Diana Bryant and Tiare Jones fall from the collapsing fire escape, Stanley Forman, July 22, 1975, photograph, Boston Herald, http://stanleyformanphotos.com/galleryfireescape.html.

We should look at this photograph because it shows two people falling from a fire escape who will probably die. This moment happened quickly and a photograph gives us a better opportunity to analyze this event. Both these individuals fell from the fifth floor. Although most logical human beings would agree that falling from the fifth floor of a building would most likely kill you, you will notice the woman trying to protect her head with her hands and the boy outstretching his arms as an attempt to grab on to anything to stop him from falling. This demonstrates how our natural response to moments of distress is to protect ourselves no matter how minimal our chance of survival is. We are not programed to give up, but we are programed to fight for any slim chance of our survival. It is not natural to give up when there is a chance of succeeding, and that is demonstrated in this picture.


5 thoughts on “Falling”

  1. I remember seeing this photo in a photography class that I took in high school. This picture seems to keep showing up, this interests me because it is an image of a moment right before death. Humans strangely seem to be attracted to moments like this, where we realize our own mortality and that death is as much a part of life as anything.

  2. This kind of reminds me of the pictures on 9/11 in which you saw people who jumped to their deaths. When you see a photograph like this — and you know the context — it sort of makes you angry knowing that these people had to choose between burning to death or jumping to their death. There’s definitely pathos in this photograph. A tough choice was made right before this picture was taken.

  3. i’m surprised this photo received little discussion, perhaps it is because unlike the other photos so far there was very little premeditation before hand done by the director therefore suggesting that this photo wasn’t taken with any clear or profound message in mind, unlike the other photos which were created with purpose, businesslike or otherwise.
    We can still glean a message from this, whether or not we wish to discuss the unfairness of life, childhood or anything else, but there is little motivation to do so.

  4. This picture makes me very sad because of the fact that people are getting pictured seconds before death. Although it’s not like the person taking the picture was not helping these people, it’s still so horrible that they are feet away and I can imagine the photographer trying to pick the right aperture and light exposure for a picture of someone who is about to die. It’s an epic photo, and it’s too bad that it has to be related to something so dismal.

  5. I am also surprised at how little attention was brought to this picture. The subject matter and composition is so unique as well as the position that the photographer was in. The person who took the picture had to choose to take the picture while another human fell to their death. The situation is so rare and difficult that the picture needs more comments than has been posted. This is a real photograph compared to the paintings and drawings of other postings that also evoke emotion, giving it a resonating tragic tone.

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