In fact, the common (erroneous) myth is that it was staged. Read the excellent book, "Flags of our Fathers" to get the real scoop.
Originally Posted by blansky
Joe Rosenthal, the AP photographer, did not stage this shot, contrary to popular belief. There was an earlier shot, taken by a Marine photographer, that was indeed staged. If you google search on "Iwo Jima flag photo" (which is how I found this image, which was posted on the Wikipedia), you will also see one that has a fully raised flag with a soldier holding a gun in the foreground. That one was staged, and is not the same flag as the famous one in my avatar.
What happened is this: After securing Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, a platoon of Marines and a Marine photographer hiked to the top of the mountain to clear it of any further resistance, and took a US flag from their company with them. When they reached the top, with no resistance, they raised this flag. The result was the staged "Marine" photo.
The flag was visible all over the island. The General in charge of the operation was on shore and saw it. He told the company commander he wanted that flag when the battle was over. This pissed off the company commander, who got another flag (a larger one) and ordered the platoon back up to raise this new, larger flag for the General (without the General's knowledge). The company commander ordered the original flag locked in the company's safe.
This second ascent was accompanied by Joe Rosenthal. He stood to the side of the platoon as they prepared to raise the new flag, while the old one was being lowered. (There is another Marine Corps photo of the old flag being lowered while the new one is being raised.)
The only "staging" Rosenthal did was to pile up some rocks to give himself a little additional height.
Joe was temporarily distracted as he turned to make sure he was not in the way of a third cinema photographer who had accompanied the group up on this ascent. As he turned back to the Marines, they were already beginning to raise the new flag. He quickly turned and aimed his camera in the general direction of the flag and triggered the shutter.
As Joe describes it, he did not even realize he had captured this shot until it appeared on the front page of the New York Times. To him it was just one more photo in the batch of unprocessed film he sent back. He had no idea the photo even came out, because he didn't carefully aim or focus.
It is probably the most famous photograph of all time, and was taken almost by accident.
Ironically, this flag raising did not mark the end of the Iwo Jima battle, but the beginning. Only three of the men in that photo survived the remaining fight for the island. The company commander who ordered the original flag saved was also killed by enemy fire on Iwo Jima. More men died after that flag was raised than before.
Last edited by jnanian; 04-07-2005 at 08:55 AM. Click to view previous post history.
The Yin and Yang of Photography. When Studio and View camera take me too far one way, A sunny day in the Park and my Lomo balance me out.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
"Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't."
After shooting with 35mm for about 25 years, I quickly progressed through 6x7, 4x5, 5x7, 8x10 and back to 5x7. I now shoot 3 formats interchangably: 35mm, 6x4.5, and 5x7. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Over the last year, I've primarily shot color neg with the 35 (this from an old Leica RF guy!), tri-x 320 in the medium format and Tri-x 320 in 5x7. I feel that B&W needs a larger neg (I print to 6x9 inches in medium format) than 35mm while color neg film shot on 35mm holds up well about to about 8x12.
Looking critically at my negatives I'd have to say that my view camera stuff looks like a poor imitation of of good large format stuff done by others. The exception is the pictures I take of people with my 5x7. Those I like a lot. When all goes well, I have an excellent image (emotionally) that holds up well technically to 10x13.
On the balance, though, I'm more of a taker and find myself gravitating back to f1.4 and f2 lenses, sometimes with 800 speed film for the people taking opportunities they provide.
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Originally Posted by Claire Senft
I combine those elements. I go out and situate myself to make the taking possible.
I'd have to say a combination of both. There are times (and assignments too) where it's "taking", but I much prefer when it's "making". Portraiture - at least "formal" portraiture, for me is almost always "making". I get lucky sometimes and get a great from-the-hip portrait which could only be described as "taking", but those are few and far between...
Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
Maybe "give and Take"? I agree that it is an unfortunate term. After all a painter does not go out and take a painting. If they did they would go to jail. Shooting for myself is like fishing. I can bait my hook and and toss myself into the light pool. I don't land a fish very often and the big even less often. But when it happens I know I've given myself to the moment which allows me to take what I want from the moment and leave the rest. Commercially it goes both ways. Sometimes they want something really specific and other times they just let me loose to capture an idea. I'm not sure what camp this puts my stuff in but I think it is probaly both edging towards the make side.
Stop trying to get into my mind, There is nothing there!
I aim to make, but I often take.
Once I have the trannies in hand, I then usually make. (Making the exposure is usually only half the job done ....).
I have just recently learned to be both. To me it depends what I shoot. When I shoot street scenes, landscapes, just things, I'm more of a taker. If I'm in a studio like setting - even on location, I'm definitely a maker.