When it comes to marine disasters of ocean liners, the first and foremost name that comes to one’s mind is that of Titanic. The ship, claimed by its maker as one of the fastest and the safest, had an unfortunate ending on the 15th of April, 1912. The survivors of the ship shared their horrific stories and gruesome experiences with the rest of the world. Some of those were documented in the form of paintings and sketches while others were relayed in the form of very few photographs taken at that time. Such visuals later became the evidence of the incident that changed their lives forever.
In 1997 the movie Titanic, directed by James Cameron, won a record number of Oscars for all its nominations. The movie in general became famous as the director was able to recreate the incident almost exactly as the survivors narrated. It was appreciated by the masses as they once again recalled the incident.
One of the most memorable photos appreciated by viewers all around the world is that of Titanic half submerged in water. This photo is also known as “Sinking Titanic”. In the photo, the lights on the ship are still visible and boats of the survivors are being paddled away from the sinking ship. It must have been an astonishing and emotional moment for the survivors.
After looking at the photo one can imagine what the survivors might have gone through looking at the biggest cruise ship of all times, claimed unsinkable, sinking right before their eyes. After the release of the movie, the photo was published in a number of magazines and newspapers. It seemed like a recreation of the paintings that were published in newspapers after the actual Titanic sank. This Titanic photo became renowned because of many other reasons as well.
Emotions of the women and children
According to the history of Titanic, the survivors of the disaster generally included women and children. When the boats were being loaded with people, many families had to part with their loved ones and let each other go. This photograph captures the emotions of the people and their suffering as they are being paddled away to safety.
Portrayal of reality
This photo not only depicts the despair of the people but also shows the reality of the situation. After glancing at the photo for a minute one can realize the magnitude of the disaster; the miniscule paddle boat of the survivors compared to the gigantic ship and the Titanic compared to the vastness of the ocean.
Survivors in the freezing ocean
Another important aspect of this famous photo that fails to leave the viewer’s mind is the hundreds of people who jumped in the ocean in hopes of saving themselves from the sinking ship only to find themselves in bigger trouble. The water in the ocean was freezing cold and once the human body gets in contact with sub-zero temperatures, it takes only a few minutes for the person to die of hypothermia. The helplessness of the people floating in the freezing ocean seems to reflect on their faces and is effectively captured in this photo.
The photo in question is the replica of the painting that first appeared in “The Sphere” in 1912. No artist was able to capture the moment with such brilliance. Hence, this photo became quite popular among children and adults of all ages. Enthusiasts, scholars and teachers deeply connect with and appreciate this photo. It seems that the reason of its popularity is that no other photo could sum up the disaster in such an appropriate manner.