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Sunday, 05 December 2010

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What was his favourite lens?

Superb photo, and the best title ever!

"What was his favourite lens?"

A banquet camera lens from the 1920s? I can't even guess.

Mike

Oh, the suspense is killing me!
What an excellent way to end the story!

What a wonderfully sad dose of exquisite pathos. A pithy little story of life, loss, work, and perseverance that illustrates Thoreau's famous quote*, with the exception that this man's song was eventually heard. I will have to go in search of his work. Thanks, Tom.


* "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." Henry David Thoreau

Love that shot up top. I grew up in the tough little city of Brockton, MA. Home of Rocky Marciano and the locally famous Brockton Fair held every year in early July.

I was just a kid but the fairgrounds were about 1/2 mile from my open bedroom window. As I tried to sleep you could hear the loudspeakers as clear as day. The freak shoe announcer, "Alive. See the man with the alligator skin. Alive". My dad finally took me in to see this collection of strange people and to this day I remember watching a guy pound a damn 16 penny spike into his nasal cavity with a hammer. And you think today's piercing freaks are cutting edge? (thanks dad.)

That photo above is great. Look at all the little people and check out the half lady mounted on a stool. Ah, memories of my childhood.

Wow, that is a somewhat sad story. Quite opposed to Gary Stochl's, that was mentioned here some time ago. BTW, Stochl's book On City Streets is big inspiration and encouragement for people like me...not so much this story. ;-)

You can always find a new body, but the lens you're used to and love...

Recently I've been thinking a lot about what a photographer leaves behind him/herself. It's unfortunate what happened to Kelty's negatives:

"Barth, who wrote the Kelty biography essay and is curator of Siegel's collection, says among the reasons for the scarcity of Kelty photos not only is the abrupt end to his photo career but the type of film he used. Nitrate-based, it was unstable, volatile and unless properly conserved -- it wasn't -- turns to unusable jelly. Many of the negatives that Kelty used to pay a bar tab in New York ultimately landed in a Tennessee collection of circus memorabilia. The negatives disintegrated and were tossed in the trash, Barth says."

A little more about Kelty - http://museum.icp.org/museum/exhibitions/kelty/kelty_press.htm. He shot in the morning, made sample prints in his truck, took orders in the afternoon and had them ready that night before the show moved out.

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