Robert Capa On D Day
If you see the June issue of Vanity Fair on the news stand, the piece on “Robert Capa’s Longest Day” is worth the price of the magazine. Capa, the great war photographer, went ashore with the first wave on D Day in June of 1944 not as a solider but as a photographer. Capa shot four rolls of 35mm film that day for Life Magazine. Usually Capa didn’t know what he got, who did when shooting film, but on this day, he knew exactly what he had gotten: in all probability the greatest images of warfare ever. He managed to survive Omaha Beach that day and made it back to his ship. The film had survived Normandy but it would not survive the Lab Tech in New York who turned the heat up too high in the drying cabinet destroying all but 11 of the estimated 106 shots Capa had taken on Omaha Beach. The 11 surviving images were published in the June 1944 edition of Life Magazine under the title “Beachheads of Normandy”, iconic images of America’s Fighting Men wading ashore dodging bullets, rockets, barbed wire and steel barricades and an incredibly poignant picture of the soldier Capa would save that day. Capa was killed covering the War in Indochina, which would morph into The Vietnam War.
You’ve probably seen hundreds of D Day stories on TV and elsewhere about this 70th Anniversary of The Longest Day, but if you’re a photographer or appreciate the craft, you owe it to yourself to read this.
Thanks for the visit and have a great weekend.