The Power Of Photography

The Napalm Girl By Nick Ut

In my opinion, AP photographer Nick Ut‘s Pulitzer Prize winning photograph from the Vietnam War, commonly known as the “Napalm Girl” is the most iconic and most powerful photograph ever taken.

In this June 8, 1972 file photo, crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. From left, the children are Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim's cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. AP Photo/Nick Ut

In this June 8, 1972 file photo, crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. From left, the children are Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim’s cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. AP Photo/Nick Ut

Here’s a superb ABC7 Special about the image, the stories and people involved. It’s well worth watching. Powerful, moving, interesting.


Fascinatingly, this TV documentary also clearly shows the power of photography compared to TV footage. Nick Ut’s photograph has such power and depth, compared to the TV footage which whilst strong, has no where near the strength of the still image. Anyone who doesn’t understand the power of a photograph needs to be shown this documentary.

2 responses to “The Power Of Photography

  1. Hello. Would you need to watch the documentary to understand this photo?

    • I would say no; the image says it all. The documentary gives a lot of background to it, with interviews with the photographer, the victim and others who were there. It’s fascinating; all you need do is press play!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s