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5 Famous photographs with their iconic subjects removed

Jan 9, 2012 By Abraham

Are widely recognized photos still recognizable with the subjects removed? In the series Fatescapes, artist Pavel Maria Smejkal used Photoshop to find out. Here are five famous photographs with the expected focal point gone so all we see is the setting…

Click on the images to see the originals…

(via PetaPixel)


  1. Corban says:

    The last two do not look familiar.

    But the first 3 were immediately obvious as Napalm Girl, Tiananmen Tank Man, and Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.

      1. Ron says:

        Nope! It’s Nick Ut’s photo of Kim Phuc as she ran away from her Vietnamese village. Her clothes had been burned off during a napalm attack.

    1. Nunaya Dambizness says:

      Yeah, same for me. I immediately knew all but the fourth one; no matter how long I looked at it I couldn’t get that one.

  2. Wendy says:

    I got them all… but then– that’s my job!

    I think it would be interesting to see if anyone knows the name of even one of the photographers of the iconic images?

  3. Denise Hall says:

    i recognised 2. the raising of the flag on iwo jima, and the execution of the viet cong prisoner. i know i have seen all the others many times as well, esp the one of the little girl running naked in the street after the napalm attack. i should have recognised that one, too.

  4. Winnie says:

    I got them all, for some reason I had recently seen #4 in a different forum or I wouldn’t have gotten it.

    Click on each individual image to see the original.

  5. David says:

    The first one is the only one I got right. Since I’m a Vietnam Veteran I’ve spent some time trying to set the record straight about that picture. The US was not involved in the accidental bombing of that village as many have said over the years.

  6. arnie_z says:

    These are all amazing images from the past. Except for the Tianamen Square image, the other four all won Pulitzer Prizes in photojournalism and can be found along with their stories in the book THE PULLITZER PRIZE PHOTOGRAPHS edited by Cyma Rubin and Eric Newton and presented by Newseum (www.newseum.org).

    From the above book:


    1FEB1968 VIET CONG EXECUTION by Edward T. Adams

    8JUN1972 VIETNAM–TERROR OF WAR by Huynh Cong Ut


    The aforementioned book is filled with equally compelling photographs.

  7. Donthavea says:

    Last one,execution of a prisoner,it was on the times cover i think. He got shot in the head with a short barrel revolver.

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