HW #3 Kevin Ruiz

Robert Capa was an astonishing photographer and he took a risk by going to the site of the war to take photos during combat. I believe why they think it was fake was because they never seen death caught on camera it was very rare on that time period and also his job was to uncover the truth on this war and he managed to do that. i mean why would he make it staged if he wanted to recover what was going on in the war and this pictures says it all so to me it wasn’t staged. A lot of people question if it were fake because it was uncommon for a photographer to get this, they usually get the before and after war pictures and this was something they never seen it was an actual getting shot at during combat. But i do understand why they thought it was staged because a certain someone that staged his photo which was Alexander Gardner ” Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, Gettysburg” i could see the controversial with this photo and the one with Capa. This changed photography because it made us realize a camera could do more then just take normal picture.

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Homework #3: Robert Capa’s War Photograph

I believe that his arguments were very convincing. The evidence he presented gave me an insight on how Capa was able to take this photograph and also proved the authenticity. And because of this, I think the photograph is not staged. As we’ve learned, a lot of photographs of the past has been staged or manipulated, just like photographs today. So it is within our nature for us to doubt certain experiences. I also must agree with his evidence because of the simple poor composition of the photograph, where not everything is in frame, this also proves that Capa must have not been looking into the camera, having placed it above his head while in that trench.

However, the question that arises is, is being staged really important? We rely on documentary photography to show us facts, document events that we are not able to experience… show us the truth of what is happening in the world. Regardless this photograph was staged or not, Capa was close enough to have gotten it. There is no doubt that he was not in the event of war.  What makes the photograph memorable is the idea of we get of what war was like. I don’t think anyone cared who this man was, now nor then, but instead, realizing this is what really happens during a war in all its complexity, its glory and honor. The photograph just created a better understanding of war. Capa did not reveal to us what we did not already know. Here, reality of what happened does not matter.

Capa’s photograph could have merely been a lucky shot. It reminds me of the photograph by Cartier Bresson of a pedestrian jumping over a puddle. After reading articles of the controversy of Capa’s photograph, this could have been just an example of “the decisive moment”. Capa, being in the “war” setting for a while, had skills of taking so many photographs before this one, constantly taking photographs of these soldiers. I don’t think Capa knew what was going to happen when taking that photograph until he realized what he captured in that decisive moment.

In my opinion, Capa’s photograph will always remain iconic and there will always be speculation about it. But there is no denying that this photograph has given us a better understanding of the Spanish War, or war in general, which is what it should be remembered for.


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Homework#3 Robert Capa

After reading Robert Whelan analysis of Robert Capa’s  photograph”Death of a Loyalist Soldier” I still believe in it’s authenticity. Many people can dispute the issue, seeing as it was not uncommon for photographers to alter an image to bring about greater impact such as Alexander Gardner did in”Home of the Rebel Sharpshooter”when he rearranged the position of the rifle. While there were no general rules about photographs being manipulated, it was seen as something that photographers should avoid doing. In the article, a chief homicide detective examines the photograph up-close and pointing out the curled fingers towards the palm and stating that “the man’s muscle had gone limp and was already dead.” The involuntary reflex of “flexing his wrist strongly backwards and extending his fingers out straight.” in order to break his fall were not there, strongly implying he wasn’t faking his death. that an alive soldier would have to break his fall. I believe that the photograph may have at first planned to be staged but it went awry and Robert Capa took the photograph in the “decisive moment.” There was a war going on, so generally photographers would take their photos before or after the battle but not while being gunned down. Photographers out on field are not properly quipped nor experienced in combat to be that close to the action.Robert Capa most likely wanted to recreate a scene but he and the soldier were spotted resulting in a gun being fired. While I believe Documentary and War Photography should be as authentic as possible, I don’t mind if it is altered to benefit the people or places that need it such as Sebastiao Salgado’s  before and after images of his farm turned national park.

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Based on the arguments of Robert Whelan, I feel that Robert Capa’s photograph of the falling soldier has a good chance of being real. The story where the group of soldiers are in a trench and the falling soldier is shot is a feasible one and I think that it’s entirely possible for Capa to grab his camera and take the photo before the soldier falls completely.

At first, I felt like it would be impossible for Capa to have reached his camera in time to take the photo but it makes sense for the body to hold up its position for just long enough to take a quick photo, especially since it looks like the photo wasn’t properly positioned and focused.

At this point, I feel like Capa’s photograph was not staged. My opinion is greatly affected and biased because I have read Whelan’s account of the story behind the photograph so I do not think that I am a very reliable source to question regarding this photograph.

I do not think the authenticity of this photograph has as great an importance as many place on it. It has already served its purpose as war propaganda, and the only difference it would make to find out the truth is to correct the history books. While correcting the history books has its own importance, I do not think it makes that great a difference in the lives of the average person.

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Homework #3: Robert Capa’s Death of a Loyalist Soldier

Robert Capa’s Death of a Loyalist Soldier has been argued to be “fakery”, even though he deserves the credibility for documenting the Spanish Civil War. I personally believe Robert Capa’s photograph is question for its authenticity not because of the position the solider died in but do to the fact that he was not well know before a stunning photograph. I personally don’t believe this photo was staged the evidence from the eye witness sounds like a game of telephone, pass around information enough and someone is sure to get it wrong. “Capt. Franks told me in conversation that the fact that the fingers are somewhat curled toward the palm clearly indicates that the man’s muscles have gone limp and that he is already dead.” Reading through this line assured me that this photograph could not be staged, someone who is aware would not be able to produce such a action. Personally I don’t think authenticity matters as long as the photograph constructs a strong meaning to it.

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H.W. #3

Authenticity, I believe, has a strong correlation with trust, respect, and in Robert Capa’s case, evidence. for anyone to believe you and not have any doubt whatsoever in whatever you have to offer, they need to trust you or respect you. however, before they can, they need to build up that trust by seeing you have proof for your work. Unfortunately before this image, many people had no idea who Capa was or what he had to offer. also, since this was one of the first pictures that these people saw from Capa it meant that they had no reference to his ability. After reading the analysis I am convinced that this photo was not staged and it was indeed an authentic moment that Capa has captured. so good in fact that people had no choice but to doubt its authenticity as with all great works. Is authenticity important? In the subject, that is documentary photography I say that it is. the authenticity of a photograph is what makes the photograph. staging it immediately causes it to lose its meaning and its purpose, it no longer matters, it’s as if it never really happened because it didn’t. it’s no longer a sight to behold because there wasn’t a real sight to begin with. none but pure fantasy and imagination. documentary photography stands nowhere between them.

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homework #2

Walker Evans displays his work in a very unique way. I find it very fascinating, the way he was able to capture the image of a person on the subway.He was using his clothing to cover up parts that won’t make others suspicious of what he was up to, so nobody could notice him. This allowed him to catch a unique and real image of a person on the subway without them knowing they will become a piece of art. Now in days, there are so many other things to do on the subway other than stare at one another so I find it very interesting that Walker Evans came up with the idea to photograph everyday people during their everyday life.  I think Evans’ portraits showed how the country really was. It almost gives a sense of equality/unity on how everybody’s expressions are so similar.

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After reading the article I totally disagree with this photograph being stage. I don’t think such photograph can be stage Robert Capa happen to capture the picture at the right moment. Although there is good points that this is a fake picture because you can’t see a gunshot wound, I still believe it takes a higher level of skill to depict the reaction of being shot. This has been a big controversy over the years. As you can see a photo and the way the soldier is positioned, it’s hard to get that pose. It’s a very uncomfortable pose. I believe this is a real photo, the photographer risk his life every day in this war taking moments in real life. He is very talented.

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Homework #3

As one looks at the picture taken by Robert Cappa, “The death of a loyalist soldier” I can understand why they would bring up the argument that this picture was staged. Looking at it, we all have a perspective on what war is supposed to look like, either from books or movies. War is supposed to be this chaotic scene with bodies everywhere and things exploding, but this picture is totally different from what we are used to. The setting is calm and the soldier is falling with grace as if he is ready to go. After reading the article by Richard Whelans, I strongly agree that this photograph was not staged and that it was beauty caught in the right moment. The statements made by “Captain Frank ” stated that the solider fingers were already curled up towards his palm area signifying that, that’s what happens when a person is already dead. So therefor, when the photograph was taken the solider was already dead. In conclusion, I believe this picture is authentic and Robert Cappa did a great job bringing us this piece of history.

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Homework 3: Robert Capa’s Death of a Loyalist Soldier – Nick Perryman

Robert Capa is one my favorite photographers and the analysis of his “Death of a Loyalist Soldier” photo was remarkable. I was also a little skeptical of the legitimacy of the photo after learning in class that historically a lot of photographers staged their photos. Staging photos is not necessarily a problem because a photo such as William Gardner’s “The Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter” a gun was added and the corpse was repositioned to convey a message. If an image is entirely fabricated to represent a real event it’s deceit. The photo is great introduction to Capa’s masterful work, because there was little to no photography of this nature at the time. I’m not an historian regarding war and I didn’t want to rely on my limited visual literacy of war to dictate the validity of Capa’s photo after the question was posed to us in class.  Robert Whelan did an exceptional job of tracing the background and in conducting his research.  I was defiantly convinced that Whelan proved Capa’s photo to be authentic.


Toshiba Digital Camera

Robert Capa Action Figure

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