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1958 Munich Air Disaster - Manchester United FC

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 1 February 2009 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

For the first 3 days of this month I'm posting some B&W street photos in response to the Aminus3 theme organised by Damon Shreiber here's his request:

"I'd like you to spend 3 days posting your best street photography in black and white. Street photography is generally understood to include images taken (usually - though not necessarily - of people) in a candid public setting such as a sidewalk, often with a normal to wide angle lens.

So if you're interested, get out there and capture some decisive moments! If you are interested in participating, let me know through my contact link and I will add your name to the list when it's time."



This photo is one from my archives and was taken around the corner from my office in Old Trafford, Manchester and shows the crowd of people gathering to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Manchester United FC Munich air disaster which killed 23 people.

NIKON D40 1/125 second F/8.0 ISO 200 15 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

bluechameleon from Vancouver, Canada

Powerful shot Ian! I like the contrast of the lone man, and the flurry of people on the other side of the wall.

1 Feb 2009 5:13am

@bluechameleon: Thanks Sharon....did you also see little child on the extreme left being ushered toward the heap of flowers?

Paco Díaz from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Great composition and b/w. It was a tragedy, unforgettable.

1 Feb 2009 7:26am

@Paco Díaz: Thanks Paco...I greatly admire the work of the great 'street' photographers but it's not something I find at all easy.

Marie LC from Voiron, France

A tragedy showed in a good composition

1 Feb 2009 7:47am

@Marie LC: Thanks Marie...despite (or maybe because of) the extreme wide angle lens I used I was still very happy with the composition of this one. It will probably mean more to the supporters of MUFC but there's a lot included in the photo: the 1958 commemoration clock top left in the picture; the Manchester City scarf left on the ground in respect; the small child being ushered forward by a pair of hands toward the pile of flowers and the apparent 'indifference' of the press photographer with his white Canon 'L' lens.

It's the first time that I've ever felt like I've captured one of Cartier-Bresson's decisive moments in 'street' photography.

Suzanne from Huntington Bch, California, United States

Wow...very emotional and heart rending.

1 Feb 2009 8:21am

@Suzanne: Thanks Suzanne.

Momo from Montpellier, France

I remember this Ian, the crowd, the solitude, raw emotion...just a very strong photo in all respects...

1 Feb 2009 8:40am

@Momo: Thanks Momo.

Hikari from Kumamoto, Japan

Excelent ! , one of the best I´ve seen so far in the first day of challenge.
I really would like you to try more street photo !!

1 Feb 2009 9:07am

@Hikari: Thanks but I don't have the courage or 'bottle' to be any good at 'street' photography. Photographers like Bruce Gilden have so much nerve I can barely even watch a youtube video of them at work without cringing in sympathy with the people who are the subjects of his work:

Giovanni from Milan, Italy

A powerful image Ian! Like how you split it in two different scenes.

1 Feb 2009 9:54am

@Giovanni: Thanks Giovanni!

Daryl from Amagasaki, Japan

A wonderful composition.

1 Feb 2009 10:29am

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

This is superb, Ian! Such a powerful interaction between the contrasting moods, lighting and emotions that leads each element to its maximum of expression! One of my favs of the day!

1 Feb 2009 11:39am

Nicole from Aix en Provence, France

great picture !

1 Feb 2009 1:36pm

Mirko Herzner from Mühlheim am Main, Germany

Perfect choice for this contest, Ian. An amazingly strong image which carries a lot of emotions...

1 Feb 2009 1:49pm

Polydactyle from Montreal, Canada

Bravo for this shot! Collective commemoration and individual isolation. A certain ambiguity!

1 Feb 2009 1:50pm

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

Humorous and sad in a way, Ian. Someone is perhaps too touched or too uninterested to take part.

1 Feb 2009 2:16pm

Cheryl from Texas, United States

very powerful. especially that man off by himself

1 Feb 2009 2:22pm

Scene by Sharon Photography from Kingston, Ontario, Canada

I agree with the others - very powerful capture!

1 Feb 2009 2:45pm

Pixim from Nice, France

A scene of life moving and so lived by deep by their heart by the population. The wide-angle lens is extraordinary here in its use, and makes it possible to appreciate the popular movement like the lived individual one ;)

1 Feb 2009 2:46pm

k@ from France

This composition is masterpiece ! Moving, talking, living - great, great work**

1 Feb 2009 3:02pm

Alphons from Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands

Strong emotional photo. And thereto a strinking contrast with the sitting man.

1 Feb 2009 4:22pm

Damon Schreiber from Toronto, Canada

Such a strong, detailed image. I'm afraid the 800 pixel format here makes it hard to see everything going on, so I'm in your debt for the explanation of things I would otherwise have missed. I'd love to see it higher-res. As it was (and not being familiar with the disaster) I thought at first that the flowers laid out were a bit of wrecked fuselage from the plane. I also didn't recognise the man on the right as being a photographer - I thought he was just a guy crouching with a can or thermos.

But that's the great thing about complex works like this is that a close reading can be so fruitful. Thanks again for sharing it. As to street photography in general, you don't have to be like Bruce Gilden to be successful. I think Cartier-Bresson generally put a bit more distance between himself and his subjects - and he wasn't exactly an also-ran!

1 Feb 2009 4:51pm

Anita from Quito, Ecuador

Marvellous image! You made a perfect composition to reflect the emotions.
Great job!

1 Feb 2009 5:45pm

Frida from Sweden

Makes me wonder about the lonely man to the right. What's going on in his head. Great capture!

1 Feb 2009 5:47pm

Richard_Irwin from Belper, United Kingdom

Good shot Ian, that perfectly illustrates the theme of street photography

1 Feb 2009 6:55pm

Kheoh Yee Wei from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The involvement of that lonely man on right in this shot is significant.

1 Feb 2009 7:57pm

Nataly from Santa Monica, United States

Nice shot, Ian and the wide lens works really well here.

2 Feb 2009 3:41am

Michael Paulison from United States

Nice shot. The wall down the center and the different things happening on each side give this a two shot feel. The clarity and smooth tones of the black and white are perfectly done.

2 Feb 2009 5:03am

Patrick from Louveciennes, France

Belle composition. Bravo

3 Feb 2009 11:57am

ZmAjEvA from Belgrade, Serbia

Every time I visit your gallery you are better and better. This is fantastic street shot! Bravo!

10 Feb 2009 12:46pm

Nocturama from Barcelona, Spain


12 Feb 2009 9:01am

1/125 second
ISO 200
15 mm (35mm equiv.)