Full Version: D-Day photographers * Normandy
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This link was referred to in another thread, but I felt I should place it here in a permanent spot making it accessible for all time.

Does the fact that most of Capa's negatives got destroyed make anyone elses stomach hurt to think about? My undergraduate degree was in photography (after a three stint as a music major) and I have gooned up my fair share of B/W negatives so I can understand how it may have happpened. None of my photos, however, were of world-wide historical significance of course.


I think one of the best photo journalists in WWII (in the Pacific anyway) is W. Eugene Smith.

Here is a link to some of his photos:


Attached is one of his more famous photo's. Also attached is rarely photographed subject - photographers! The place is New Guinea. The one on the left is holding a Speed Graphic 4x5 camera (most likely a Anniversary Graphic due to the date.) Interestingly enough, following the war, the US government destroyed most of the military cameras so as to not put graphlex out of business. I have Super Speed Graphic - a later model - and I love it! Imagine how well a 4x5 inch negative enlarges to huge prints. The only thing is that you have to use a 2 sided film back to hold your film. So you have a big heavy camera and several bulky film holders in which you only get 2 shots each. I have a book that shows a photographer holding up his camera with a big bullet hole in it. It took guts to hang out on a battle field; being shot at and not being able to shoot back (shooting something lethal anyway.)

Oooo-weee, glad to hear about another photography buff. I began my interest in photography as a very young child. My uncle had a dark room and got me hooked. It was so cool. In high school I took some photography classes and it was great. When Lee and I got married, we had a darkroom set up in our house for years. I have tons of b&w negs! We no longer do it. The main reason is we have NO WHERE to do this at our present home, but maybe one day in the future... I still think B&W is such a great medium.


Thanks for the link re: Smith!

I love black and white. Like you, however, I don't have a place to do it. It's a shame, I could spend hours in a darkroom (perhaps listening to Pink Floyd) and found it quite relaxing. The nice thing about 4x5 is that you can make nice contact prints using alternative methods, cyanotypes etc.

We still have quite a few cameras in our collection. We mostly shot 35 with a wide assortment of lenses and filters, but one camera that we just love and haven't used for a while is our Rollieflex. Wow, can that baby take GREAT photographs. You have the 2X2 negs and when you blow them up; you get clarity and sharpness.


I remember photographing my girlfriend's daughter. She was eleven and drop-dead gorgeous. I did a photo shoot so she could submit photos to modeling agencies. I just loved those photos taken with the Rolli!


People would look at photos we took and they'd always say; how come yours always look so much better than ours? Well one large factor; better cameras. We would tell them, some people take photographs, others take snapshots. Cheap cameras or simple standard digitals can't capture what great film cameras can. As Lee would say, when you use film you get down to the molecular level. Use something else and you are working with BIG PIXELS. It simply can't compare. And of course with a standard camera you have no control over your depth of field, etc. My girlfriend would always ask; how do you get the backround all "blurry"? Well you can't do that with an insta-matic. Gotta have the controls. T'ain't no other way. :pdt34:

Another one of my older cameras is a Yashica twin lens - the poor man's version of your rollieflex. I couldn't agree more about the differences between cameras and the results you get. I was a film purist for a long time and for the most part I still am. Digital is great for the snapshot market for so many reasons, but it takes a lot of money to equal the quality of film. In 1999 I was working at a professional photo supply store while in Dallas (the year before I went to OCS) and digital was beginning to gain in popularity. The commercial snapshot-type cameras were expensive and in the 2 mega pixel range so they weren’t real good. The digitals that were built on Canon EOS 1-n (the DCS-1)bodies were in the $40K range so they were only in the realm of pro’s (and not many at that.) Almost all commercial photography was shot on medium or large format with the most common being 4x5, 6x7cm (Mamiyas), or 6x6cm (mostly Hasselblad.) Having been out of that industry for I while I can only guess, but I would bet you that as the price of digital comes down, digital will be more and more a part of commercial photography. It has taken hold in the fashion industry for sure. For catalogs and the like, I’m not sure. One of the guys I worked with did the room scenes for JC Penny’s with an 8x10 camera. I doubt that even 2008 digital technology is quite that good without being ridiculously expensive. In the end, however, it ends up digitized anyway for incorporation into the digital layouts for brochures and catalogs.

I discovered this beautiful video about the famous war photographer Robert Capa reporter . But it is in French. Marion, if you want removed no problem .


VEE ;)



No need to remove. All languages are welcome. We have quite a few French readers, so it is appreciated.




A great video on the paratroopers of Robert Capa :



Tres bien. Great footage. Had not seen that before. Thanks Vee!