Geoff Dyer on the changing face of war photography | Art and design | The Guardian


Capa said that he would rather have “a strong image that is technically bad than vice versa”. He realised early on that a little camera-shake created a dangerous air of bullets whirring overhead. In certain circumstances, then, technical imperfection could be a source of visual strength. When his pictures of the D-day landings were published in Life magazine, a caption explained that the “immense excitement of the moment made Capa move his camera”. The blurring actually came later, as a result of a printing error at the lab in London. In the excitement of receiving Capa’s films, most of the 72 pictures were completely ruined. Eleven survived, all wounded, maimed, but the darkroom accident imbued them with sea-drenched authenticity and unprecedented immediacy.

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