The D Day Photos of Robert Capa

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by handtohand22, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. handtohand22

    handtohand22 Senior Member

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  2. Lucy Stag

    Lucy Stag Senior Member

    I love those photos, and Capa should be commended for not murdering the dark room person who ruined the rest of them.
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    Bludgeoning him with his bare hands, mind you. After what he went though to get them...
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor

    Yeah, I would of loved to of seen the rest of his shots.
  5. Lucy Stag

    Lucy Stag Senior Member

    I think the Nobel Prize people should have been alerted about that before Capa's death. If that doesn't deserve a peace prize, I don't know what does.

    The ones that did make it through are amazing, though.
  6. Jakob Kjaersgaard

    Jakob Kjaersgaard Senior Member

    Amazing, he's truly a pioneer.
  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Guy Hudson, Tolbooth, tmac and 2 others like this.
  8. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    It's certainly 'confident', but we're perhaps too used to people beating around the bush and allowing themselves an academic escape route in case their turn comes. I certainly wasn't aware that Capa had been captured on film on the day. I need to have another read of that when I'm awake... Thanks for posting it.
  9. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Some of the links in the article are very good, especially on the US DDs with the exhaust stacks that's been linked from the Hertick account.
  10. Incredibledisc

    Incredibledisc Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. Good find - thanks for sharing. I think the older I get the more I find “legends” like this being questioned and debunked. With my History hat on I applaud the need for considered and objective scholarship which endeavours to get to the truth but I think it’s part of human nature that we are so powerfully attracted to the heroic narrative and tales of individual courage in extreme situations. The problem of course is I now am increasingly cynical about any new stories of courage as I wait for them to be exposed.
    stolpi likes this.
  11. tmac

    tmac Senior Member Patron

    An interesting piece. But why make up the elaborate story about the darkroom error (if it was a fib)? If Capa wanted to lie about how many pictures he'd taken, he could just have said he lost the others in the sea. I don't quite know what to believe about this now. However, all this notwithstanding, you can't deny that he was there at the sharp end with his camera.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  12. It was not Capa who invented the lie, but Morris. Capa however never contradicted this official, lying version and thus shares the blame.
    He certainly was at the sharp end, but not as sharp as was pretended and certainly less sharp and for much, much less time than for the British, Canadian and US Army and Navy photographers and cinecameramen who did land with the first waves (contrarily to Capa) and then stayed there (ditto), not few of them paying with wounds and even their lives the infinitely more numerous and valuable photos and films which tell the true story of the Invasion and subsequent campaigns.
    I personally have no sympathy for the authors of such a scam, fabricated for purely commercial reasons until it was so magistrally (and very recently) exposed, after having overshadowed for decades the genuine battle photos taken by truly courageous men.
    Like many of us I suppose, I felt betrayed when I learned the truth, perhaps even more by the systematic miscaptions of Capa's photos saying they showed men taking cover behind beach obstacles, when they actually were Demolition Units working under (and facing) fire to make room for the following waves.
    This, just like putting the blame on someone else (the dark room boy) to cover one's own shortcomings, is in my book the most damnable part of this miserable fiasco.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I'm finding it all quite interesting.
    As much for the emotive response both pro & anti. Art collides with history.

    I'm not convinced by much of the technical stuff, other than that film alignment thing (though that in itself casts fair shade on some analysis of how damaged the frames really are). The strong assertion of frames per cartridge does nothing for me. No bulk backs on his Contax RFs, but I've loaded normal cartridges with anything from six frames (cautious IR) to maybe almost 50. No idea how or what Capa loaded, and frame numbers are an irrelevance without absolute certainty of film style used.

    That Bellingcat style picture analysis is interesting as much in how it's spreading as anything else. Does perhaps paint a picture of Capa sticking his camera out of the boat, snapping a few shots and legging it. (Personally, I wouldn't have even got on the boat...)

    But... He was there, and went straight back, couriers are normal, and as Lee rightly says elsewhere - a war photographer, particularly Capa, being a bit iffy with his tales off derring-do shouldn't really surprise anyone.

    I still think it's interesting, but I still don't really see much grievous fraud or surprise in it.
    And lets face it, regardless of what he did or didn't do, from this thing to the Spanish Civil War business; he was still one hell of a photographer.
    Incredibledisc and TriciaF like this.
  14. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    Sorry I'm a bit late with this. My parents were married in June of 1944 (N E England), they lost all their wedding photographs when the "young lad" who worked in the photographer's dark room somehow ruined them. All they have is one photo taken by the local newspaper.
    I do not offer this as any kind of support for the Capa story but merely some evidence that this sort of thing could have happened

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