Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ferdinand and Sophie

As we have already seen, discussion of the accuracy of newspaper reports is nothing new. Wise readers know that editors, then and now, seek to shape news reports in a way that is palatable to both their readership and their proprietor. In so doing, they are apt therefore to deviate somewhat from the strict truth.

But surely the camera cannot lie - can it?

Misplaced trust, I'm afraid. Cameras do nothing but lie. Yet still, a photograph freezes a moment in time, and thus some photographs are able to become remarkably poignant in the light of subsequent events. In that poignancy lies their power.

This photograph shows the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, at Sarajevo railway station. Had things turned out differently, this picture may well have ended up gracing the society pages of Vienna's most widely-circulated newspaper along with the caption - "Imperial Heir Visits Troubled Province."

But nobody could have known when the shutter was pressed that the imperial heir and his wife would both have bled to death within the hour.

The Deadly Playground, 1914 is out now.  Why not click on this link and get yourself a copy?

1 comment:

  1. Photographs - slices of frozen time. Loved this blog entry.