It’s amazing that even during events as harrowing as the D-Day invasion, there are photographers willing to enter the fray and make a visual record of what went down. Time brings us the story of how photographs of that historic battle were almost completely lost in an error almost any of us can relate to.
Robert Capa was one of only four credentialed photographers on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. He shot four rolls of film that day, which were quickly messengered back across the English Channel to the Life Magazine offices for immediate printing. Unfortunately, the simple mistake of a darkroom technician left almost all of the negatives completely ruined. Only eleven frames remained, which came to define the event for millions of readers.
It’s easy to relate to the poor sap who screwed up the processing of Capa’s film. We’ve all experienced a moment where an SD card has accidentally been wiped, or a file deleted. You just hope those moments don’t come at pivotal points in the history of civilisation. Luckily, the surviving photos were good enough to garner praise for those involved with publishing the pictures. Phew! [Time via ISO 1200]