Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

To Those We Lost

with 6 comments

Fifty-seven years ago today died one of the first and brightest stars of photojournalism — Robert Capa, the Hungarian-born visionary who defined the word “war photographer”. In addition to covering the course of the Second World War in London, North Africa, Italy, Normandy Landings and the Liberation of Paris, he reported from four different wars: the Spanish Civil War, the Sino-Japanese War, Arab-Israeli War and the First Indochina War. The above photo was the last one he took before he stepped on a landmine in Indochina on May 25th 1954.

On the Huffington Post, David Schonauer, the former editor-in-chief of American Photo Magazine, wrote a tribute to all the war photographers we lost, from Capa to Hetherington and Hondros: (To that list, we must now add Anton Hammerl).

They join the likes of Ken Oosterbroek, a member of the so-called Bang Bang Club of photojournalists immortalized now in a new movie. Oosterbroek was killed in 1994 while covering the violence in South Africa during the final days of apartheid. They join Olivier Rebbot, killed in El Salvador in 1981 while on assignment for Newsweek. Rebbot was a model for the photographer played by Nick Nolte in the 1983 film Under Fire. They join Robert Capa, killed near Thai Binh, Vietnam in 1954, who was the model for all who would follow in his profession. If the war photographer has come to be seen as a romantic figure, we have the Hemingwayesque Capa to thank.

It was Capa, famed for covering the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach, who said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” and the photographers who followed him into Vietnam took his advice. Vietnam was a particular deadly place for photographers, who jumped aboard helicopters alongside soldiers to fly into firefights. The names of the dead — Larry Burrows, Gilles Caron, Henri Huet, Robert Ellison, Dickie Chapelle, Charles Eggleston, and Oliver Noonan among them — have become legend. The haunting 1997 book Requiem memorialized these journalists — 135 photographers from different nations known to have died in Vietnam.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

May 25, 2011 at 12:01 am

6 Responses

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  1. Hello. I want to comment that the first two that died in Libya were local journalists and they are few time mentioned. I wrote a post about this with the links to the opinion of Teru Kuwayama who wrote a good article about the oblivion that cover the dead of a lot of people that work for the same, get the picture.
    http://hernanzenteno.wordpress.com/2011/04/28/war-ii/

    hernanzenteno

    May 25, 2011 at 1:31 am

  2. [...] Fifty-seven years ago today died one of the first and brightest stars of photojournalism — Robert Capa, the Hungarian-born visionary who defined the word "war photographer". In addition to covering the course of the Second World War in London, North Africa, Italy, Normandy Landings and the Liberation of Paris, he reported from four different wars: the Spanish Civil War, the Sino-Japanese War, Arab-Israeli War and the First Indochina War. The abo … Read More [...]

  3. The story of Robert Capa is much more complex than that. The name was a construct, and the other half of the partnership was killed in Spain. After that, full of grief, he took the name as his own. http://barista.media2.org/?p=3696

    It is an amazing and wonderful story.

    barista

    May 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm

  4. [...] Fuente: To those we lost (Iconic Photos) [...]

  5. Capa’s phrase ‘If your pictures are not good enough you’re not close enough’ has got a lot of people killed.

    SiBarber

    May 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm


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