Three and a Half Rolls of Melted History

On June 6, 1944 — also known as D-Day — war photographer Robert Capa braved the defenses of the heavily fortified Omaha beach, swimming ashore with the second wave of soldiers. Using two Contax II cameras, a 50mm lens, and several rolls of film, he managed to capture 106 photographs documenting the first couple hours of the now-famous invasion (Omaha beach is the one seen in the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan). After he raced back to London to have the film processed, a Life magazine darkroom technician make a tragic mistake: the dryer was set too high and the emulsion on three and a half of the rolls melted, completely erasing 95 of the 106 photos. The 11 remaining images were all published and became Capa’s most famous work.

If you ever accidentally nuke some photos, whether film or digital, just remember Capa’s three and a half rolls of melted history and you might not feel so bad about your lost images.

The Magnificent Eleven: The D-Day Photographs of Robert Capa [Skylighters]

  • Jyve

    By dyer do you mean dryer?
    Some incredible photos there.

  • Pingback: morguefile » The D-Day Photographs of Robert Capa()

  • Happy Tinfoil Cat

    Fired! Or better yet, next time there is a similar situation, you are coming with me.

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks for the catch

  • Dana Weise

    I lost over 500 photos once, my card corrupted… However, Capa’s work imo was more important than what I was shooting. Never the less I lost a huge piece amount of event photos + a photoshoot or two that was done during the event.

    -Luckily they were personal images and not one for clients.

  • Pingback: Adobe Image Deblurring Done on Capa’s Famous D-Day Photo()