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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, dancing and good movies.  

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Photo of the day: 'V-J Day in Times Square' by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Times Square (New York), August 14th 1945. WWII is over.
People are simply overwhelmed with happiness and celebrate the big news in the street among smiles, confetti and the sensation of a new beginning. Famous photograph Alfred Eisenstaedt is in Times Square too and takes a lot of pictures.

[V-J Day in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt
Image Source: LIFE]

The most famous? A passionate kiss between a sailor and a young nurse. That photo, published on the 'LIFE's cover, become a legend, by symbolizing peace, hope and victory.

I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn't make a difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder but none of the pictures that were possible pleased me.
Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse ... I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds.

Only one is right, on account of the balance. In the others the emphasis is wrong -- the sailor on the left side is either too small or too tall. People tell me that when I am in heaven they will remember this picture.
Alfred Eisenstaedt [1898-1995]
Eisenstaedt on Eisentstaedt

The nurse was Edith Shain, 26 at the time, who died a couple of days ago, on Sunday, at 91.
Ciao, Edith.

Further information:
LIFE Photo gallery - A Sailor, a Nurse, a Legendary Kiss
Nurse in V-J Day kiss photo dies
You can also read Kissing in action, interesting post by Doll Cult-ure.

ps. Thanks for the suggestion, Fra!


  1. Legendary picture, so difficult to shot in a such short moment.. and no digital correction! You could love Elliot Erwitt as well..

  2. You are right, such a picture is a little masterpiece, also because it is enough to see the picture to understand the mood of a whole nation...

    Most of all, I love the way he holds her in his arms without being rude or too pushy.

    Thanks for the tip!
    I will check Elliot Erwitt's works out. Sure thing.