The Iconic Napalm Girl Photo Uncropped

2013-09-27 3

We’ve all seen the gripping and iconic image photographer Nick Ut took of “Napalm Girl” Kim Phuc. But have you seen it uncropped? We have it here!

Let’s see both photos first:

Photo by Nick Ut – cropped
Photo by Nick Ut – uncropped

This photo is one of the most iconic photos of our time. It captured perfectly the brutality and senselessness of war.

But as photographers, let’s take a step back and look at the two images. Do you feel that the crop was done for simplicity’s sake? Or was it done to make the image more powerful? Or could it have been the image of a photographer changing rolls while children are running around screaming is in poor taste? I’ll go ahead and give a disclaimer that there’s no right or wrong answers – we’re in here just for discussion’s sake. Let’s keep it civil and objective.

In any case, let us know in the comments what you think!

written by cruzron on 2013-09-27 #lifestyle #history #war #photography #documentary #vietnam #napalm


  1. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    Well, for me is very difficult to remain civil and objective in front of this image, I think that the uncropped version is also more terrible (if this is possible) for the presence of the photographer on the right, however, in my opinion, words are useless in some case.

  2. wreckingpress
    wreckingpress ·

    Nam was a strangely covered war in that for the first time moving images of this "hell" are introduced on television. When the second Iraq war happened and my friends and I were all wowed by coverage. my father noted he had seen enough growing up during that time. quickly the novelty of the coverage wore off and the reality of the humanity and lack thereof sets in.

    I get the editor/photographer decision to crop the other photographer out. It is distracting and brings the focus back onto the children and soldiers. Its reason to being such an iconic image is its desperation, terror, and the shock value.

  3. holgardo
    holgardo ·

    I think there is a simple, direct, almost objectie answer to the question: when cropping the image, Kim Phuc becomes the phisical center of the image (she is allready the emotional center of it), so in terms of compostion the cropped one is a stringer image.
    There is another answer, or maybe another question. Is the documental value of the image cropped by cropping the image?

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