Mental Floss

Pictures at 11: 11 Photojournalism Classics

David K. Israel
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1. Into the Jaws of Death by Robert F. Sargent

The photo was taken on June 6, 1944, by Robert F. Sargent. It depicts U.S. Army First Division soldiers disembarking from a LCVP from the U.S. Coast Guard-manned USS Samuel Chase at Omaha Beach during the Normandy Landings in World War II. The phrase "into the jaws of Death" in the photograph's title comes from a refrain in Alfred Tennyson 's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade."

2. Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange

This is the classic image that has come to represent the Great Depression. The woman in the photo is Florence Thompson. The original photo featured Florence's thumb and index finger on the tent pole, but the image was later retouched to hide Florence's thumb. Her index finger was left untouched.

3. Saigon, 1968 by Eddie Adams

Like many on this list, Eddie Adams’ name is well-known and attached to one specific photograph. Often referred to as “Saigon, 1968,” Adams said the image haunted him for the rest of his life.

4. Gandhi at his spinning wheel by Margaret Bourke-White

Bourke-White is known equally well in both India and Pakistan for her photographs of Gandhi at his spinning wheel and Pakistan's founder, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, upright in a chair. She also was called "one of the most effective chroniclers" of the violence that erupted at the independence and partition of India and Pakistan.

5. The Falling Soldier by Robert Capa

6. Iranian Demonstrators by David Burnett

Over the course of the 44 consecutive days that shocked the world in 1979, Burnett photographed the initial uprisings that culminated in mass demonstrations, violence and mourning. He also captured the celebrations of revolutionary Shiites upon the fall of a monarch. At the time, Burnett's photographs were featured extensively in Time magazine.

7. Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville by Robert Doisneau

8. The Battle For Saigon by Philip Jones Griffiths

9. Behind the Gare St. Lazare by Henri Cartier-Bresson

10. Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal

11. First Flag Raising on Iwo Jima by Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery

Here is the real flag raising shot, raised atop the mountain soon after it was captured early in the morning of February 23, 1945. According to this source, Captain Dave Severance was ordered by 2nd Battalion Commander Chandler Johnson to send a platoon to go take the mountain. "Severance, the commander of Easy Company, ordered First Lieutenant Harold G. Schrier to lead the patrol. Just before Schrier was to head up the mountain, Commander Chandler Johnson handed him a flag saying, 'If you get to the top, put it up.' Johnson's adjutant, second lieutenant Greeley Wells, had taken the 54-by-28-inch (140-by-71-centimeter) American flag from their transport ship, the USS Missoula. The patrol reached the top without incident and the flag was raised, and photographed by Staff Sergeant Louis R. Lowery, a photographer with Leatherneck magazine.

For 11-11-11, we'll be posting twenty-four '11 lists' throughout the day. Check back 11 minutes after every hour for the latest installment, or see them all here.

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