Robert Capa

Robert Capa is my favorite photojournalist. He is the photographer who made me want to be a photographer. His photographs also make me wish I was his contemporary. There is something so romantic about photojournalism back in the 40’s and 50’s. I just have this image of the lone photographer going wherever the next story is shooting all his photos on a 35mm in grainy black and white later meeting up at the local bar to have a few drinks with the other reporters. Maybe things are very similar today I don’t know but it seems like it has changed so much. Robert Capa started his career photographing the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s. It was during this war that he captured one of his most famous photographs (posted below). But what Capa was most famous for were his shots of the D-Day landing on Omaha Beach in Normandy. Capa was in a troop carrier and landed with the soldiers shooting more then three rolls of film while the troops struggled to shore (think the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan). Capa was armed with only his cameras. The film was sent back to the Life lab in London. In his excitement to see the photos the lab tech turned the film dryer too high and melted most of the film. Only 8 frames out of 106 were recovered. They are some of the most famous images from WWII. After the war Capa and another photographer named Henri Cartier-Bresson (more on him in another post!) founded the photo agency Magnum. Being a Magnum photographer is one of the greatest honors a photographer can achieve in his or her career. The agency was named after a bottle of champagne the two were drinking when they came up with the idea for Magnum. In the early 50’s Life asked Capa to go to Southeast Asia and photograph the First Indochina War. Even though he had said a few years prior that he wouldn’t photograph another war he accepted the assignment. On May 25, 1954 he stepped on a landmine and was killed. He was only 40 years old. I think he is one of my favorite photographers not only because his work is so good but because I want to be him. Robert Capa has a famous saying about photography that changed the way I shoot. He said “If your photos aren’t good enough then you aren’t close enough”. I’ve posted some of his photos below. To view more please click on the link go to photographers click on portfolio and then click on Robert Capa.


"Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936.

Troops landing at Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6th 1944


Photographer Robert Capa during the Spanish civil war, May 1937. Photo by Gerda Taro.

Soldier taking cover at Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6th 1944

Robert Capa

Pablo Picasso and Francoise Gilot by Robert Capa

Photo of Picasso and his son by Robert Capa

Photo of Robert Capa_Copyright Cornell Capa_Magnum Photos


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