Saturday 11 August 2012
The First Atomic Photographer—and 5 Pictures That Must Never Be Repeated ☀
When Matsushige, then retired came to meet me in an eighth-floor conference room at his old newspaper—a small man, dapper in white shoes—he explained that he could not take more photos that day because “it was so atrocious” and he was afraid burned and battered people “would be enraged if someone took their picture.” He tried to capture more images but he could not “muster the courage” to press the shutter.
A few weeks later, the American military confiscated all of the post-bomb prints, just as they seized the Japanese newsreel footage, “but they didn’t ask for the negatives,” Matsushige said, grinning like a cat. These were the pictures that caused a stir worldwide when they appeared in Life seven years later. No photographic images of Nagasaki taken on August 9 have survived.
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