We think that this photo is special: “Sailor at Times Square” c.1937. I guess that our motivation for this photo was “V-J Day in Times Square” a/k/a “The Kiss” taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt. Something special about Times Square, the center of the world. The movie playing two blocks down is “This Is The Life”.
I would argue that the majority of Americans would not recognize the lead photo is this blog, “Manzanar“. If you were Japanese-American, on the other hand, I think that you would not have this recognition problem. This is the infamous War Relocation Camp in Owens Valley, California where thousands of Japanese-American citizens were forcibly housed during the war years 1942-1945. It remains a dark stain on our human rights record. Goodbye to Manzanar!
I believe that most of us are familiar with the statue memorializing the flag raising atop Mt.Suribachi on Iwo Jima that stands in Washington D. C. It has been photographed countless times, and we have several images of it on our website. What we show in this blog is the original monument to the flag raising atop Mt. Suribachi as it appeared in 1945 while still under construction. I understand that the completed monument has been moved off Suribachi and is now located near the landing beaches. It was also explained to me that there was a cemetery for our fallen soldiers on Suribachi in 1945 which has also been relocated near the monument where it now stands. Photos of the completed monument can be seen on the internet, but none at the original location as we present here. It is like looking at Mt. Rushmore while only partially completed, and by the way we have that too on DPI. So honor the 5th Marines and Joe Rosenthal for capturing what Henri Cartier-Bresson called the “decisive moment”.
Here is a photo, “Enoshima Island, Japan (1955)“, that I find to be very special although I cannot really explain why. Perhaps having been in Asia a long time ago has something to do with it. Maybe it is related to culture shock. I remember that it took some time for me to adapt to my new surroundings. Likewise, upon my return to the U.S. it also took some time though not as long. At any rate this is a photo that I do not tire of viewing. Enoshima Island is located just off the coast of Yokohama.
Today was a day of thanks and remembrance in Gaza City. The people turned out during the day to celebrate the brokered ceasefire accomplished by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi between Hamas and Israel. In the evening, children of Gaza City held a candle lighting ceremony on rubble in Gaza City. Photos by Mohamed el-Saife/DPI.
As the situation in Gaza City continues to unfold, Hamas militants conduct an anti-Israel rally. Photos by Mohamed el-Saife/DPI.
What is victory? Maybe all victory is fleeting. What does victory mean for the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip? Does it mean that they are happy to have survived the bombing? Does it mean that they are edging closer to having their own state? Do they believe that their enemy is defeated? Is there a long game here that they are playing? War is horrific no matter when or where or who is involved, and the innocents always suffer and will continue to do so as long as a lasting peace remains elusive. The history of mankind does not support the argument that war will be no more. It just goes on and on and on. New faces to be sure. Maybe it is something ingrained in humankind that has become part of our collective DNA. This brings us to an armistice between two warring parties in this blog, Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip under the Hamas government and the State of Israel. DPI’s war correspondent in Gaza City, Mohamed el-Saife, has contributed this collection of photos showing Palestinians in Gaza celebrating the announcement of the armistice.
It has been said that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. And so it goes on and on and on. To what end? Last night it came to Gaza once again. Mohamed el-Saife is DPI’s correspondent in Gaza City, or should we now say war correspondent. To photojournalism access is everything, and we just pray for his safety. To Palestinians this is a photo of a “Resistance Missile Over Gaza” after launch on the night of May 10, 2021. To others it is seen as a rocket attack from Hamas. The only thing that is sure is that innocent civilians including children will continue to die.
Ships make great subjects for photographers. Some ships. We like this ship in particular that is named Ryuyo Maru. But there is a problem with taking photos of ships and that is in the identification. Not that ship identification is above my pay grade, but the issue is complex. Many times the name of a ship is reused as one is retired from service only to be replaced by others using the same name. So you may have several ships bearing the same name. Ships are scrapped, destroyed by war, torpedoed, they sink in storms, or hit a reef and sink. They are sold to other nations and renamed. It does make identification challenging. Not impossible just challenging and time consuming. There is a limit as to how much research one is willing to put into this endeavor. As is this case with the “Ryuyo Maru“, c.1970 we are only not certain of the date of the photograph but the location as well. Ryuyo Maru is not the name of the ship rather it is the name of the Japanese company that owns this particular ship, and it is just one of many ships having the same name. So a shipping company might have 20-30 ships in inventory numbered sequentially based on the launch date.
We say that not all photos of ships make great subjects. In fact, if not shot correctly, they seem rather boring to us. In the case of the Ryuyo Maru it is the low angle on the bow, the perspective at which the photographer saw his subject. Moreover the strong diagonal lines created by the mooring ropes and the dock with the logs creates tension in the image. This is what diagonal lines contribute in any photo.
No information accompanied this image, “Crew of the Sloop” c.1966. So here goes. We assess that this crew is onboard a sloop. Definitely not the Sloop John B. Sorry, Bee Gees. This may be one of the last of the whalers operating out of the west coast of the U. S., possibly San Francisco, Oregon or Washington State.