Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Favourite Photo - The Tank Man (x4)

The Tank Man (Beijing, c. 1989, photo by AP photographer Jeff Widener) is hands down my favourite photo out of everything I've ever seen.  It is a raw demonstration of conviction and belief in one's ideals, of bravery and defiance in the face of death by TANK, and a testament to the power of human will to inspire change.   I had a big poster of this when I was in university, but have misplaced that print. I found the raw emotion, and tense atmosphere of the conflict depicted to be very compelling, and the image evoked in me strong feelings of fear, anger, and yet a slight glimmer of hope.  So after having stared at this photo as a large poster for years, I was slightly surprised to learn tonight that there are actually 4 published versions of this shot by 4 different journalists, all taken from slightly different angles, yet only one of them is overtly famous. Interesting how 4 very similar shots can be received so differently in terms of impact. Check out this article on Petapixel for more on these four images, and also an actual video of the event as it unfolded.  Gives me chills every time I see the man stop that line of tanks dead in its tracks, and then their subsequent attempts to manoeuvre around him as he refuses to yield. His spirited belief in democracy and basic human rights is awe-inspiring.

What about you guys? Do you have a favourite photo that you'd care to share?


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  2. I love the video. I always thought the photo was just a still frame from like a Film movie camera.
    video link

    but can't go wrong with: pic link

    and since you like articles about photos
    article link

  3. McCurry is definitely my favourite photographer... his entire body of work is amazing. And I love how they identified the Afghan girl when they found her after all those years. They used some algorithms to compare her iris patterns.