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Tiananmen Square photographer says iconic 'Tank Man' image was a 'lucky shot'

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tank man tiananmen square (jeff widener)
tank man tiananmen square (jeff widener)

Jeff Widener, the photojournalist behind one of the most recognizable (and meme-worthy) images in modern media, has spoken out about how he came to create "Tank Man" during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.

Low on film and dazed after being hit in the face with a brick, Widener obtained a roll of 100 ASA film from a tourist and used a Nikon F2 with an 800mm lens; the film's slow speed accounts for the photo's slight blurriness, though, as Widener notes, it was "good enough to front almost every newspaper in the world the next day."

For more on Widener's career beyond "Tank Man" as well as some stunning examples of his photojournalism across Asia, read the full interview at Petapixel.