Learn from the Greatest War Photographer in History

Mar, 2017

The war is like an actress who is getting old. It's less and less photogenic and more and more dangerous”, said Robert Capa in 1944.

The Hungarian War Photographer can be said as the bravest Photographers ever, for he had been at the most riskiest spots for shooting, including Spanish Civil War, World War II, Chinese Resistance to Japan etc. Not only about facing dangerous situations, it was about how he managed all the challenges of life with ease. One best example would be how creatively he renamed himself when he felt his name was not reachable in the American society. Acknowledging his best works, Hungary has issued a stamp and a gold coin in his honor.
As an aspiring Photographer, there are lots that you have to learn from Robert Capa. Here are few from them.


1. Be Passionate: Robert Capa always enjoyed positioning himself at circumstances in which every one of us would wish to flee. This was not just because he was an adventurous guy; it was because of his passion. His burning desire towards photography made him confront any kind of danger. So, be passionate to improve your skills day on day.


2. Take the Best Position: Though war photographs are of instantaneous scenes in a danger-filled field, Robert Capa had always ensured to shoot from the best positions. May be his presence of mind and photography skills helped him do this. So, never take your shots from ‘anywhere’, just because you think you would not have the opportunity to reach the best position. Be insightful on what will look best from where. May be continuous practice would help you with this.
“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” – Robert Capa


3. Be Prepared to Sell Your Works: Tell the story of the photo instead of just showing it. Always welcome your client charismatically and never hesitate to speak in favor of your work. Believe that your work is the best in the market and put forth the belief.


4. Show Emotions: War is the best place to witness mixed emotions, from dominance, cruelty, happiness, victory and relief to fear, love, compassion and fatality. Robert Capa had captured every emotion that dongles in a war field. May be that’s a secret behind his success too. Emotions speak a lot to grab your audience towards it. Whatever kind of photography you practice, never leave out the emotion your subject conveys. Emotions may be from a living or an inert subject, never fail to record it.


5. Do not get carried away: War field is where you are sure to see people getting hurt or even dying, which would be the height of emotional time for you. But as a photographer, never get carried away. Focus on your duty.
In a war, you must hate somebody or love somebody; you must have a position or you cannot stand what goes on.” – Robert Capa
It's not always easy to stand aside and be unable to do anything except record the sufferings around one.” – Robert Capa


6. Mentor the Aspired: Robert Capa strongly believed that photography would not grow if there are no young ones pursing the passion. So, he always relished the happiness in training young photographers. This is something every one of us should learn from him, whatever stream we are specialized in; for teaching not just favors the learner, but it does widens the teacher’s vision.


7. Never Lose Opportunities: Capa was a person to take up every promising opportunity to best pursue his passion, irrespective of the risks involved. So, always value an opportunity more than anything that stops you pursuing the passion.
For a war correspondent to miss an invasion is like refusing a date with Lana Turner.”– Robert Capa


Take time to dwell through Robert Capa’s life history for more inspiration and learning.





Image Courtesy: pinterest.com