I believe it won an award of some kind, circa the 1950s.
Taken in the aftermath of a parade or something in Washington, DC, it showed a very small boy asking a DC policeman a question. The boy’s body language was one of a forthright confidence – he was gesturing towards some monument or something.
The policeman was a big guy, and he was bent down in a wonderfully benign, respectful way to address the boy’s question.
The photo was taken from a distance, but the body language of the small figures was amazingly vivid. The distance also verified the candidness of the photo, underscoring the genuineness of the policeman’s manner.
There’s a book called Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs that is incredible. It’s also one of the most depressing books I have ever seen. So many of the photos show some of the darkest moments and the most depraved instances of humanity. True there are some that provocative shots that are heartwarming like “Faith and Confidence”, but most are very sad.
There have been thousands, if not tens of thousands of photos in Life magazine, but the one that came to mind when reading the thread title, before opening and reading the OP, was one of a girl who had jumped off the Empire State Building (I believe) and landed face up on a car roof. I think it was taken in the 1940’s or 50’s. The photo wasn’t gruesome at all. She had a very peaceful look on her face and her legs were crossed daintily. She had gloves on, I remember. Women wore gloves then. Really, she was a lady, and she could have been sleeping…except that the roof was horribly crushed and you didn’t want to think about how she looked on the other side.
I saw it once when I was a kid and that picture haunted me for years and years. I think about it every now and then. Sorry to highjack, but the thread title brought it to mind once more.
I like the photo that the OP actually referred to. Didn’t Norman Rockwell base a painting on that photo?
Accurate description, Charmian, but look at it this way. Pulitzer judges are biased toward bloody photos. And by their very nature, death, war and grieving make for powerful subjects. It would be hard not to take a compelling picture of a public execution.
There is a truism in local television news, and local newspapers. It’s sad, but used daily.
Doesn’t say much for humanity, does it?
I’m familiar with the photograph, it brims with decency and kindness. I would wager a guess that such moments happen daily even now. Perhaps they’re not as newsworthy, or perhaps they’re not photographed as much because they’d be seen as a poor homage to the OP’ers photo reference.
I thought of that photo recently when someone posted that it is impossible to land in the street if you jump off the Empire State Building due to the shape of the building. So what is the story - was the suicide at the ESB and if so, how?
I’ve been fascinated by the Pulitzer Prize photographs ever since I was a young teenager and happened across a book of the prize winners in a bookstore. Some of those images have stayed with me ever since.
There is also an excellent T.V. program called "Moment of Impact which tells the stories of six of the photographs in depth.
I think what’s so fascinating about these pictures is their intensity. All of the emotions are right there on the surface, which makes them exceptionally painful when the emotions are dark. But they are also exceptionally joyful when the emotions are good ones, as in the picture of returning POW’s featured in Moment of Impact.
This is very true. It wasn’t so much the photos that depressed me – clearly the Pulitzer prize will go to the most senstational photos. It was the fact that the conditions of the photos existed at all. That the situations that were documented had actually happened.
E.g./ A man swinging a machete to kill another man who was on fire. It was a mercy killing. A mob had beat the man to death – they thought! They set his “body” on fire. The fire woke him up quickly enough and he started to run around screaming, totally engulfed in flames until a bystander slammed a machete into his skull to end his horrific suffering.
The copy that accompanies the photos to provide backstory is also quite compelling. One particularly sad tale accompanied the photo of a child who dying of starvation, trying to crawl to a relief area as vultures stalked him. The photographer was told in no uncertain terms “no matter how heartbreaking, do NOT touch the dying” because there was such a risk of spreading disease. All he could do was through rocks at the vultures. The photographer has since committed suicide.
I examined the book, but just could not bring myself to purchase it. Way too depressing.
The suicide was at the ESB. As Manhattanite Eve pointed out, the woman jumped toward 33rd Street, not Fifth Avenue. The setbacks on the 33rd St. side of the ESB are not as deep as those on Fifth Ave. A falling body, especially one with a good leap, could clear the setbacks on the 33rd St. side.