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Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (15)

The physical evidence proves inarguably that the persistent sprocket-hole intrusion in Capa’s exposures did not result from the mythical one-time “emulsion melt” in LIFE’s London darkroom, but instead represents a persistent minor malfunction in one of Capa’s two Contaxes. It is visible to the naked eye in dozens of Capa’s rolls of 35mm film from January 1944 onward. The fact that some rolls don’t show this suggests that they were made with his second Contax, which didn’t have this problem. It also indicates that no one at LIFE noticed or cared about this enough to advise Capa to get his camera checked and realigned. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (14)

These negatives in the Capa Archive at the International Center of Photography constitute portions of the rolls sent by Robert Capa to John Morris, LIFE magazine’s London picture editor, upon docking at Weymouth, England on the morning of June 7 — in other words, they represent the negatives supposedly “ruined” in the demonstrably mythical darkroom mishap caused by the possibly mythical “darkroom lad” Dennis Banks. […]

Alternate History: Robert Capa on D-Day (13)

Robert Capa’s missing and supposedly destroyed D-Day negatives — the ones he shipped to London from Weymouth on the morning of June 7, the ones purportedly destroyed in a freak darkroom accident that night — sit today, intact and available for study, where they’ve sat for years: in the Robert Capa and Cornell Capa Archive at the International Center of Photography in New York. […]

Still More Ends and Odds

Among the things I cherish about print as a communication medium, irrevocability ranks very high indeed. I love that, because it keeps me honest. The habits I acquired as a writer publishing in print media have carried over to my writing online. So I want to assure my readers that whatever they read with my byline on it, in any medium, going all the way back to 1964 — I wrote and published that. That was me, at least at that time. I own it, warts and all. […]

“The True Meaning of Pictures” (4)

Without exception, my workshop participants at the Penland School of Crafts experienced a profound disconnect between Shelby Lee Adams’s verbal contextualization of his pictures — fairly close to his commentary on them in the Baichwal film and elsewhere — and the photographs themselves. […]