Tiananmen Square 'Tank Man image had profound effect on my life', says photographer Jeff Widener

The iconic image of a man standing in front of the Chinese military has been dubbed "Tank Man" Photo: APTN/Jeff Widener

The photographer who captured the iconic "Tank Man" photo has said the image had a "profound effect" on his life and career, as the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown passes.

The picture of a lone man standing in front a column of tanks has become an iconic image of protest.

Widener was an AP photographer back in 1989, but left the Associated Press in 1995, and is now a freelancer based in Germany.

Widener decided to visit Hong Kong to take photographs of the anniversary and share his experiences with students.

It is the only place in China which regularly holds large-scale events commemorating the 1989 crackdown by Chinese authorities on the growing democratic movement.

Troops and tanks gathering in Beijing, a day after the crackdown Credit: APTN/Jeff Widener

A candlelight vigil will be held in Hong Kong, to commemorate the day in 1989 when the People's Liberation Army moved in to Tiananmen Square to clear out student protesters, leaving hundreds dead.

Residents used a bus as a roadblock to keep troops from advancing toward Tiananmen Square Credit: APTN/Jeff Widener

Early on Wednesday workers set up tents and equipment around a model of the "Goddess of Democracy" statue that was set up in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Civilians holding rocks as they stand on an armoured vehicle near Changan Boulevard Credit: APTN/Jeff Widener

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the annual vigil in Victoria Park, next to Hong Kong's popular Causeway Bay shopping district. 150,000 people attended last year, according to organisers.

Protester putting barricades in the path of an already burning armoured personnel carrier Credit: APTN/Jeff Widener