A picture’s worth a thousand words

Posted: February 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

On July 25, 1956, a tragedy occurred just off the coast of Nantucket.  In the midst of a foggy night, the SS Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholm — resulting in the deaths of about 50 people.

While the Stockholm managed to make it into port in New York on its own terms after the collision (and, if fact, rescued many passengers and crew members of the Andrea Doria), the Andrea Doria sustained too much damage and sunk into the sea just several hours after the collision.

However, before the ship entirely sank, Harry Trask, a photographer with the Boston Traveler (now known as the Boston Herald), managed to catch a flight out to the ship’s location and snap several photographs.  His pictures, considering the era and photographic circumstances, are great — in fact, so great, that he managed to win the Pulitzer Prize for photography that year.

Here is a link to the prize-winning photo.  I would’ve embedded it in this post, but it’s not labeled for re-use.

Many great photographic techniques are used in the photo.  Trask gives us a wide view of the whole ship, helping to put the incident in perspective.  He also sort of uses the three-by-three rule to the best of his ability considering the circumstances; the photo could be split up into the thirds and still have somewhat of a value.

Moreover, what Trask managed to do — get to the scene of an off-shore tragedy just after it happened, and start taking photos — could be grounds for a prize in and of itself.  But his photos really do tell a story of a memorable tragedy.





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