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That is of course a famous quote from a man who devoted his life to photography: Eddie Adams, who passed away in 2004 after a long career behind the lens and behind the scenes as founder of the Eddie Adams Workshop. It was 40 years ago today that Adams made one of the most famous war pictures ever, as reported on NPR.org.

The NPR story points out that Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning photo for Associated Press, “General Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner in Saigon” (left), owes much of it’s power to it’s instantaneousness — Adams snapped it just as the gun was fired. (Indeed, the more complete and gruesome news film footage of the execution is not nearly as well known as the still.) Adams, who describes the event in a clip on NPR’s site, often expressed ambivalence about the picture and its aftermath: “The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera,” he wrote in Time.