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Celebrating the Negative : Robert Capa


Robert Capa wrote that on D-Day, 1944, he paused to change film while under intense fire on Omaha Beach. “The empty camera trembled in my hands,” he wrote. “It was a new kind of fear shaking my body from toe to hair and twisting my face. The men around me lay motionless. Only the dead on the water line rolled in the waves. An LCI braved the fire and medics …poured from it…I stepped into the sea between two bodies…and suddenly I knew that I was running away. I tried to turn, but couldn’t face the beach.”

In 1993, Cornell Capa showed me eight of the 11 frames that were printable from his brother’s three rolls of film. All were cut apart for the censor’s OK, said Cornel. He added that three other negatives, including the picture most often published, ­­had been lost since 1944.

John Loengard, Celebrating the Negative is available to museums as a touring exhibition from Curatorial Assistance.

Celebrating the Negative
by John Loengard
Release in 1994
Published by Arcade Publishing

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