The Kiss

                                     Initially photography was used to capture the portraits of then social elites and social landscape. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” Salman Rushdie,   went further by saying “A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second.” Correct it is a mechanical process and your creative decision.

                                     I remember a very famous photograph ‘The Kiss’. They were the days of Second World War. People from all over the word were tired of this continuous ongoing war. Every day use to start with a bomb raid or some shootout. All café and public space were crowed to grab the updates of World War. An unknown photographer who has his task to click the photograph as he got the news war is over on 14th August 1945. He was on Times Square and what he saw was a ship just landed in harbor and people are running here and there. He had a ordinary camera and was wondering what to shoot. Suddenly he saw a sailor running on street and grabbed a nurse, who came out on road, didn’t knew what to do. As she also received the news of World War is over. He locked lips with her and photographer captured them without knowing them as well as he also did not realize the potential of the photo. George Mendonsa was the sailor and Greta Friedman, a nurse, in her white uniform. It was world famous photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt who clicked this picture. Life magazine published this photo. George and Greta went home without exchanging any address or message. It was just the happiness they shared. Greta realized when she saw this photo in magazine. For Life magazine the pair is unknown and even for the world. This photograph acquired the iconic status of Second World War photographs. In 1980 Life magazine asked this pair to step forward. George and Greta who have already chosen their own path of life and did not meet each other before and after that photo they met once again.

                                   If we see the ‘kiss’ photo even today we find the sheer happiness of both people and the marvelous pose in enthusiasm. The end of war or VJ day is celebrated then onward every year and memories cherished. The very purpose of photography is to capture essence of life. It does not mean to go on clicking candid photos. We need to understand the event and its importance first. Then reset fall in place. World war is not only fought on borders or on land. It is also fought on the level of psychology, ideology, belief and mankind. A photo which will represent it has to portray all the emotions. What we find in ‘The kiss’ is the two human from different walk of life as their uniforms portray. They are on road, it’s a naked reality in broad day light and it is love gesture that they exchange. We find the sheer innocence and expression of suppressed emotions. This way it perfectly staples the VJ day or end of World War II.

                                 Even today we need to understand the importance of photography. Photography ignites your imagination to explore various thoughts associated with that particular time and place. Video kills your imagination and nothing left to further imagine. It offers a full stop to story.

Published by Rahul Mate

Passionate about cinema, fine art, literature and photography, while teaching in media school Rahul Mate makes a little change into the life of people by connecting them with world of creative freedom.

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