\"Tank Man\": The Picture That Almost Wasn\'t
In June 5, 1989, Beijing\'s Sean Alpha farmer was fed up with weeks of turmoil and desperately needed a glimmer of hope.
When it arrived in the form of a thin, unarmed man, the observer could not believe their eyes.
Waiting for the man\'s rebellion to allow him to be killed the photographers sneaked away from the government\'s findings, fixed their footage on the \"tank man\" and helped record a moment, this moment always defines the world\'s view of China\'s oppression all over the world.
Jeff Widener recalled that he was at the corner of the hotel\'s balcony, winding the camera on the bullet hole above his head, taking images that were widely regarded as the hallmark of the event.
Widener remembers that his famous photos have almost never happened.
\"I almost screwed up,\" he said . \"
Listen to him retelling his story and it is understandable if he does so.
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For Widener, his camera did save his life and concussion twice.
He was caught by a group of angry thugs who were bent on killing a soldier.
Instead, the leader of the group shouted \"your photos, your photos\" and urged him to record the violence, Widener said.
Widener is free from death and starts working.
There is a problem: his camera has been reset between taking pictures.
\"I saw a man on fire.
\"I looked at him and I couldn\'t take pictures,\" he said . \".
Finally, Widener is ready to capture the evidence of the bloody showdown, raise the camera, and then, \"Bang,\" he says, beating his palms together.
A stone rushed straight into his face and smashed his camera.
Dizzy due to the impact, Widener staggered for another day to shoot.
The next morning, the sun replaced the fiery explosion.
The Associated Press editor told him to return to Tiananmen Square, where Widener rode miles from the office to the Beijing Hotel, where he found the hall full of soldiers.
He buried his Nikon e2 in his denim jacket and found a Westerner and persuaded him to pretend they were friends so he could take pictures from the balcony overlooking Chang \'an avenue.
Twenty years later, Widener still didn\'t know who the man was, saying only that he was an American who taught English in China, called \"Kirk or Kurt \".
\"I hope he\'s still alive,\" said videnna, holding his drink gently during his recent visit to New York.
\"I owe him a beer, maybe two.
\"Once Widener was in the sixth of this man
He realized that he had no film.
Widener, who did not want to venture back into the soldiers, asked the man if he could look for a movie.
\"Give me anything,\" he told him . \".
A few hours later, the teacher brought a roll of Fuji 100 (
800 speed film usually used).
At about the same time, Widener noticed a line of tanks rolling towards the square, the latest message responsible for the communist regime sent out to the bleeding and beaten protesters.
He put the camera on and walked to the Chaoyang station.
When he tilted himself, he could point the camera to a corner to face the action, and Widener saw a man standing in front of the tank.
His first thought was: \"Damn, this guy is going to screw up my picture.
His next idea is that his Telephoto is on the bed 10 feet away.
He said, \"I\'m a gambler. I\'m going to gamble . \"
Widener aimed at the lens and his camera reset slowly again.
Soon after, the man was taken away from the street.
\"I only have three shots. One came out.
\"With his single-handedly, the teacher offered to return the film to the editors of videnna.
Kirk or Kurt put the roll in his underpants and left.
Widener stayed and rode his horse out for a cheeseburger and took care of his pounding head.
The next day, in a few photos of Tank Man, Widener appeared on the front page around the world.
\"Only my pictures have lights,\" he said . \".
In China, the image of \"tank man\" is still banned. (
Photos provided by Jeff Widener)
In 1989, just before the crackdown, Widener, left, was with Liu Chengcheng, a fellow AP photographer.
In his 40-year-old career, 52-year-old Widener was dubbed arrogant and hard-working, and the allegations did not seem to bother him.
He also wanted to know more than just his famous moments in Beijing. (
His website has the title \"outside Tiananmen Square\" on the main page. \"\"I\'m a die-
\"Hard photographers,\" he said.
The 1990 Pulitzer Prize finalist, who grew up outside Los Angeles, worked for a few years in the Associated Press\'s Southeast Asian photo editor, and his work took him to a remote corner of the world, it also provided ropes for the British royal family.
Widener has been working for Honolulu advertisers since 1997, a show he doesn\'t like but tries to create value by exploring the darkness on the island, for a book he described as \"the opposite of everyone\'s view of heaven\", less engaging pieces of life.
Widener said that although he admitted that his work was unsafe and was a lifelong victim of \"Charlie Brown\'s syndrome\", he had always known that he would take a famous picture.
Today, the picture of Tank Man, as a flash card of history, instantly reminds viewers of time, place and event.
\"I don\'t know how I will deal with the loss of image,\" he said . \".
\"It\'s really hard for me.
\"From time to time Widener will think of this brave man who is forever encapsulated in photos.
\"He\'s a very angry guy.
He has had enough . \"
He sometimes thinks he\'s a coward.
He escaped death when his subjects were slaughtered.
\"The photos we took put the protesters in danger,\" he said . \"
He hopes the dead will eventually approve of his work.
Their information came out.
He was killed when his subjects were slaughtered. \"The photos we took put the protesters in danger,\" he said . \" He hopes the dead will eventually recognize his work . \"