World War II in Photos
November 1, 2011 7:26 AM   Subscribe

World War II in Photos
A retrospective of World War II in large-size photo stories. 900 photos in all, over 20 chapters, telling many of the countless millions of stories from the biggest conflict and biggest story of the 20th century.

When I recently moved from the Boston Globe's Big Picture to the Atlantic's In Focus, one of the things I wanted to tackle was larger, serial stories, and I dove right in with a historical one, World War II, as my first project. I started planning it back in May, published the first weekly installment in June, and just posted the last one on Sunday, four months later. I looked over more than 25,000 photos, selected 2,500 for first drafts, and edited down to 900 total - 45 per chapter.

I thought I knew quite a bit about WWII before I started... but have to say that I learned an unbelievable amount during this process, and have now seen images of so many things I had never even heard of, let alone seen evidence of before. There are so many parts of the conflict that are hard to get one's head around.

I hoped to tell the stories, some that have been retold countless times before, in this newish format (big images, narrative, all one web page), and try to give some fresh impact to a brutally sad, but important, part of our shared history. I'm really happy with the outcome, and hope others enjoy it, and can learn from it, as well, especially now that it's complete.
Role: Creator, Editor
posted by kokogiak (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This project was posted to MetaFilter by bru on November 1, 2011: World War II in Photos

I went through every update as they were posted. Simply awesome!
posted by COD at 8:01 AM on November 1, 2011


I've been loving this series, thanks so much. As a history geek look forward to what you come up with next. 1960s would be a good coda, year by year, dramatic times from about 1962-1972. Or by subject (riots, vietnam, peace movement, equal rights, womens lib, etc)
posted by stbalbach at 12:36 PM on November 1, 2011


This was a superb series. Bravo.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:39 PM on November 1, 2011


Some of those images evoke such a visceral reaction inside me. The man's starved face for the holocaust section is so haunting.

I always love your work, kokogiak.
posted by empyrean at 7:11 PM on November 1, 2011


The older I get the more I am interested in WWII-- I'm not sure why. Perhaps because when I was a teenager anyone who lived through it was an old fart? Or perhaps because in the 70's it was still too ubiquitous-- too many books and movies. Now I find it all so fascinating. It was an astonishing time and I am amazed at what ordinary people lived through: the tremendous disruption in their lives, the awful privations, the demands on their bravery. Really remarkable.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:19 PM on November 16, 2011


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