I thought Whelan’s argument overall was convincing about Robert Capa’s photo of the fallen soldier. I did not think his entire argument was convincing because some parts seemed like a stretch. He talked a lot about where Capa might have been when he took the photo and right before it, but that was all based on what other people said. There was no concrete visual evidence to prove what he was saying was true. His strongest point that was most convincing was talking about the positioning of the hand. That was visual evidence that scientifically makes sense and is not based on what someone else said or thinks.
I do not think this photo was staged. Based on what Whelan said about the placement of the hand and the look of the photo in general, I think Capa did take this photo as someone was dying. Also you can clearly see the mark in the man’s head. At that time, I do not think photographers had the ability to stage something that looks so realistic.
Regardless of what I think about the photo, I do think authenticity is important. Especially in this case it is important that photographers tell the truth about the photo. Capa’s entire career was based on this photo, if he lied his entire career was faked. He was most famous for taking the first photo of someone dying, so if that isn’t true he shouldn’t have deserved all the fame he got.