When photos tell a lie

May 2011
13,781
Navan, Ireland
sparky-why do you think the Capra photo is staged? Yours is the first suggestion of it's being inauthentic that I have ever seen.
"......
While some, including one of Capa's biographers, Richard Whelan, have defended the photograph's authenticity,[4] doubts have been raised since 1975.[5] Staging photos was a common occurrence during the Spanish Civil War because of limits imposed upon photojournalists' freedom of movement: unable to go to active fronts, or cordoned off when they were, photographers resorted to pictures of soldiers feigning combat.[6] Capa claimed the photograph was taken at the battle site of Cerro Muriano, but research suggests it was taken in the town of Espejo, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.[7]
A 2007 documentary, La sombra del iceberg, claims that the picture was staged and that Frederico Borrell García is not the individual in the picture.[8] In José Manuel Susperregui's 2009 book Sombras de la Fotografía ("Shadows of Photography"), he concludes that the photograph was not taken at Cerro Muriano, but at another location about 30 miles (48 km) away. Susperregui determined the location of the photograph by examining the background of other photographs from the same sequence as the Falling Soldier, in which a range of mountains can be seen. He then e-mailed images to librarians and historians in towns near Córdoba, asking if they recognized the landscape, and received a positive response from the Spanish town of Espejo. Because Espejo was miles away from the battle lines when Capa was there, Susperregui said this meant that the Falling Soldier photograph was staged, as were all the others in the same series, supposedly taken on the front.[9]
Susperregui also pointed out more contradictions in the accepted account of the photograph, noting that Capa mentioned in interviews that the militiaman had been killed by a burst of machine-gun fire rather than a sniper's bullet. Capa also gave different accounts of the vantage point and technique he used to obtain the photograph.[10] Spanish newspapers, including a newspaper from Barcelona, El Periódico de Catalunya,[11] sent reporters to Espejo to verify the location of the photograph. The reporters returned with photographs showing a close match between the present day skyline and the background of Capa's photographs.
Willis E. Hartshorn, director of the International Center of Photography, argued against the claims that the photograph was staged. He suggested that the soldier in the photograph had been killed by a sniper firing from a distance while posing for the staged photograph. Susperregui dismissed the suggestion, pointing out that the front lines were too widely separated and that there was no documentary evidence for the use of snipers on the Córdoba front.
There is also doubt about the identification of the photograph's subject. It was believed that Frederico Borrell García was the subject, but he was actually killed at Cerro Muriano, and was shot while sheltered behind a tree. In addition to a lack of clarity of the location of the photograph, Frederico Borrell García did not greatly resemble the subject of the photograph.[12]......"


The Falling Soldier - Wikipedia
 

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