ISO 400: Thomas Hurst Talks About Being an Inventor

A grandfather and his granddaughter share smiles inside a high-school gym turned refugee center on the Albania boarder with Kosovo. ©Thomas James Hurst - 1999

A grandfather and his granddaughter share smiles inside a high-school gym turned refugee center on the Albania boarder with Kosovo. ©Thomas James Hurst – 1999 (World Press Photo – 2ooo)

All images are copyrighted Thomas James Hurst, and are being used with permission.

In this episode of ISO 400, we hear from Thomas Hurst a 20-year photojournalist turned inventor. Spurred by an interest to see what war was like, he grabbed a camera, invented press credentials and flew to Bosnia in 1992. From there, he went on to work in some of the biggest conflict zones of the 1990s and 2000s. After nearly 20 years, he left photojournalism to become a pastor, which he eventually left to focus on COVR Photo, an iPhone case with a built-in prism that he invented.

In this episode, he talks about the early years of his photojournalism, what it’s like to learn the craft on the job, becoming an inventor, and more. A selection of his work, as well as the episode is after the break. If you’d like to see more of Hurst’s work, check out his website. If you’re curious about the COVR photo, check out our review, and he currently has a Kickstarter for the iPhone 6 version.

As always, our music is provided by Yuki Futami, a New York-based jazz musician.

A baby is passed through the barbed wire of a family reuniting on the Albania-Kosovo boarder after fleeing the fighting between Kosovo Rebels and Serbian Soldiers. ©Thomas James Hurst - 1999

A baby is passed through the barbed wire of a family reuniting on the Albania-Kosovo boarder after fleeing the fighting between Kosovo Rebels and Serbian Soldiers. ©Thomas James Hurst – 1999

Orphans in Kabul's largest orphanage. I was in Afghanistan on my own in 1996 doing a story on a newly formed religious group referred to as the Taliban. ©Thomas James Hurst - 1996

Orphans in Kabul’s largest orphanage. I was in Afghanistan on my own in 1996 doing a story on a newly formed religious group referred to as the Taliban. ©Thomas James Hurst – 1996

A boy is separated from his family in a chaotic scene where Rwandan's fearful of the coming darkness jumping in the back of trucks fleeing the fighting along the Rwandan-Zaire border. ©Thomas James Hurst - 1996 (World Press Photo - 1997)

A boy is separated from his family in a chaotic scene where Rwandan’s fearful of the coming darkness jumping in the back of trucks fleeing the fighting along the Rwandan-Zaire border. ©Thomas James Hurst – 1996 (World Press Photo – 1997)

The first picture I ever took with a 35mm camera of two orphans killed by a sniper in Sarajevo the summer of 1992 ©Thomas James Hurst - 1992

The first picture I ever took with a 35mm camera of two orphans killed by a sniper in Sarajevo the summer of 1992 ©Thomas James Hurst – 1992

Thousands upon thousands of exiled Rwandan's make camp along the roadside just inside the Rwandan boarder. Since the genocide in 1994 millions of Rwandan's have fled their homes and their country, but are now returning in mass. ©Thomas James Hurst - 1996 (World Press Photo - 1997)

Thousands upon thousands of exiled Rwandan’s make camp along the roadside just inside the Rwandan boarder. Since the genocide in 1994 millions of Rwandan’s have fled their homes and their country, but are now returning in mass. ©Thomas James Hurst – 1996 (World Press Photo – 1997)

Rwanda - A man lays on a stretcher waiting to be rescued and taken to a hospital. ©Thomas James Hurst - 1996

Rwanda – A man lays on a stretcher waiting to be rescued and taken to a hospital. ©Thomas James Hurst – 1996

The fake press badge I created to convince the United Nations that I was a professional journalist and to fly me into Sarajevo the summer of 1992.

The fake press badge I created to convince the United Nations that I was a professional journalist and to fly me into Sarajevo the summer of 1992.

A five-alarm fire struck in the heart of Boston's Finical District Monday morning. It took over four hours to get the fire under control so that investigators could begin looking at the suspicious circumstances of the blaze. ©The Boston Globe/Thomas James Hurst 1998

A five-alarm fire struck in the heart of Boston’s Finical District Monday morning. It took over four hours to get the fire under control so that investigators could begin looking at the suspicious circumstances of the blaze. ©The Boston Globe/Thomas James Hurst 1998

A Rwanda father and son reunite in their village after years of not know what had happened to each other when then were separated in the chaos of trying to flee the country's brutal genocide some two years earlier. ©Thomas James Hurst 1996

A Rwanda father and son reunite in their village after years of not know what had happened to each other when then were separated in the chaos of trying to flee the country’s brutal genocide some two years earlier. ©Thomas James Hurst 1996

A Haitian man named Moses, stands over the body of a body found during rioting in the country's capitol city Port-Au-Prince. © Thomas James Hurst for Time magazine 1996

A Haitian man named Moses, stands over the body of a body found during rioting in the country’s capitol city Port-Au-Prince. © Thomas James Hurst for Time magazine 1996

A man walks out of a local Seattle bar in the early morning hours and pasts by a mural outside a the Speakeasy Cafe. ©The Seattle Times/Thomas James Hurst 2000

A man walks out of a local Seattle bar in the early morning hours and pasts by a mural outside a the Speakeasy Cafe. ©The Seattle Times/Thomas James Hurst 2000

A young romantic couple kiss in Istanbul's shopping/tourist district as muslim women moves onto another shopping store. ©Thomas James Hurst 2011

A young romantic couple kiss in Istanbul’s shopping/tourist district as muslim women moves onto another shopping store. ©Thomas James Hurst 2011