Iconic Photos Aren't So Iconic When Left Uncropped

These are all pictures you have probably seen hundreds of times. But the ones you're familiar with are sliiiiightly different. You see, these are the uncropped versions, which offer some a glimpse into the way just a little editing can completely change the whole story. Without that tweak, these images might never have become the iconic snapshots that they are.

Above you see the famous picture of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash jamming at sun Studios in Memphis -- it wouldn't have been the Million Dollar Quartet had the woman sitting on the King's piano remained in the shot. Then there's Guerrillero Heroico, that famous portrait of Che Guevara you see stamped all over T-shirts and posters now. What you probably didn't know was that the profile of another man was cut out of the left side of the print.

The cover of the Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is much less magical and psychedelic when you see the studio lights and backdrops.

And the photo of the Unknown Rebel who stood his ground in front of a column of Chinese tanks near Tienamen Square is much less compelling when the figure is just a blurry, nearly indecipherable dot. Close up, it's moving and emotional.

Looking at these raw photographs lets you look back in time and see the scene from a different point of view. Without these simple yet insightful zooms and clips, these photos might never have been seared into the history books of our brains. [PetaPixel]



    The Tianaman Square one is still very powerful.

      > The Tianaman Square one is still very powerful.

      Perhaps more so, you see it is not just a couple of tanks, but guns as far as the eye can see. He looks so lonely in the uncropped shot

        Don't know about you lot but I'd never seen that photo fully uncropped before. Extra powerful when you see the magnitude of the situation.

          No, never seen it that way before either, and like the others here, I too, think it makes for a much more evocative image.
          That dude wasn't just standing up to one tank, he was standing in front of a whole column of the damned things.!!

      I see it as more powerful when you see the almost endless line of tanks before the man. but also on a side note, Look at the number of tanks! O_O

    The Tienamen Square works almost as well uncropped, as the line of tanks provides an even more imposing view of the communist jackboot.

    The uncropped Che photo gives an even better look at his Michael Jackson-esque jacket, which is amusing.

      A little bird once told me that Che was where Wacko got his idea from.
      That bird may have been under some kind of influence at the time admittedly, but it was always generally reliable.
      Make of that what you will though.

    If anything, the uncropped images are far more powerful

    But then a its a different photo

    Thinking about it, it's the context that really gives these uncropped images their full effect. Cropping them makes them arty and striking but it loses a lot from them too.

      Some photo's need cropping because people like to critique the shot and say things like "why didn't they zoom in on that" Which gets to the point. If you did there's no whole story just a small cameo to make you say wow.......
      I'm ignoring the art side, but how long did these photographers have to change lens or frame the shot ?

    4 mentions of Tiananmen Square and none of them with the correct spelling. I'll admit I had to look it up, but I knew enough to know it was spelled incorrectly. Oh I'm sorry, this is snarky and the sort of pedantry I normally hate but I'm having a shitty day. Still going to press submit though. :)

      You win today's pedant award! Hurray! (Did a fake award make your day better?)

        Marginally, yes. Although you could have been extra nice and indulged my pedantic whims with some incorrect grammar or something for me to pick on. But no. Goddamn your grammar and everything she stands for.

        In what way is spelling the location of a historic event purposely, being 'pedantic'? I'm curious as to the reasoning you, as an editor, use in this situation.

        (Thankyou in advance for approving this comment unlike the previous one?)

      And if you're going to be pedantic, step it up a level or two. The *more* correct spelling would be "Tian’anmen" but the apostropheless option seems to have been very widely adopted. As it's an anglicisation of a Chinese word which is written in a different character set then *all* versions could be considered incorrect.

        You learn something new every day. Nice one.
        I shall try to pedanterise more betterer next time.

    Come on, someone's photo-shopped Guevara's head onto Michael Jackson.

    Getting to see more tanks in the Tiananmen Square photo, for me, creates even more tension in the scene. Such is the subjective nature of photography.

    All the 'uncropped' versions with the exception of Che are from a different angle/have differences in the photo, so they aren't the same photos at all. Not sure what the actual story could be but its not cropping...

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