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Wednesday, 29 March 2017


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Thank you - this was amazing - proving the value of both my Patreon subscription and my NYT one, too.

Woowoo, what a set of photos!! Fortunately not behind a paywall here in Australia. Their headline totally correct-- never heard of her. What a movie her life would make... what did she do later? How did she get there? Where do you develop films in a war zone? DO you develop films in a war zone? Or do you just post or send undeveloped films and trust your luck? How do you get images out to the world? So much behind the story. Thanks for sharing this amazing story to us, Mike.

I've just seen the new King Kong film, which prominently features a female war photographer who had worked in Vietnam and uses a Leica (and, inevitably, a Nikon F). Given how extraordinarily aware the film is of its own antecedents, I wonder if that was meant to be her?

(Not French, however, but still I will pretend to myself it was meant to be her.)

Wonderful story and powerful photos. Thanks, Mike.

Or alternatively Mr McCann could start at https://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/

Although I subscribe to the on-line NYT, the cluttered look and design of it's home page always makes it the last news source I read in the morning. And now to find out that it has such a wealth of photos specifically highlighted! Yet another reason to support you through Patreon. Thank you.

Mike in reference to your search problems with NY Times I did a Google search after reading your post yesterday and the top result was the NY Times article.

Go figure.

The Catherine Leroy feature isn't on the Lens blog, but is part of a series the paper has been running on the year 1967 during the war in Vietnam, which isn't featured too prominently (or for too long) on the front page.

By the way, I usually get to the Lens blog by scrolling to the bottom of the front page to the list of subject areas, and click on "Photography."

I subscribe to the online NYT and yes, it's a bit of a luxury, but let's face it, that indulgence is nothing compared to the "indulgence" if I had succumbed to that lovely lens in the previous post!

Interestingly, Jay Defoore of Popular Photography wrote a very nice, full obit for Catherine Leroy in December, 2008. Read it while you can, as PopPhoto's own obit has already been written.

I read the NYT and the photo section on an ipad and have placed dedicated bookmark icons on the home screen for each; now each is only a button tap away. I suppose a desktop or laptop user could do the same. I have a separate folder for my news sources that I frequently read and a separate folder for the photographic sources. NYT photo sits adjacent to TOP in that folder! I do the same on my iphone.

Having been of prime draft age at the tail end of the war in Vietnam I was fortunate to have received a high number in the picking your birthday number and matching it to a number between 1 and 365. It was broadcast on the radio and if you were a young male you were glued to the radio to hear your number. I realize this is a long introduction but the story of Catherine and her follow up with the young soldier from one of her iconic images hit me like a ton of bricks. That poor soul was tormented his whole life and although I thought I understood the damage any war can inflict on the survivors, her follow up was especially heart wrenching, just can't stop thinking about it.

Mike, I could be wrong, but didn't American Photographer once do a feature on her too?

I was very pleased to see your posting about the NY Times piece on Catherine Leroy. I was very pleased to meet and know her. In the 1980’s I had my photography studio in Chelsea in New York City. I was doing advertising work and I also ran a workshop for photographers called The Lighting Workshop basically teaching studio lighting. Someone recommended my workshop to Catherine, who was in New York at the time, (around 1985). One morning she phoned me and asked to stop by my studio to ask about the workshop. She came by and said that she needed some help with lighting for portraits and proposed that i give her a private week long training. She was going to China for Time magazine to do portraits of the Peoples Republic leadership. I agreed to do this week session and really got to know her and her incredible work.

She was a fast learner and a remarkable photographer and person.

And by the way, American Photographer did do a feature on her.

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