Picture Perfect

Despair, anger and tragedy. These are just some of the emotions people over time have captured perfectly in the form of a photograph. The people capturing these photos and experiencing all these emotions firsthand help tell the story. Photography is a way to take images that help tell a story. Photos are the first thing most people tend to look at, so a good photo is bound to attract an audience. A lot of photos may not get the credit they deserve, but many photographers dream of earning the Pulitzer Prize. There are many ways a photo is worthy of the Pulitzer Prize. For instance, a photo that traps raw expressions of strong emotions.

     In the film, “A Glimpse of Life,” many photographers share their stories along with their heartbreaking photos that at one point in time sparked a nation. Their talent with a camera is plain to see. 

     For example, in 1945 there was an amazing image taken of a group of soldiers putting up an American flag. This was during the battle of Iwo Jima. The photo shows teamwork and hope, but that’s not all. Joseph John Rosenthal captured history for all to see on the day he took this photo. The Iwo Jima image is a perfect photo that has sparked a nation and because of that it was a perfect winning photo for the Pulitzer Prize.

     A stunning photo captured in the year 1963 has also been deemed worthy of the Pulitzer Prize. In this photo we see a man is pulling a gun on another man. This photo is titled “Ruby Shoots Oswald.” Robert H. Jackson, who took the photo of this crime, describe the event as very fast, but he acted right away. “He fired and then I fired.” 

     In the photo “Boston Fire” (1970), tragedy struck. In the picture you can see two people falling to their deaths. Stanley Forman was responsible for taking this prize-winning photo. Forman said there were flames everywhere. Forman heard a loud crunch and then people were falling. “And then I turned around because I didn’t want to see them hit,” Forman said. With such sad and graphic imagery, consumers were left with a need to find out these people’s stories. 

     The next photo depicts a young woman trapped in the water after a mudslide in Colombia. This is one of many photos taken during the event in 1986. This photo does a great job at raising questions and the sad story attached to it is enough to show its importance. Natural disasters are unfortunately life changing for some people. That was the case for the woman in the photo whose life was taken by the mudslide after 72 hours of being trapped. “No one could understand how they could be so close and talking,” Carol Guzy said. Water can add dramatic instability to a situation, but photos capture water well. 

     In a photograph titled “Water Rescue,” it shows a last resort effort to save a drowning girl. This picture is a lot about timing. Timing is very important when taking a photo. The photo should help tell the story, but also make people ask questions. “She’s going to drown or she’s going to be saved and that’s the picture you need,” photojournalist Annie Wells said.

     Photos are a way to tell a story and these stories should be told with pride. The Pulitzer Prize has a lot to do with how much the photo gives away. You only want the photo to tell part of the story so that readers will view the article until the end. The winning photos throughout the years do a great job at showing huge amounts of emotion through a single picture. 


Woman trapped in the Columbian Mudslide.