By Alex Hellar
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima,
Photo by Joe Rosenthal
"What I see behind the photo is what it took to get up to those heights - the kind of devotion to their country that those young men had, and the sacrifices they made... I take some gratification in being a little part of what the U.S. stands for."
-Joe Rosenthal, on his photo "Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima"
Joe Rosenthal was born in Washington in 1911 and died in 2006. He was born to a pair of Jewish Russian immigrants with four brothers. He was alive during the great depression and took up photography in that time as a hobby. With a basic high school education to his name, he became a photographer/reporter for the San Francisco news.
Mitchell Landsberg won his Pulitzer Prize, as well as his claim to fame, with a single photo. Before then, as a newspaper photographer, he focused on crowds and movement. All of his photos were in black in white, this was not a stylistic choice but a practical one. “Color” photography existed at the time of his famous photo, but black and white was cheaper, lighter and faster. As “Color” photos meant black, white, and burgundy this was not really that much of an issue. He took photos at high shutter speeds to freeze motion and he stood on top of things to get better shots because he was short.