Homework 4

I think the photo Falling Soldier by Robert Capa is real. From what I can see, the angle of the man’s legs are off-balanced. It will be hard for the man to maintain that position and wait for Capa to take the photo without the help of props. Furthermore, even if the falling is real, like what Captain Robert L. Frank said in Robert Whelan’s article, “It is nearly impossible for any conscious person to resist the reflex impulse to brace his fall by flexing his hand strongly backward at the wrist and extending his fingers out straight.” The feeling of being off balance and falling will jolt reflexes and impulses to help prevent or to minimize the pain upon impact. Another example of reflex is when people suddenly and out of nowhere hears an explosive sound, their heart are bound to beat faster and their muscles will tighten as the “fight or flight” instinct kicked in. Personally, I feel that the issue about whether Falling Soldier is staged or not varies according to the different lenses and criteria. If the goal of the photo is to show real events, then Capa’s photo’s authenticity matters. However, if it is to show the experience of war, then it does not matter whether Capa’s photo is staged or not, because the goal is to educate people about something.

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