A photograph that made me think – Normandy Invasion, Robert Capa

Lack of colour, contrast and a bleak sky leave the photo with a sombre initial impression: The only object easily drawn out from the background a body and soldiers. Strangely it seems to even add detail forcing us to take in the entire image. As the title suggests showing the past corruption of a French beach, recognised for family holidays. A seascape covered in harsh metal and corpses, overlooked by the “victor”. Bodies fading into the pebbled beach, when examined properly draw your mind back to the beach scene, sunbathers long lost to the invasion. The couple in the foreground show odd emotions for the scene – the first hands in pocket with a cigarette; numb to the suffering caused, resigned to his sins for the “greater good”, the other hands on hips frowning, as though clean-up is all that’s running through his head. All was for a good cause and in hindsight seemingly an understandable (though not acceptable) loss of life. Bringing this all back to the seascape is haunting for me – showing the power and flaws of those before whilst invoking such a positive comparative memory. Really bringing me into the photo to question past, present and future.

Adam Stoller

L1 Photography University of West England

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