A Conversation with ‘Tank Man’ Photographer

Petapixel’s Eric Calouro talks to AP photojournalist Jeff Widener, whose iconic and sometimes parodied ‘Tank Man’ photograph has, he says, “been a blessing and a curse”:

Basically it’s a lucky shot from being in the wrong place at the right time. I had been knocked silly the night before from a stray protestor brick that hit me in the face — the Nikon F3 Titanium camera absorbed the blow sparring my life. I was also suffering from a bad case of the flu during the whole Tiananmen story so I was pretty messed up.

[…] After sneaking into the Beijing Hotel with the help of an American college student named Kirk Martsen, I managed to get one fairly sharp frame of Tank Man from the 5th floor balcony of the Beijing Hotel with an 800mm focal length lens. I had run out of film and Martsen managed to find a single roll of 100 ASA from a tourist. [Source]

The post includes more pictures by Widener from Beijing and beyond.

Widener was one of a handful of photographers to capture the confrontation on Chang’an Avenue. See more on the incident, including another picture from a strikingly different angle, and on the June 4th crackdown, via CDT.


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