen, but otherwise they are very similar. I would strongly recommend the tele lens I have. It takes beautiful photos and the IS feature makes a huge difference! Definitely worth the extra money.

  8. […] last post entitled “The end result” seems to have caused some what of a stir. The wallpaper I designed for the post is based on […]

  9. The soldiers were handing out treats to kids, and when enough were gathered the IED triggerman cut loose. This major saw the moaning girl, and was running her to the evac helicopter to try and get her to the advanced medical help she’d need. She died in his arms. His head is down, pleading with her to live.

    I suggest a title, “Please hold on, Farah!”

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