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Leica lover

David Douglas Duncan

David D. Duncan


1916. január 23.

2018. június 7.

"My only rule: I never photographed the face of the dead, ever, out of respect for the families."


David Douglas Duncan, born on 23 January 1916 in Kansas City, Missouri, has always been something of an archetypical photojournalist: a small-town boy who grew up daydreaming about the big wide world, only to find in photography the perfect vehicle to turn his dreams into reality. It all started with a 39-cent camera, an 18th birthday present from his sister. Duncan, as it turned out, was not only a keen observer, but also a close participant who always headed straight for the action. Soon, he supplied photo narratives to the ‘Kansas City Star’, and it was not long before his work caught the attention of the ‘National Geographic’. These were undoubtedly the 'golden years' of photojournalism: good stories could be found at every corner, while the occupation of photojournalist was still in its infancy – allowing for much freedom to experiment. As a result, DDD successively perfected the method of conceiving pictures and text as one simultaneous entity, eliciting moments of magnitude and poignancy from everyday life. In the second world war, he photographed for ‘Life’ magazine while stationed as a marine in the Pacific. Later, he travelled to the Near East, Germany and Asia. His documentation of the Korean War resulted in his first book publication, ‘This is War!’ The anti-war position suggested in the title found an even clearer expression in DDD's subsequent pictures of the Vietnam war, taken while still under commission for ‘Life’ magazine: the book ‘I Protest!’ was published in 1968.

Source, last update 2023.02.24.

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