Today’s famous photograph demonstrates a big irony. But I guess that’s how the world is! Tears of one person become a smile on another one’s face. No matter how civilized we may consider ourselves but, essentially we are still living at a level of basic instincts. There are killers and there are victims. There are roars of joy and there are cries of pain. Today’s photograph is related with war —but it is a pleasant photograph.
V-J Day in Times Square or The Kiss is a famous photograph which was taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt on August 14, 1945. V-J Day is Victory over Japan Day and it effectively marked the end of the World War – II after USA dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima (6 August 1945) and Nagasaki (9 August 1945).
Japan surrendered in the wake of horrors caused by atom bombs and USA gained Victory over Japan. Though officially the V-J Day was celebrated on August 15; but in practice the celebrations had started all over the US much earlier.
In New York’s Times Square on August 14, 1945; a uniformed sailor was running on the road. In happiness of celebration around he was grabbing and kissing any and every lady that came in his way.
Eisenstaedt took this photograph when the sailor grabbed a lady in white dress and kissed squarely on her lips. The lady was taken by surprise. In photo she appears to be taking care of her purse and skirt. The photographer took four photos of this incidence. Other three, according to him, were not good enough but the one that is now known as The Kiss was perfect.
Indeed it is a perfect photograph and is a good example of pinhole photography. The identity of sailor and the woman are not confirmed. A number of people have staked the claim of being the subjects of the photo.
Beyond doubt, it is a very romantic and delightful photograph. However, when we think of nuclear attacks it leaves a bad taste in mouth. Yes, there also are arguments that if the nuclear weapons would not have been used and the war would have continued; perhaps even more people would have died.
I don’t know, dear reader, which argument you will try to buttress but following points are anyway true:
- This photograph is brilliant
- The subject is enjoying a celebration
- The celebration was ironic
How did you like this photographs and the story behind it? Please comment and give your feedback as it helps me in writing better content for my readers. Thank you for reading and stay connected with my website as I will continue to bring even more iconic photographs to you.
Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that this photo was first published in the Life Magazine about a week after it was taken.