Genius Photography Notes: Right Place, Right Time

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Right Place, Right Time Episode 3 of 6 Duration: 1 hour Being in the right place at the right time'; 'the decisive moment'; 'getting in close' - in the popular imagination this is photography at its best, a medium that makes viewers eyewitnesses to the moments when history is made. Just how good is photography at making sense of what it records? Is getting in close always better than standing back, and how decisive are the moments that photographers risk their necks to capture? Set against the backdrop of World War II and its aftermath, the episode examines how photographers dealt with dramatic and tragic events like D-Day, the Holocaust and Hiroshima, and the questions their often extraordinary pictures raise about history as seen…show more content…
Offered a chance to go to London for an interview, he refused. After putting his film in a press bag and sending it by courier for processing, he changed his clothes and returned to the beaches of Normandy on the first available boat. A week later, he learned that the pictures he had taken were considered the best images anyone had made of the invasion. However, an excited darkroom assistant, while drying the negatives had used on too much heat causing the film emulsion to melt before his eyes, running down the hanging strips before he could do anything. Out of the one hundred and six images Capa had taken only eight survived. Yet, when those few photos were published around the world, they caused a sensation. They were first photographs taken from the inside of a war, from the midst of a great battle. The faulty drying too had somehow added a special quality to them, one that lifts them out of that specific time and place, making them universal images of war. Many publications added a caption to these photos, to explain to readers why they were blurred and slightly out of focus. It read simply: “Capa’s hands were badly shaking.” Photographers were expected to be able to take these mind blowing pictures of the war in rapid action, but the truth is there technology back then wasn’t advanced enough to be able to produce these sort of images. The images took only minutes to develop but a huge

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