RADIO PICTURE SHOWS
Eddie Adams (1930—2004) was a Pulitzer prize-winning American photographer and photojournalist noted for his coverage of thirteen wars.
Adams shot what is probably the most iconic photograph of the Vietnam War if not the 60s. The photograph is entitled “General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon.” The photograph was instantly seen all over the world and took on a life of its own. The general who did the shooting was forever known as the guy in the photograph.
Adams was hugely conflicted about this photograph. He wrote: “The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. What the photograph didn’t say was, ‘What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?”
“I would have rather been known more for the series of photographs I shot of 48 Vietnamese refugees who managed to sail to Thailand n a 30-foot boat, only to be towed back to the open seas by Thai marines.” (The photographs, and accompanying reports, helped persuade then President Jimmy Carter to grant the nearly 200,000 Vietnamese boat people asylum.)
Adams later apologized in person to General Nguyen and his family for the irreparable damage it did to the General’s honor while he was alive.
By coincidence, Adams was a family friend of John Filo. Filo was introduced to photojournalism by Adams as a teenager. Ironically, Filo shot the picture at Kent State of a young woman bent over a college student who had just been shot by the National Guard. That picture also reached iconic status and is one of the most famous pictures of the 1970s. Filo then became—and still—is the youngest person to ever win the Pulitzer Prize (He was 18.). When Filo’s picture was on the cover of virtually every magazine in the world, Adams called him and said, “John, just remember, you are only as good as your last photograph.”
This is not the real Taj Mahal—it’s a duplicate, but stunning in it’s own way and Sarah has paid it the appropriate respect with her camera by putting her twist on it. When you stand back and shoot an overall postcard shot of a monument you’ve taken a picture that says “I was there.” When you bring something to the party you’ve taken a picture that says “Here’s what I felt when I was there.” Big, big difference. Sarah has done a wonderful job of letting us know exactly that.