The Tiananmen Square Tank Man photo taken on June 5th, 1989 at Tiananmen Square by AP Photographer Jeff Widener is one of the most iconic journalism photos of the last century.
As New York Times and PetaPixel have shown, AP photographer Jeff Widener, Newsweek photographer Charlie Cole, Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin, and Reuters photographer Arthur Tsang all captured almost the exact same moment from slightly different perspectives. Yet, it is Jeff Widener’s photo that became famous.
And then there is AP Photographer Terril Jones’s ground level version featured in New York Times.
Just as powerful as the photo, this video of the Tiananmen Square Tank Man is utterly mesmerizing.
So what is it about Jeff’s particular rendition that made it famous compared to his contemporaries’ photos? What other famous photos do you feel are iconic and what do you think make them so unforgettable?
Have you ever seen another version of another famous photo and wondered why that version is not as famous?
Be sure to read the article from New York Times on the 4 versions of the event, as well as Terrill Jones’ version of the event.