Iconic Diptychs: Photographs vs. GIFs

While spending a weekend considering the photograph from Charlottesville of the counter-protestor with the “flamethrower”, I started wondering how many iconic photographs have been created alongside video or motion picture footage.

Steve Helber, on the left; GIF of ACLU of Virginia’s video on the right.

Predictably, most of the examples I could recall incorporated sports, breaking news, and unfortunately, often included scenes of war, murder/mayhem, and/or assassinations.

Rather than go long on what it means to see a still photograph vs. 29 frames a second, I thought I’d make a few quick GIFs for some diptychs.

At left, the iconic photographs; on the right, GIFs that link to the original video footage.


Here’s Jeff Widener’s version of Tank Man on the left, with TV coverage of the exact same scene on the right.

Walter Iooss, Jr., on the left, with Dwight Clark’s touchdown pass from Joe Montana in 1982.

Joe Rosenthal on the left, with Marines on Iwo Jima in 1945.

Stan Stearns on Nov. 25th, 1961 at John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession.

Bradley Cooper did not win a Pulitzer for this Oscars selfie, but here it is.

Sam Shere in Lakewood, NJ on May 6, 1937, the fateful last day of the Hindenburg.

John Dominis, on the left, at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, with his photograph of the protest by Tommie Smith and John Carlos.

Eddie Adams’ horrific photograph of the Saigon execution of Nguyễn Văn Lém, with archival newsreel on the right.

Robert H. Jackson’s photograph of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald while cameras rolled at Dallas Police Headquarters.

Ron Edmonds, at left, outside the Washington Hilton on March 30, 1981.

John Tlumacki, April 13th, 2013, in Boston. In the footage, from John Walls, via ABC News, the perspective shifts right at the moment when Tlumacki makes his picture. You can see him approaching the scene from right-to-left, and I’ve paused the gif right at the end, when the photograph was made.

I can think of a few more examples, but I’d be interested in hearing from you. Leave a comment and I’ll consider updating the post with your recommendation. 🙌🏻


[20170911 — MDM]