Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Creator Spotlight is the photojournalist Robert Capa:
You may have heard the names Ansel Adams, Margaret Bourke-White, W. Eugene Smith and Henri Cartier-Bresson. All great photographers. Let me call your attention to another, the photojournalist and war photographer, Robert Capa.
There were war photographers before Capa. British photographer Robert Fenton and Hungarian Carol Popp de Szathmar covered the Crimean War in the 1850s. Matthew Brady took over 10,000 images of the American Civil War.
But it is Robert Capa who comes to mind when I think of combat photojournalism. Beginning in the early 1930s, he took a photograph of Leon Trotsky at a rally. It was his first published picture. He was in Spain during the Spanish-Civil War. He was at D-Day. And he was in Israel during its founding. He ended his life, doing his job as he always did. In 1954, he stepped on a landmine.
It was Capa who said, “”If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” He was always close enough because his photographs are not just good enough. They are memorable. He set a standard which war photographers continue to live up to.
Looking through Capa’s photographs, we realize how essential these photojournalists are. They risk their lives to give the rest of us what can only be communicated in pictures. And their images are powerful when they show the truth of war.
So today I honor Robert Capa. And, in so doing, I honor all those journalists who put themselves in harm’s way.