Homework #3: Robert Capa, the death of the loyalist soldier

Robert Capas “the death of a loyalist soldier” is a very powerful photograph, considering it was taken at a time when documentary photography was very important. The first glance at Capa’s photograph gave me that criticizing instinct, something was wrong with the way his arm was shown to be away from the shooter and the gun was held in a casual way. After I read Richard Whelan reflection on the photograph I became sure that the photograph was staged. From the way the gun was placed in the soldiers’ hand, no soldier would point his gun away from the person shooting him. To me, this photograph was very much like Alexander Gardners, Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter. They both had that fake posed feeling in them. The way the guns were placed as well as the reflection in the soldier’s bodies show that the photographs were staged. Whelan gathered historical evidence and witnesses opinions from people who knew Capa. He wrote about many authors who published books discussing the staged photographs, those include Jorge Lewinski and O.D. Gallagher. Despite the fact that Capa’s photograph was most likely staged, it remains a very well-known photograph that reflects some scenes of the war.

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