February 23, 2010

Joe Rosenthal: "The Marines Took Iwo Jima!"

Joe Rosenthal was the photographer who captured the quintessential American war photo, the timeless photographic masterpiece of American Marines planting their American flag on the top of a Japanese mountain where they had just finished defeated the fierce and deadly Japanese troops.

Rosenthal had wanted to join the military himself but had been rejected due to his poor eyesight. But when he became a photographer for the AP he was assigned to travel with the troop of Marines that helped make history in Iwo Jima.

And when the Marines planted their flag in the name of their country, Joe Rosenthal was right there to turn that moment into history, so many give Joe credit for a great contribution to America in his own right.

But when asked about it, Joe is known to defer and give all credit strictly to the troops, saying "I took the picture, the Marines took Iwo Jima"

Joe Rosenthal: "The Marines Took Iwo Jima!"

Rosenthal piled stones and a sandbag so he had something on which to stand, as he was only 5 feet and 5 inches (1.65 m) tall. He set his camera for a lens setting between f/8 and f/11 and put the speed at 1/400th second. Then, out of the corner of his eye, he saw the group of Marines start to raise the second flag. He swung his camera around toward the action and pushed the shutter. To make sure he had a worthwhile photo to send to the AP, he took another photograph showing four Marines steadying the flag, then he gathered all the Marines on the summit for a posed shot under the flag. In later years, when asked about the photo, he would say "I took the picture, the Marines took Iwo Jima...

Joe Rosenthal: "The Marines Took Iwo Jima!"

Posted at February 23, 2010 1:42 AM