ARTH1100 History of Photography S2016

I don’t blame Richard Whelan for viewing Robert Capa’s photograph of a Loyalist Soldier with a critical eye. In his analysis, he made very good points of the photograph and did question the authenticity of it. I do feel convinced that the photograph was staged. Controversy has been built up because there is no explanation of how did the loyalist soldier die. Suppose he was killed by a gunshot. Wouldn’t there be a blood stain somewhere on his clothes? Maybe he did accidentally slipped and fell but wouldn’t there be dirt on him? My point is that he looks too clean to believe that it wasn’t staged. Also, the way the soldier is posing, it looks like he has control of his balance. If he were to fall, then the photograph would be blurry. I find it impossible that Robert Capa was able to capture the moment (as if he knew it was going to happen). Although I agree with Richard Whelan’s analysis, Captain Robert L. Franks, the chief homicide detective of the Memphis Police Department, has made a fair argument. He believes that the soldier was dead before he fell because the fingers of his left hand was wrapped behind his leg. He suggests that if the soldier had consciousness, his reflexes would kick in to try to stop his own fall. This can go either way but till this day, this is still a mystery of photography history.

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