Photo of the week 14: V-J Day kiss in Times Square by Alfred Eisenstaedt

The famous photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt captured the celebrations in Times Square, New York on VJ-Day [Victory in Japan Day] on August 14, 1945. To many the photo appropriately signalled the excitement at the ending of World War II.

This week we learned of the death, at 92, of Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental assistant who was pictured in the photo being kissed by a sailor.

At the time Eisenstaedt worked for Time Life, and it’s they who retain copyright of the photo. This smaller image below [on the left] is not under copyright. There’s always an element of serendipity in street life photography. It’s the great photographers who are best able to make use of such opportunities. The photo is analysed in detail by Adam Marelli in The Great Compositions of Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.

The same scene, though a different view, was captured by U.S Navy photo journalist Victor Jorgensen and was published in the New York Times the following day. Jorgensen, being a government employee means his photo is in the public domain.

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