Deception and One Last Roll of Film: The Story Behind the Tank Man Photo

As part of their incredible "100 Most Influential Photographs of All Time" project, TIME is telling the stories behind some of the most powerful

Widener shares this story in his own words in the video interview above. As image after image that he had captured scrolls across the screen, you hear about how he drew “the short straw” and put his life on the line to capture the Tiananmen square protests as they happened.

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Widener discovered that Martsen encountered gunfire and more soldiers after he left with the precious film and that he became lost trying to navigate back streets to find the Associated Press office. Martsen went to the U.S. embassy and handed over the film to a U.S. Marine at the entrance, and told the embassy to forward the film to the AP office. “Kirk risked his life,” Widener says. “If not for all of his efforts, my pictures may never have been seen.” The next day, the image appeared on the front pages of newspapers around the world.