Thursday, April 7, 2011

Missing protagonists

"I’m very sparing with photographing people. Once you insert a person into the work, he or she becomes the protagonist."
John Gossage

I stumbled on this site the other day which is kind of fun. It reminds me of my experiment deleting children from photographs, except these photos don't stop at kids. They erase everyone from iconic war photos. Even without people most of these scenes will be familiar to photo buffs, but there were a couple I found unrecognizable.

Capa minus soldier, from Le paysage des photos historiques


Anonymous said...

An interesting variation of this could be the opposite: the missing backdrop

mopoheus said...

I didn't get them all either, there were one or two that were actually unfamiliar to me. But he's erased more than just people--he's erased basically all of the "foreground" subject, leaving only background. That makes a big difference.

ian said...

1. Capa, obviously.

2. Valley of Death, Crimea, fenton (cannonballs deleted)

3. Berlin, 2 soldiers raising red flag. Original photo also deleted looted watches from 1 soldier!

4. Iwo Jima flag

5. Unknown. Seen it but it's Friday evening ...

6. Vietnamese general shoots Viet Cong in head w pistol

7. Kent state massacre

8. Little napalm girl (Nick Ut?)

9. Tianamen tanks and brave bloke

10. Baby and Vulture (Kevin carter maybe?)

Blake Andrews said...

Hmm, good idea for a future quiz.

Anyway, I don't think #2 is Fenton. I think it's a Russian guy who showed in Portland about 10 years ago. Can't remember his name but I remember the photos because the skies were very burned in (Fenton's are generally white). But I could be wrong. I'll keep looking.

#5 is actually by Gardner, a Civil War shot.

#10 still stumps me. If you know the image, can you post a link?

Blake Andrews said...

Found #2. Dmitri Baltermants:

Anonymous said...

#10 is Kevin Carter's vulture and baby indeed. A much controversial photograph:

Blake Andrews said...

Disturbing photo. Thanks for the link, Jacques-Philippe.